In recent history, there have been numerous occasions where college athletes have been caught illegally profiting off of their own likeness, which in itself does not sound very criminal. One of the more recent and controversial instances occurred in 2010, when five football players from The Ohio State University were caught selling off their specialized memorabilia to tattoo artists in exchange for discounted and free tattoos. The five athletes who were penalized for this offense were quarterback Terelle Pryor, wide receiver Devier Posey, defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, running back Daniel Herron and offensive lineman Mike Adams. As a result of these players violating the NCAA’s rule, not only were they all suspended for five games during the 2011 season, their records were also permanently removed, fundamentally destroying their legacy.
Now that the NCAA is now allowing student-athletes to profit off their success, the five men involved in the infamous tattoo scandal have requested that the NCAA reinstate their records, but the NCAA has yet to act on this call.
As of July 1, 2021, any eligible student a part of the NCAA has full authorization to receive any amount of compensation for their name, image or likeness. Allowing student-athletes to finally profit off of their talent is a step in the right direction in regards to the development of the NCAA. Athletes are now more encouraged than ever to continue their athletic careers at the NCAA level rather than taking their talents either overseas or in developmental leagues, like the NBA’s G-League.
The induction of the NIL rule is important and beneficial to the sports industry because while schools are still majorly benefitting from their student athletes, these players can now make money while still being able to participate in their education and their athletics. The average NCAA Division I athlete spends approximately 32 hours a week in their respective sport, but for baseball and football players, that averages to about 41 hours a week (NCPA). Considering most NCAA athletes spend as much time either practicing or playing their sport as a full-time employee, it is preposterous that they have not been able to receive money for their own work not even from the schools they play for, but from outside figures. While the end goal for student-athletes is to receive paid salaries for their work, the induction of the NIL rule is substantial progress towards that goal.
The era of exploitation of student athletes in the U.S. has finally come to a halt, as they are not only performing for their schools, but themselves as well.
Nicholas White is a sophomore studying political science. Please note that the views and ideas of columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Nicholas? Tweet him @nicholaswhiiite or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.