Apparently, desperation is setting in at the NCAA regarding the Name, Image, and Likeness rights about to be granted to student-athletes.
Three weeks before name, image and likeness rights will begin one way or another for college athletes, desperation is setting in. That was the overarching message Wednesday from a U.S. Senate hearing on NIL.
After years of arguments, hand-wringing and lawsuits, it has come down to this: Congress must act to control some version of amateurism in the next 21 days. If not, there is the perception that extra benefits will be running wild in the streets starting July 1.
"We need your help," Gonzaga basketball coach Mark Few told legislators. "This is not an issue the NCAA and individual states can fix."
Coach Few is correct. NIL is not an issue that individual states or the NCAA can fix. College sports are a national business, so the states can only muddle the situation. What if Florida grants more rights than Georgia? What if California lets everything go?
What about the NCAA. The problem is that the NCAA has long been in the business of restricting athlete’s rights. Now they are debating how many rights students-athletes should have. But once Pandora’s box is open, how can the NCAA justify (or survive a legal challenge) any restrictions on athlete’s profiting from their own NAMES, IMAGES, and LIKENESSES.
And even if the NCAA wanted to work with athletes to find a compromise, with whom would they work?
The NCAA can’t win this one.