By J.D. McKay
This time period is a bit of a dead period in FC sports. Football sectionals are starting, which is very exciting, and cross country is going to state Saturday. But other than a home game Friday and a meet in Terre Haute, every other sport is just beginning practice. Next week I will be writing about my favorite rivalry I have been a part of in high school. Then, I will be back to previewing games and doing underrated athlete spotlights. So this week will be nationals sports before diving back into FC sports in the following months.
The biggest issue the NCAA is facing right now is if they should pay players. Several pro and retired athletes have be outspoken on this recently, and apparently, the NCAA is listening.
About a month ago, California passed the Fair Pay to Play Act, which allows athletes to make money off their likeness in things like jersey sales and gear that could be promoting a signature look like Anthony Davis’ unibrow. I am not completely sure why the California government did this because there could be huge repercussions passing it, mainly, not allowing California teams to participate because of an unfair recruiting advantage. Regardless, it has made the NCAA think and make some sort of decision.
Yesterday, it made the decision everyone was hoping for. They decided athletes could make money off their name and likeness. This is probably the biggest decision made by the NCAA since taking Louisville’s National Championship away, maybe ever. Now, athletes who previously might not have had any spending money or money to buy things they need like a car, potentially can.
Some people will push to get them compensated for playing; however, that is too far. Not all athletes are out of state, but many are. Out-of-state athletes that attend North Carolina, Alabama, or Oregon, are paying about 50 grand a year for all expenses. That is 2 grand more than the average income in America, which seems more than fair. Most college students are not making that much a year while in college, and the average Bama student is leaving with 26 grand in student debt, something that none of these scholarship athletes will need to worry about.
This new program will not see huge payouts for all athletes. The main people to see the benefit will be men and women basketball players, as well as football players. However, if a team has a national champion they could find themselves making some money because of their achievement. Another non-football or basketball player that might get a payout is an athlete whose local town loves and will pay him or her for ads around town.
This has more impacts than just some money for athletes, though. The NCAA has not released their official plans yet, but I imagine that they will be getting a little bit of that cash from the promotion.
The part of this that I am most excited about is the potential of NCAA football and basketball video games coming back out. I would be shocked if this did not happen because of my basic understanding of our economy, which I learned in Gage Brogan’s class. NCAA Football 14 came out in July, 2013 and sold for $40 new. It has been the last NCAA game produced since then because of licensing and players arguing that the EA used their likeness and the players got no compensation. That was definitely a legit argument. Anyway, since then, the new game price has peaked at $153 and is currently being bought for $70 used at Gamestop. That kind of demand will mean that it will either be made by EA and become one of the highest selling video game of all-time, or 2K or some other brand will jump on it and basically control the sports video game market.
Regardless of when the best video game of all time comes out for the first time in over half a decade, this was a huge step by the NCAA. It needed to be done and does not seem to be going to far too pay players. It seems to me that they are basically giving athletes the opportunity to make money just like all students have.