As of July 1, NCAA athletes are eligible to get paid for their name, image and likeness under the interim policy the NCAA adopted after months of lengthy examination.
Student-athletes receiving compensation in exchange for their work on the field and court has been debated within amateurism for years.
Although athletes historically have received scholarships and small stipends, that does not equate to the millions in revenue universities generate per season just on sports alone.
Many student-athletes say under the previous format they’ve struggled to make ends meet while giving their all to their education and the sport they love.
HBCU student-athletes — particularly non-scholarship ones — are often tasked with securing funding to fulfill their collegiate aspirations.
“While I played football, I still worked a full-time job,” said Johnathan Sanders, former wide receiver for Clark Atlanta University. “It was a stressful situation.”
The new policy, Sanders said, will lessen the stress athletes like himself had attempting to navigate the hardened world of college expenses.
“They can just make the money, go to school and play football,” said Sanders.
The current NIL legislation will remain in place until the NCAA adopts new rules or federal policies are made. Schools and conferences may also choose to mandate their own additional policies.
Another pro of this policy is that student-athletes will be motivated to attain get their degrees. With athletes able to now be paid by sponsors or boosters, there is not a rush to enter the professional ranks for a big payday.
“A lot of guys think they won’t be able to apply their degrees,” said Julien Turner, former Morehouse College linebacker. “They might start getting more degrees in finance and business if they’re already getting money coming in.”
The athletes will also be able to learn negotiating skills and sharpen their money management skills earlier, he said.
“A lot of times people get into the league and don’t know how to negotiate and speak the language and don’t know what to do with their money, so they blow it,” said Turner
Hercy Miller, son of rapper/entrepreneur Master P., recently received a $2 million endorsement deal with Web Apps America, which was in place before he ever stepped foot on campus at Tennessee State to play basketball.
“I hope they do well with the blessings they have,” said Sanders.