Name, Image, Likeness

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

In October of 2019, I wrote a blog entitled, “What Happens Now?”  It concerned the battle that student-athletes were waging against the NCAA to have the right to market themselves and share some of the revenue.  That battle is finally coming to the forefront now as soon the courts and legislators will consider this issue.  I wrote then:

The quandary: Today, if you go into any store and buy a jersey, a poster, a mug, etc. with a player’s name, number, or face on it, the team or university derives some sort of royalty for that purchase.  The student-athlete receives nothing.  Obviously, the case can be made that the athlete is, in most cases, receiving a full scholarship and a complete education for his efforts.  Does the athlete deserve more or are they getting enough? 

All students have the ability to work after school hours in order to make some money.  Should we now consider athletes who “work” every day as a member of a team someone who should have the right to make money, if there is a demand for their wares directly associated with the university? 

Sports agents at the college level are often portrayed as sleazy people who sneak around in the shadows of NCAA athletics.  Now, a student-athlete risks everything if they are lured into an illegal arrangement with an agent to gain financial rewards.  Often, these stories center around students who come from poor backgrounds and the lure of financial gain is quite enticing even at the risk of losing eligibility and their scholarship.  Should they now openly be allowed to hire an agent to help them get the best deal for their talent? 

Colleges, universities, and the NCAA make billions of dollars on their product.  Coaches get paid millions at major sports institutions. Shouldn’t the athletes have the opportunity to share in those funds? 

And, finally, will this law make these young people more athlete than student?  Will they spend more time setting up appearances and endorsement opportunities that they spend in the classroom?  Will academics take a back seat to the now legal lure of making as much money as one can in the short time available to a student-athlete?  

These questions still need to be answered, but answers are on the way because the ability for student-athletes to market themselves is coming sooner rather than later.

This past week, the Patriot League and INFLCR entered into a partnership to aid student-athletes in sharing and managing their Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL).  The Patriot League became the first NCAA Division I conference to provide league-wide support to their institutions and their student-athletes.  This partnership will provide tools to the student-athletes to manage their brands.

They said, “By providing each Patriot League institution with a department-wide INFLCR Verified solution, the conference is leading from the front and empowering all Patriot League student-athletes to grow their brands and educate themselves on the new opportunities that are coming soon from NIL.”

Granted the Patriot League is not the Big Ten, the SEC, or the Pac-Ten, but theirs is the first step towards fairly giving a student-athlete the opportunity to share in some of the vast amounts of money that fill the coffers of colleges and universities brought on by their athletic programs and, more importantly, by their athletes. In the near future, my original question will also be answered: What happens now?

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

  1. It was nice to see the maturity of Jon Rahm come to fruition on Sunday at the U. S. Open. There was a time when his anger over a poor shot would get the best of him.  Something, whether it is marriage, a new baby, or maturity, has caused him to change for the better.  Not only did he win on Sunday, but his interviews afterwards showed him to be very likable.
  1. Oh, those poor Philadelphia fans! Their hopes rested on the 76ers winning an NBA championship and then on Sunday night, those hopes were dashed by Atlanta.  The 76ers were the more talented team and blew big leads in three of their four losses. They managed to lose game 7 at home in front of their people.  This one was hard to take, except for the fact the Philadelphia fans are used to it.  But it still hurts.
  1. Now the attention of the Philadelphia fans turns to watching the Phillies. They show no signs of being able to put together a winning streak to excite their following.  The Flyers had a bad year preceded by a terrible Eagles’ season.  We know what happened to the Sixers.  It does not look like the Phillies can be the cure.
  1. It was great to see a big crowd at the 50th McDonald’s All-Star Football Classic. Fans meant money for this great charity and seemed to inspire the players to play a very entertaining game.  There is nothing better than a beautiful night, sitting outdoors, and experiencing the great efforts of young athletes.  Congratulations to all who were a part of the game.
  1. Speaking of congratulations, Bethlehem Catholic’s and Penn State’s Joe Kovacs is going to the Olympics. He finished second in the shot put at the Olympic Trials this past Friday in Oregon.  Joe is the former gold medalist at the World Championships and a 2016 Olympic silver medalist.

 

Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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