BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The NCAA has cleared the way for all college athletes to make money off of their name, image and likeness through sponsorships and other avenues beginning Thursday.
The NCAA Division 1 Board approved the measure on Wednesday, nearly a week after the Supreme Court ruled against the NCAA’s education-benefits violating anti-trust laws.
Alabama lawmakers passed a measure like this back in April, which also goes into effect on Thursday. Many involved with college athletics in Alabama believe the ruling is a monumental day for college sports.
“I think this is a monumental change,” Samford AD Martin Newton said.
“We’ve kind of been inevitably heading into this moment,” Michelle Clemon with Clemon Consulting Group said.
Clemon says the huge announcement benefits athletes in numerous ways.
“The amount of money that revenue generating college sports makes is astronomical. We’re talking about billions of dollars,” Clemon said.
Newton says he fully supports the idea of athletes profiting off their likeness and becoming more business savvy.
“In general, I think this is a good thing. I think it’s a good thing for student athletes. I think it’s a good thing for college sports,” Newton said.
Both agree that female athletes benefit tremendously from this.
“But I think there is an opportunity for them to benefit in a way that they historically haven’t and receive attention that they have historically been denied,” Clemon said.
Athletes can hire agents to negotiate sponsorship deals for them, but the university can deny those sponsorships if they believe it hurts their image. Players still cannot be paid for performance and compensation can’t be used to persuade recruiting.
Former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa weighed in on the idea at his charity event in Tuscaloosa on Tuesday.
“Whether they do it or they don’t, it is what it is,” Tagovailoa said.
Clemon says it will be interesting to see how college sports goes forward.
“We’re in the Wild, Wild West. This is very much frontier land that we’re in,” Clemon said.
But Newton says they are ready for what the future holds for college sports.
“But I think we’re prepared and ready to make the adjustments necessary so that our student athletes can benefit on their name, image and likeness,’ Newton said.
For more on the NIL, click here to see Alabama Athletics policy.