There has been a lot change happening within the NCAA the past couple of weeks.
Let's break it down.
For a long time college athletes were not allowed to accept any money. Athletes still won't be paid for playing their sport but as of July 1st, they can make money from "NIL." You may have seen this term flowing around, and it means "name, image, likeness."
This is a game-changer for multiple different reasons.
College athletes can now receive payment for brand deals, endorsements, marketing, pictures, autographs, sponsored social media, training camps, and so much more. Many student-athletes are already starting to make money, and sign deals.
This goes for any level sport and it has been a long time coming. There have been talks of this happening for awhile and athletes were not slow to jump on the opportunity.
A owner of a MMA gym offered to pay players on the Miami football team to promote his gym monthly on social media.
Degree Deodorant launched a five-year and $5 Million plan to rollout NIL endorsements.
Bryce Young the sophomore Alabama quarterback is on track to hit $1 Million in deals.
Jaren Butler from Baylor University is selling all of his gear.
The Cavinder twins who play basketball at Fresno State signed deals with Boost Mobile and Six Star nutrition.
This does not mean there isn't some concern around how this will affect college sports and the NCAA. For a long time the argument was that college athletes are just that, college athletes, and they shouldn't be confused with professionals. The concerns lies around who is handling the new rules and guidelines. This new opportunity for athletes and brands cause a big shift with a lot of figuring out left to do.
For example, the decision falls on the school to allow an athlete to have a specific brand deal with a company, if the team already has a deal with another competing brand.
The NCAA does have a set of guidelines put forward:
Athlete have to do a service to gain the compensation
Athletes are allowed representation or agents
Schools cannot be involved with getting the deals for athletes
Athletes cannot endorse gambling, adult entertainment, tobacco, alcohol, or cannabis
Deals cannot be used for recruiting
How is this going to change the world of recruiting?
Travis Branham talks about this on 247Sports and the impact it could have on college basketball recruiting.
In some college sports, like basketball there is a big appeal to moving to the draft and landing on a pro team as quickly as possibly. Could NIL make these athletes more serious about college? This gives those athletes the opportunity to build their own brand before going pro.
The world of NCAA sports has completely changed and there is still a lot to figure out as things roll out. It will be interesting to watch it play out and how student-athletes take advantage.
Keep an eye out for brand deals with up and coming athletes and an exciting year of college sports.