The NCAA is trying to hold onto amateurism.
The grand old poohbahs of college sports cannot be happy with Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy and Massachusetts Congresswoman Lori Trahan. The two elected officials are pushing for federal legislation that would not allow the National Collegiate Athletic Association and other college sports leagues to place restrictions on “student-athletes’” abilities to make money off their faces. The Murphy-Trahan proposal would also bar the NCAA and other college sports organizations from prohibiting student-athletes from organizing and sell their faces as a collective group in a licensing deal which could include video games. The NCAA does not want to see the stars of the show, the athletes, make any money. After all, the NCAA has promoted student-athletes as amateurs who play for the love of the game although some athletes are coached by people making millions of dollars a year. Without those athletes those coaches would not make millions of dollars annually, without those athletes the Power Five conferences could not get hundreds of millions of dollars annually from TV deals. Without those athletes big time college sports programs could not sell luxury boxes, club seats and signed big money deals with marketing partners. The college sports programs need the athletes but there has always been the “hey student-athletes you are lucky, we let you get a scholarship, we let you go to classes and we let you play so shut up” mentality.
In Florida, student-athletes can sell their likenesses to marketing partners starting this summer. In California, that will happen in two years. The NCAA would like to keep things status quo, here’s your almost full scholarship, go get your education and you better not have an outside job where you make more than $2,000 annually. The NCAA wants to keep the student-athlete amateurism pretense going while everyone else gets paid.
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