The dawn of a new era in college sports, as the NCAA struggles to keep up: NPR


The March Madness logo on the field during the Sweet Sixteen round of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis. Soon, some college athletes can get paid when their name, photo, or similar look is used.

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The March Madness logo on the field during the Sweet Sixteen round of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis. Soon, some college athletes can get paid when their name, photo, or similar look is used.

Justin Casterlin / Getty Images

A new era in college sports begins this week.

After the governor of Kentucky. Andy Bashir executive order Allowing college athletes to make up for the use of their name, image and likeness – known by their acronym “NIL” – at least seven states will enforce NIL laws on Thursday. The laws allow athletes to make money for things like endorsement deals, signing autographs, and social media content.

This is prohibited by NCAA rules, but the organization is now in the process of fixing those rules. Especially after the last period Supreme Court decision Weakened the long-obsolete, but increasingly outdated, idea of ​​the NCAA for amateurs in college sports.

Countries take the lead

In 2019, California dealt the first blow against the NCAA, in quite a California way – signing Governor Gavin Newsom to the set of the Lebron James’ HBO show, the shop.

The state’s Fair Play Pay Act, the first bill for nothing, reflects the growing discontent with the NCAA Perfect shaking for amateurs, with so-called amateur athletes in major sports making huge revenue and not participating in it.

For the NCAA, California signaled the start of a problem. A patchwork of zero-tolerance laws between states would create recruiting advantages—athletes choose schools in states that allow for nil payments—and thus create a competitive imbalance.

Although critics say the imbalance has long existed in big college sports.

But the NCAA failed to come up with a one-size-fits-all plan. The vote scheduled for January of this year has been postponed indefinitely.

Now, the NCAA It finally looks ready To work, but only after I did states.

“The lack of action is the fault of the NCAA,” New Mexico State Senator Mark Morris said. The former college football player was the primary sponsor of his state’s NIL law, one of those laws that will go into effect Thursday, July 1.

“States are sovereign powers, and when we see a situation that is unfair and needs to be addressed, we will use our ability to pass laws to address these issues,” Morris said.

reward for hard work

With NIL, schools don’t pay athletes, third parties pay. New Mexico law is among the least restrictive when it comes to compensation.

“The gold standard,” said Ramoji Homa, a longtime college athlete.

Among other provisions, the law allows athletes to make their own shoe deals and allows third parties to pay for sports food, shelter and medical expenses.

New Mexico State’s sophomore basketball player Molly Kaiser says the amazing athletes will finally cash in on their name, and it’s fitting, she says, because they’re working hard to get their name out there.

“I’m honored to be a part of the start of that,” Kaiser said. “I think it’s going to be very cool, now I can continue to make YouTube videos and really benefit from them.”

18-year-old Kaiser says she was raised by a single mother and can imagine sending nothing money back home.

She said, “I think it’s all about trying to feed your family and find a way for them, not necessarily about us. At least for me.”

If University of Michigan basketball player Nas Helmon decides to use the additional NCAA year of eligibility because of the pandemic, she will be able to take advantage of the Michigan NIL — which is due to go into effect in December of next year.

If she does, Helmon has ideas.

Naz Hillmon #00 of Michigan Wolverines is among the college athletes talking about new laws that will allow them to benefit while playing in college.

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Naz Hillmon #00 of Michigan Wolverines is among the college athletes talking about new laws that will allow them to benefit while playing in college.

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“I’d like to do something [basketball] “Whether it’s in Ann Arbor or ,” she said [her hometown] Cleveland. Just to be there in some way, give back to the community and kind of show my face and be grateful to those who helped me along the way.”

Hillmon would also like to have the opportunity to publicly promote it to friends and family.

She said, “Some of them have business,” and [under current NCAA rules] Technically, I’m not allowed to promote it and say “go visit them”. I have to phrase it a certain way on my social media.”

In Los Angeles, USC quarterback Mo Hassan is optimistic. The lawmakers behind the California Fair Pay Act want it يريدون Move The start date of the law is from 2023 until September. Hassan, the podcast host, will be staying at the school already thinking about NIL.

“I ended the podcast,” Hassan said last week. “They provided the opportunity to sign and partner with them in order to continue growing the podcast, and generating revenue through advertising.”

The money will “go to me,” he said, adding, “It’s going to be historic because it hasn’t been done before at the student-athlete level. So it’s really exciting to be on the border of this.”

Hassan asserts the NCAA’s fear that the state’s set of laws on the absence of national elements will affect enlistment.

