A unanimous decision has created plenty of uncertainty.
The NCAA measure that would allow student-athletes to profit from their name, image or likeness was quickly given a green light on Tuesday just weeks after legislation in California, Florida and other states prompted the governing body to take action. While the NCAA stated that the rule would go into effect in 2021, the implementation, uniformity and impact are major question marks.
That concerns a few Florida State coaches.
“I probably have more questions than I have answers mainly because I’m curious as to how we maintain a level playing field with different conferences,” FSU men’s basketball coach Leonard Hamilton said.
That viewpoint is a fair one as everyone from administrators to coaches to fans would like to make sure that no school or conference has a competitive advantage. The NCAA rule, or a law that may soon be up for discussion in the U.S. Congress, could help mitigate concerns from Hamilton and other coaches.
FSU football coach Willie Taggart has previously stated support for student-athletes to have the opportunity to earn money from their name, image or likeness – but he would like to see it tied to graduation. That money could theoretically be an incentive to earn a degree or encourage degree completion among student-athletes who leave school early. Taggart is not the first coach to suggest that option but it is likely a talking point in the months ahead.
FSU soccer coach Mark Krikorian said he feels, in general, that players should be able to have these opportunities.
“But specifically, and how it all works in this college setting, I have no idea,” Krikorian said.
Krikorian has a player on his current team, senior Deyna Castellanos, who certainly could have benefitted if the NCAA rule or state/federal legislation were in place. Castellanos will long have graduated from FSU and be a pro soccer player, but her enormous social media following – hundreds of thousands between Instagram and Twitter – could have made her money if she chose to promote a product in a photo or video.
“I think it’s very exciting,” Castellanos told the Tallahassee Democrat. “There are a lot of athletes that have a good platform just being there and people selling their stuff. It’s going to be huge for the future.
FSU athletics director David Coburn said he has questions, too. Among those are what are the Title IX impacts and “how in the world do we prevent recruiting abuses?”
“Sports Illustrated makes an excellent point about the hypothetical local businessman/ booster who may be willing to pay a star recruit $500,000 as an endorsement fee, and the recruit just happens to sign with the businessman’s alma mater,” Coburn said. “This is a very real problem.”
The NCAA has paved the way for discussion on name, image and likeness. There are questions in 2019 and then there will be a search for clarity and likely compromise in 2020. What could be challenging is to see if collective agreement can be reached on the various points of emphasis of the rule as well as how to enact and explain it.
“The key will be in the details of how this is handled by the NCAA and legislative bodies,” Coburn said. “We are a long way from having answers to many important questions surrounding this issue, but we look forward to working on them with the NCAA and legislators.”