The NCAA took a big step in favor of their student-athletes Wednesday. The organization’s board of governors released a statement saying they support a rule change to allow their student-athletes to make money using their name, image, and likeness. Area coaches and athletes weighed in.
The three NCAA divisions are expected to adopt the rule to allow student-athletes to be paid for product endorsement, public appearances, and social media content at the start of the 2021-22 academic year.
“Locally, it could benefit a place like Cal Poly because we are a college town,” said John Smith, head coach of the Cal Poly men’s basketball team.
The rule is tailored toward high profile athletes playing basketball at schools like Duke and North Carolina and playing football at Alabama or Clemson, but it could have a trickle-down effect at mid-majors like Cal Poly.
“Some local businesses, whether it’s a restaurant or a car dealership, they could take advantage of it. I think they were talking about how much they use social media,” said Larry Lee, head coach of the Cal Poly baseball team. “Our players locally could have an influence, but not nationally or statewide.”
Smith says athletes heading to the G League and forgoing a collegiate career are a major factor in the rule change.
“Four kids already backed out of their original commitments to go to the G League for one year for $500,000,” Smith said. “My stance on it is that there are only 30 (NBA) draft picks, and there’s millions of players. If you lose four players from the NCAA to the G League, it’s not going to affect the level of play. I don’t think it’s going to affect us as much as people think it is.”
Emilio Corona, a former three-sport standout for San Luis Obispo and University of Washington baseball commit says this change might push athletes harder to attain sponsorships.
“I think it’s a good thing. I think it’s the best way they could’ve done it,” Corona said. “I think you’re going to see more of an incentive to go out and perform because if you perform well, you’re going to get more opportunities to make that kind of money and sell yourself to the public, rather than the guys that would normally just slack off and still get paid, if they decided to pay everyone.”
The athletes will not be allowed to use school or conference logos, but the athletes will be able to identify themselves by sport and their school. The pay would not come from the universities.