COLUMN: NCAA’s NIL helps, injures student athletes | Columns

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In July, the NCAA changed its rules to provide college athletes with opportunities and protections to earn money by selling their name, image and likeness, or NIL.

The idea was that many schools would cheat and make deals with student-athletes and their families during the recruiting process, which has been an unwritten rule of the game but has been understood for decades, and it would all work out as long as you didn’t. you wouldn’t get caught. . When schools got caught there were the typical probation penalties, no televised games, no bowling trips, and scholarship limitations. The only exception to this tradition was when SMU was sentenced to the “death penalty” when the football team was totally disbanded for the 1988 season.

Sometimes the student athlete would also be punished. This was the case during the 2004 and 2005 seasons with USC and running back Reggie Bush, who received approximately $ 300,000 in cash and gifts during his college playing days. After a decision in 2010, USC was forced to forgo late-season wins in 2004 and all wins in 2005, including the 2004 national championship game and the trophy. Bush won the Heisman Trophy in 2005 and canceled the award. The Heisman Championship and BCS both show no winners for the years Bush and USC won their titles.

Another reason for the rule change was the apparent injustice of the big universities financially taking advantage of their student-athletes. These big programs bring in billions from the play of their sports teams, and coaches receive millions of contracts from big sports companies while students get nothing but their scholarships, housing and money. of food, as well as special items donated. to the whole team according to the rules. With these changes, if a team has a superstar, that student can now do their own thing and be the beneficiary of their athletic ability with their school. Since many student-athletes come from disadvantaged backgrounds, it was felt that these agreements would help promote the development of these abilities and lead them to gain college education and financial relief for themselves and their families. Many argue that the rule change helps the student athlete and the school because everything can be flawless and a professional business venture.

The problem comes when you consider that this puts the proverbial cart before the horse. Usually young people are not prepared emotionally and mentally to handle large business affairs of this amount. Many have the idea that their worth is greater than they are, and they lose focus on being a team player and lack the emotions of playing for championships with their teams in their sports. The eyes of other players often roll in the locker room, causing dissension, and some supportive teammates may just not play as hard to make the ‘star’ look so good and have more money as they go. ‘they get nothing in return. TEAM’s acronym – Together Everyone Achieves More – sometimes comes out the window with the emotions of disgust and jealousy of supporting players or the supposed laziness and arrogant attitudes of those receiving the money and attention.

For years, the NCAA had to adjust certain rules that would allow needy athletes to get additional financial assistance. However, giving high school and newly enrolled students thousands or millions of dollars is not the solution. The NCAA and universities need to work to further adjust these rules so that real help is provided and not just put young people in a situation of selling to the highest bidder.

Randy Gibson is the CEO of RDG Communications and the former director of the Tahlequah Chamber of Commerce and the Texas State Rifle Association.


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