“I think it’s definitely a competitive advantage,” he said. “If Florida or Texas (they both have laws in effect on July 1st), you know, can provide these resources that California can’t, it’s really hard to recruit individuals against them. You know, if I’m a top quarterback and I can reap Over a hundred thousand dollars at the University of Florida and I can’t do that at the University of Arizona, that’s an easy decision in many cases.”

Lots of value in athletes

So what can athletes make of the Nile era?

a a study In SSRN, the Social Science Research Network, on the NIL value for college athletes, it found that “the NCAA’s alleged position that student-athletes lack a meaningful zero value is incorrect.”

Studying the monetization of social media accounts, which is the easiest way to convert NIL rights into dollars, researchers estimated that Trevor Lawrence’s Instagram account is worth more than $330,000. Lawrence was the Clemson quarterback and the top pick in the NFL Draft this year.

While men’s soccer and basketball players get a great deal of publicity in these two major income-generating sports, women have not been left out of the equation. And in fact, they are likely to outperform their male counterparts in earnings of none.

Basing, again, on the popularity of social media, Axios Note that 8 of the 10 best-followed athletes in the Elite 8 rounds of this year’s NCAA Division 1 men’s and women’s basketball…were athletes.

according to Washington PostOther research has found that female sports stars and Olympians who now compete in college can make up to half a million dollars a year from endorsements.

This is big money of course. The majority of athletes, many of whom play so-called non-profit sports, do camps and classes, occasionally show in person, or work on their social media, there will certainly be more modest amounts.

You get what you put into it

“The truth is , [making money off NIL opportunities] It’s like nothing else,” said Jim Caval, CEO of the content delivery company. INFLCR . software platform (pronounced “influencer”). “What you put in is what you get. Any student of sports who thinks this is just going to be a windfall of revenue, is crazy.”

“You will have to work on it. Some athletes will have to do less work than others, just like playing time. Some athletes are so talented that they can get on the field very easily and play and score and do well. Other athletes will have to work a little bit harder. Everyone do some work.”

Caval started his company in 2017, and is now using the past four years of communications and business to give INFLCR support to dozens of companies that have sprung up to take advantage of the NIL wave. Caval says more than 100,000 athletes nationwide own the INFLCR app, which helps them manage their name, image and similarity opportunities.

Running that business, and doing the work to create their own brands, he says, is a valuable lesson for any athlete. From the midfielder to the short softball player to the volleyball team player.

“Although they [may not make] With a lot of money from NIL, Caval said, it will help them get the most out of the network and their surroundings while playing. So they can start making those connections and building the foundation for the rest of their lives. Many athletes, unfortunately, suffer from the side of the ball deflating. The game is over and no one cares anymore. They don’t care that they used to play. They don’t care that you were that position on this team. You are now an adult trying to make it through a very difficult world. [So]Get a head start.”

Play NCAA catch-up

The question remains, who will have the chances?

College athletes in at least seven states will start on July 1Street. It now appears that all athletes will be included.

The NCAA’s fast-paced catch-up game has finally put the organization in a position to offer NIL rights nationwide.

Last week’s meetings led to a project temporary plan Which, if approved, will enter into force on July 1.

Under the plan, athletes in states whose laws apply to those laws will follow; In states without laws, schools can set their own no-items policies.

There are still tabs included in the NCAA plan, including NIL compensation that cannot be tied to an athlete’s performance – not allowing, for example, more NIL money to get more points. The organization attempts to uphold the line against pay-to-play, a bedrock of the amateur model that the NCAA has preached throughout its history.

But defending the form was much more difficult as money flourished in the big college sports.

In fact, last week the US Supreme Court issued a scathing unanimous ruling that the NCAA cannot restrict athletes’ education-related benefits. It was a narrow ruling, but it eliminated the NCAA’s claim that it should be exempt from the country’s antitrust laws because athletes are amateurs.

The decision is expected to lead to future challenges to NCAA rules. Patrick Bradford, a veteran antitrust attorney based in New York City, was part of a group that filed a friendly note in support of the athletes in the Supreme Court case. Especially African American athletes who make up the majority of athletes in income-producing football and men’s basketball.

Bradford anticipates that the Supreme Court’s decision will have a lasting impact.

“I think it’s only a matter of time, before the NCAA has to detach itself from regulating student-athletes’ economics,” he said.

Currently, through the NIL interim plan, the NCAA, which did not respond to a request for comment, is backing down by allowing schools to set their own policies. But the federation also says schools and athletes must adhere to the plan’s guidelines “until such time that federal legislation or NCAA rules are adopted.”

Reportedly, the NCAA Division 1 Board of Directors will meet on Wednesday to make a final decision on the interim plan. If, as expected, the Board approves this, the NIL policy will take effect the next day.

Making the NCAA a partner, albeit belatedly, in a new era.

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