MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Many think it’s long overdue for players to be able to profit off their name, image and likeness. If a regular student can make money, why can’t a student-athlete? Universities are making hundreds of thousands of dollars every year off of players.
“If you remove the players from the equation, what do you have? Absolutely nothing,” State Rep. Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis, said. Parkinson, a long time advocate for compensating players.
“Players are responsible for generating everything that comes out this institution of collegiate sports. So why not take care of the players,” he added.
If the proposal passes, it would mean every student-athlete, regardless of the sport they play, has the opportunity to make money. This could also alleviate financial stress on athletes who play sports with smaller scholarship pools, like baseball.
“You’ve got 11.7 scholarships to give. You have to chop that up to try to build a roster of 25-26 players and to try to compete on a national level, it’s been very difficult,” former Memphis Tiger baseball player, Tim Dulin said.
Tim Dulin was a two-time All-American at Memphis. He played on Team USA and in the MLB. Now, he runs a travel baseball program that has placed athletes in at the biggest schools in the NCAA and represents players in the MLB draft.
“There’s going to be more amateur baseball players that are going to choose to go to college in lieu of signing for lesser money out of high school,” Dulin said. “They can potentially supplement some of their income earning years through this thing that the NCAA’s passing.”
The NCAA’s rules to modernize would allow student-athletes to sign endorsement deals or receive payments if the school is not involved. It would allow student-athletes to appear in ads. They can reference their sport and school, but not use any school logo or branding.
“I do think it’ll trickle down into trying to figure out how to help athletes stay in certain regions,” Dulin added. “Whether it’s job opportunities, or commercial opportunities or endorsements just by going and making appearances.”
There’s two pieces of legislation proposed in the state of Tennessee for players to be compensated. According to Rep. Parkinson, he’ll revisit them when session starts in June.
“If the NCAA’s rules satisfy what we’re looking for then there would be no need for me to push legislation,” he said.
One concern is how the NCAA will monitor booster paying recruits and players. There’s plans for guardrails to prevent such actions. The NCAA’s Board of Governors plan to have a formal proposal no later than October and vote on it no later than January, 2021.