On July 1, 2021 every single college athlete got a win with the new National Collegiate Athletics Association rules on name, image, and likeness going into effect. The change allows college athletes, in all divisions, to make money using their name, image, and likeness. This means the possibility of endorsements, sponsors, and all kinds of other ways for student athletes to create revenue for themselves.
“If you look at bigger institutions, in their book stores or shops they have all kinds of jerseys with different athletes names on them etc. That’s how this all came about because athletes were saying you’re using my name to gain revenue for the institution and this isn’t right,” said Senior Woman Administrator/Assistant Athletics Director for Compliance and Eligibility Keri Carollo.
The argument over whether or not college athletes should be able to benefit monetarily has been debated for many years. In 2009 a former UCLA basketball player, Ed O’Bannon, was used in an NCAA basketball video game without his permission. He took his argument to court and in the summer of 2014 the court ruled that the NCAA was in violation of antitrust laws by not allowing student athletes to profit off their likeness in video games and broadcasts.
“As a campus we have talked with our chancellors and we fully support it. I think there have been some questions that have come up, legitimacy of certain things, endeavours. And at our level there’s really not a lot of – I mean there are a lot of opportunities but you know we aren’t Alabama football or Madison football. They’re going to go to Zimbrick and potentially do something there. What we are doing right now is trying to educate our student athletes to make sure they know the rules and everything else,” said Director of Athletics Ryan Callahan.
Education has been the main focus during this first year under the new rule. Modes of education right now include presenting to teams on what student athletes can and cannot do, and going through a checklist and meeting with the university’s compliance officer to ensure everything is in check. Callahan mentioned perhaps expanding resources in the future to be conference wide.
“I think what would really be nice is if we had a conference collaboration,” said Callahan. “Maybe it’s a virtual hub where all athletes in the WIAC can go to ask questions and get support. If they want to pay a little more for an expert to help them brand and make an identity, they can do that.”
Callahan said that it is possible that in future years the university could …….