NCAA Moves One Step Closer To Allowing Players To Earn Money Of Their Likness
What does name, image, likeness mean for the Mountain West?
There are still things to work on.
The NCAA is inching closer to allowing NCAA athletes to make money off of their name image and likeness. This is a huge victory and will help so many student-athletes be able to make money off possibly their most valuable earning years.
Nothing is official yet but there are some guidelines in place that are obviously great for these student-athletes but also some issues that the NCAA is still trying to bungle.
In reality, the NCAA should just let players earn what they want, and putting a cap on them is unrealistic. While there is technically no cap against what a player can earn from a particular deal, or total, but they can step in and say a deal is not fair.
But who is to say if a deal is fair or not and by saying to a deal would mean there is a cap. No one knows what fair market value would be unless players can earn as much, or as little, as a company is willing to pay.
If a company feels it is in its best interest to have a player appear on a billboard that takes just two hours worth of work for the photoshoot and is paid a million bucks then that is the market rate.
You can’t know what a true and fair open market is until players can make what someone will play.
“This is a new space in our world,” NCAA working group co-chair and Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said on Wednesday’s conference call announcing a step forward in the NIL rights process. “What and who can be a digital entrepreneur? If I do a deal with Panera Bread and I do two ‘likes’ [on social media], and they pay me $50,000 for that, I’m not so sure that’s in the realm of what we’re talking about.”
Well… we would never know until there is a truly open market. If it provides value to the company or even perceived value then who is to judge.
If the Walton family wants to pay each signee who goes to Arkansas for $1 million each to do some promotional work then they can do that. Any big business can do that but those businesses also like to make money so diverting or adding millions upon millions to the marketing fund may be a bad investment. Do not expect this to happen across the country.
Will this hurt Group of Five teams?
Some are saying that the best players will go to bigger schools because they can pay more but the reality is that the best players are already going to the best schools. A lot of these athletes want to go to the NFL so if some Group of 5 school with a poor track record were to offer a lot of money to a five-star recruit from a local business, would that be enough to sway them. My guess would be no.
The best players will still go to those top schools to go to the NFL. Yet, will some five or six-win Power 5 team be able to lure in good recruits from Group of 5 teams? Never say never but are these middling power schools going to have business opportunities to lure a player who is looking to go to San Diego State, Boise State, UCF, Memphis, or other really good Group of 5 teams.
There will be some schools that local businesses are going to only pay the quarterback or star running back and not a defensive end or cornerback. So, maybe the star positions will have the chance to earn more money and could be lured to a better school but odds are these companies won’t come calling until someone is a starter.
Which all comes back to picking the right school for one future in football and beyond. Schools will use the allure of being able to make money and early on it will be total guesswork mixed in with some “what-if” research the schools will do with local companies on what they might pay.
The reason there is going to be very little difference in recruiting and there won’t be a widening between Group of 5 or Power 5 is because the best players still want to play in front of huge crowds, brand names, good coaches, and send players to the NFL. That is why the recruiting in the NIL-era will not be all that different.