The NCAA has shifted gears and will allow college student athletes to accept endorsements for the use of their names, images and likenesses.
For years, the NCAA maintained that free college education and housing was more than sufficient reward for players who earned millions for their schools.
There were many top athletes that went on to successful careers in ceramics after they blew their NFL, NBA, or other professional sports career prospects when blowing out an ACL on the field of play, but we have yet to find a nice clay pot with a Nike logo in which to store our cookies, but the day is coming.
There are still lots of questions to be resolved.
The old rules allowed a player to be paid professionally in one sport while competing as an amateur in another, provided they did not accept endorsements.
The U.S. abolished the practice of true slavery in 1863, but economic slavery has continued to persist at the major college level.
There was always a level of quid pro quo, where wealthy alumni would lavish top players with under-the-table cash and other perquisites, so what exactly the new NCAA rules supply remains to be seen.
It is hard to say how many boots the shoemakers will sell if backed by some college freshman with borderline marketability, but at least the college freshman is free to test the market without risking his or her NCAA eligibility.
The logical progression will next find high schoolers with their mugs pasted on marching band fund-drive chocolate bars and the middle and elementary schoolers will not have to swing on the monkey bars during recess without receiving some form of compensation.
NCAA board chairperson Michael Drake issued a statement that the new rules are not a blank check for college athletes.
“The board is emphasizing that change must be consistent with the values of college sports and higher education and not turn student-athletes into employees of institutions,” he told the Associated Press.
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