NCAA NIL Rule: A Huge First Step

Hilario Gomez, Reporter

As of June 30, college sports were changed forever with the announcement of changes to the NCAA regulations and its licensing regulations regarding student-athletes. Student-athletes were given free rein to profit on their name, images, and likeness (most commonly referred to as NIL) through grants, licensing deals, and sponsorships. In stark contrast to everything the NCAA has done to this point in their history, they modernized their rules on the back of California legislation prohibiting colleges from penalizing their student-athletes for accepting endorsement deals while in college. This is coming from the NCAA that has dropped the hammer on students for things as small as eating too much pasta at school events. The momentous changes have many wondering what this could mean for the future of college sports. Is it an end to the NCAA of old who erased the legacy of some of the best athletes of all time for the sake of upstanding antiquated and near atrocious rules that suck the college sports well dry?


Since the ruling in January, huge deals upwards of seven figures have been handed out almost immediately with players such as Hercy Miller, member of the Tennessee State Basketball program and son of famous rapper Master P, who signed a deal with Webb Apps America reportedly worth an estimated 2 million dollars. With the historical discrepancy in the share of the wealth generated by college sports, deals such as these are the first step in empowering student-athletes for generations to come. With the evergoing pressure to continue the status quo and put in a position for insurmountable risk while these athletic programs and college institutions are making millions upon millions in revenue off of them, this is a welcomed change. 


The stranglehold of the NCAA over revenue generated by college sports is loosening for the better of all those involved which is giving a much-needed safety net for athletes. Student-athletes who have risked everything for their spots on their teams and risk their whole futures on hoping that college athletics will lead into a professional career can now hedge their bets to a certain extent. Athletes who have made their colleges millions will now be able to profit from their image and their abilities without fear of being ostracized by their colleges. 


Countless athletes have been treated as outcasts and criminals because they felt the urge to profit from the fruits of their labor. While the headlines are surely going to be filled with the athletes who made millions, the most important changes are for the athletes who can fundraise for charities now, who can bring revenue and profit to their programs and communities, and those who can use this to help afford their next meals. It is these smaller, sweeping changes that are now legal under the guidelines that make this such a huge first step that hopefully has countless to follow.