The NCAA is not the most popular organization, and the majority of that blame is their own. However, the NCAA finally looks like to be exploring what I believe would be a positive change, changing the amateurism model.
The NCAA appointed a “working group” to examine issues related to student-athlete name, image, and likeness.
“This group will bring together diverse opinions from the membership — from presidents and commissioners to student-athletes — that will examine the NCAA’s position on name, image, and likeness benefits and potentially propose rule modifications tethered to education. We believe the time is right for these discussions and look forward to a thorough assessment of the many complexities involved in this area.”
The release also went on to say, “the group will not consider any concepts that could be construed as payment for participation in college sports.”
Any sensible human being understands that players like PJ Washington and Zion Williamson are worth far more than a college scholarship, and when they are bringing in MILLIONS of dollars to their respective schools they should be looked in much higher regard than being “amateurs”.
In 2017, the NCAA cleared a revenue of $1.045 billion from media rights fees, ticket sales, corporate sponsorships, and most importantly March Madness (accounts for nearly 90% of NCAA total revenue). How much of that did the athletes performing receive? Zero.
If the “working group” is able to find some sort of way to compensate athletes this would make college more appealing to high school recruits when the “one-and-done” rule changes, could allow athletes to profit off of apparel and autographs, and could even bring back two very memorable video game titles; NCAA Basketball and NCAA Football.
For the sake of college sports and college sports video games, I hope the “NCAA Board of Governors Federal and State Legislation Working Group” is able to find a compromisable way to compensate athletes for their efforts.
Read the rest of the NCAA’s release here.