Beginning July 1, thousands of student-athletes could receive benefits from businesses that want to use them to promote their business. A lot of people think that it’s about time and a long time coming, but did the NCAA make a mistake by doing this?
What is the NIL and what does it mean?
The NIL stands for name, image, and likeness. It basically means any business can approach a student-athlete and ask them if they can use their name, image, or likeness to endorse their products.
Student-athletes can be compensated for this but they have to let their schools know before they sign on with a business.
In theory, it sounds like a great idea. But in reality, is it? Not every student-athlete will have the privilege to make money off themselves which could lead to problems of jealously on the team.
Also, what is going to prevent businesses from cheating and offering more money than the NCAA would allow? This whole situation can turn into the wild west quickly if the NCAA doesn’t pay close attention.
After much pressure, the NCAA decided to wider the process for the NCAA transfer portal which basically has turned into free agency for student-athletes who want to leave one program to join another.
A lot of big-name programs, like Alabama, have benefited from the transfer portal. Names like Landon Dickerson who came from Florida State and recent Tennessee transfer Henry To’o To’ , both landed in Tuscaloosa from the transfer portal Now people are screaming foul because the rich programs continue to get richer. How long before that starts to happen with this new rule?
Several hundred student-athletes have taken advantage of the transfer portal and the NCAA has yet to fix the problem.
SMU and Pony Excess
ESPN did a 30 for 30 documentary about the 1980s Southern Methodist University football program titled Pony Excess. It told the story of why SMU was the only school in the country to receive the death penalty for cheating.
To this day, SMU has never fully recovered from that sentence. The problem was SMU had a slush fund for players. It was so bad that even the governor of the state at the time, Bill Clements, was involved. And that’s the problem with the new NIL rule. Now once again, the NCAA is allowing outside forces back into the games kind of like boosters.
Who is going to stop businesses from overpaying players? Not the NCAA.
Schools under investigation
NCAA still can’t seem to get a handle on cheating with its member schools. Several schools over the past few years have been accused of or have been caught cheating.
Former Valdosta High School coach Rush Prost was caught on tape accusing several SEC schools including Alabama and Georgia of cheating.
Prost later backed off his claims
Another SEC school, Tennessee, was caught cheating but the NCAA has yet to deal with any of these accusations or issues. In Tennessee’s case, they fired head football coach Jeremy Pruitt and athletic director and former Vols head coach Phillip Fulmer retired after the allegations were revealed.
The NCAA may be asking for trouble by allowing student-athletes to make money off their images because they are only one student-athlete and one business away from this getting out of control.