The announcement the NCAA is looking into allowing players to get paid for their likeness was a HUGE deal over the past week. The biggest voices have come from gamers, all are praying for the return of the beloved college football and basketball video games. While that has been the focus, there are bigger effects from this announcement, and if decided quickly we could see the events very quickly.
First, this would not have a huge impact on most college athletes, but for the Elite they would be able to bring in big endorsement dollars from companies. For example, think of the endorsements Zion could get at Duke; It is possible the marketability of Duke is even bigger than that of a small market team like the Grizzlies or Pelicans.
That leads into the big effect, it would make student-athletes staying in school less of a crazy thought. If it were to pass a player like Zion would still be passing on an NBA salary, but in the grand scheme of the money Zion will make, the NBA salary is nothing. Zion was quoted saying “If there was not so much on the line, I would love to return to Duke.” If this got changed it would allow a player like Zion to make the decision easier knowing he could still support his family. Some players like RJ Barrett, for example, want to go straight to the league, and this likely wouldn’t change them wanting to reach that great goal as soon as possible.
Another group of players this would make it interesting for are college football players. Just a few weeks ago we were hearing Saban talking about the increasing number of underclassmen leaving, despite not being projected to be drafted. We have seen more juniors leave and go undrafted then ever before. Now, this would give them more incentive to stay, because as a senior leader on Alabama you are worth more as an endorsement than a guy trying out for an NFL roster. This is true in college basketball too, but it’s not as frequent. A guy like Carsen Edwards could make a lot of endorsement money at Purdue for his exciting play, but in the NBA he will be a bench player struggling to find minutes.
Don’t get me wrong I WANT NCAA Football 20 and March Madness 20 on my Xbox One next year, but these rules have a bigger impact than just video games. College Sports could look a lot different. Duke gets higher TV ratings than the Pelicans, making sponsors likely willing to pay Zion more money for an extra year at Duke.