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A highly discussed and debated topic in collegiate sports is the new ruling that allows college athletes to profit from use of their name, image, and likeness.
According to CNBC, the temporary ruling made by the Supreme Court in June of 2021 allows student-athletes to be paid for any use of their name, image and likeness; however, it does not allow universities to pay their athletes directly. NCAA restrictions were found to violate antitrust law.
As a former student-athlete, I’ve long supported the idea of allowing college athletes to be paid for commercial use of the name, image or likeness.
College athletes have been taken advantage of for years, generating millions upon millions of dollars for their respective universities with nothing in return.
In fact, the NCAA’s Southeastern Conference is a billion-dollar industry built on a platform that did not pay its athletes.
While my name, image and likeness, commonly referred to as “NIL,” as an athlete was never capable of generating funds, there are athletes who have amassed small fortunes already through NIL deals.
According to a statement from University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban acquired by Bleacher Report, current Alabama quarterback Bryce Young had amassed nearly $1 million from NIL deals within a month of the ruling being passed.
However, as is the case with investments, some come with more risk than others.
In a post by University of Oklahoma redshirt sophomore quarterback Spencer Rattler from Sept.21, the quarterback announced that he had signed a NIL deal with Fowler Automotive, which earned him two new vehicles: a 2021 Ram TRX and a 2021 Widebody Charger Scat Pack.
At the time, Rattler had come off a five-touchdown performance against Western Carolina and was predicted to be an early Heisman Trophy candidate.
However, Rattler has since been benched in favor of freshman quarterback Caleb Williams and is reportedly considering transferring from the University of Oklahoma.
Time will only tell if this partnership lasts; however, it is a prime example of the unforgiving nature of the business of college athletics.
Personally, I am a fan of college athletes being legitimized and valued to their full extent.
Not every athlete is destined to make it to the professional ranks, and I fully support them being able to make some money while they are at the top of their game.
It just makes sense.

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