This has been debated for decades, but now college athletes can finally make money from their fame.
From merchandise to public appearances to social media posts, athletes jump at the chance.
âI think it’s really good. I think it gives athletes the opportunity to build their brand, âsaid JaKobe Coles, new TCU basketball player.
Beginning Thursday, college athletes are allowed to earn money from their names, pictures and likenesses after the NCAA rules were suspended Wednesday forbidding student-athletes to enter into sponsorship deals.
It comes as new laws come into effect Thursday, allowing athletes in at least six states, including Alabama, Florida and Texas, to take advantage of it.
âIf the state hasn’t passed a law, the school can invent whatever it wants, so it’s the wild and wild west right now,â said Dan Gale, president of Leona Marketing Group.
In Texas, athletes still have limits.
According to SB1385 was passed by the Texas Senate in June.
Gale says athletes also can’t use a school’s intellectual property in their chords.
“Is that what a lot of people don’t talk about, is it the most valuable thing, the name of the school or the name of the athlete?” Gale said
The use of endorsements to recruit is also prohibited.
But schools like The University of Texas has programs in place to teach athletes how to take advantage of their platforms, a tool according to Gale is already used in recruiting.
âThere is already a big disparity between Texas and UTEP,â Gale said. “It’s just going to create an even bigger gap.”
For athletes like Coles, this means an opportunity off the pitch.
âI will be able to network and meet different people and get a feel for what I want to do with my life after basketball, I think that will be a great opportunity for everyone,â said Coles.
Congress is considering a bill that would provide a national standard, but no action is imminent.