Questions surround how to implement name, image and likeness rule

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.”


  1. Jerry Kutz Reply

    We’re going to be writing about this topic over the coming weeks and would love to hear your take on the subject. It is a story with many tentacles. I have a story ready to run after we get past writing about the upcoming Miami game.
    Please share your thoughts on this thread. We’d love to see your thoughts and comments and any questions you may have too.

    • Patrick Burnham Reply

      I knew this issue would gather steam fast and move beyond the likeness issue and eventually lead to all players wanting a piece of the TV revenue but it is gathering momentum faster than I thought. This issue could fundamentally change college football and our perception of it. It hasn’t been an amateur sport for a long time but we have had our suspension of disbelief as now been taken away from us when it comes to the college athletic, especially as it pertains to college football and basketball. So many questions to be answered, so many unforeseen consequences left to be uncovered. There is already a bill being brought before the senate in the state of North Carolina to tax players on their scholarships. Will there be revenue-sharing if the players want a piece of the TV revenue, if so will there be scholarship reductions in football. This is going to get very interesting.

  2. David Shafer Reply

    The NCAA announcement outlined several goals. I don’t think it will be anywhere near a free-for-all as some think. I think there will be huge restrictions put on it. The most concerning is the recruiting angle and now with the portal that extends throughout the college career. Olympic athletes might be the biggest winners as they might be allowed their full stipends, money for their world records, championships and Olympic medals along with sponsorships. Elite professional swimmers pull in more than $1M a year, and the next level down pull over 6 figures. A case can be made that these sponsorships are tied to their non-collegiate performances.

  3. Dave Cowens Reply

    I have been signing basketball cards with me in a FSU uniform for many years and have never received any money from the company to use or sell my likeness, but I am sure FSU did. Why was I not asked for permission even though I was not in school any longer or included in this deal. Does a former scholarship athlete have any rights to request an accounting of how his name and likeness was used to benefit the school. It seems that I would at least be able to deduct this forced contribution to a non profit from my income tax on an annual basis.
    So the question is did the university, based on the grant in aid I signed in 1966, transfer my ownership of my image and name to FSU for life if shown in a FSU logo trademarked photo.

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