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Impacts of NCAA rule changes could be felt in Alaska in the future

The NCAA's new ruling will allow for athletes to monetize their name, image, and likeness.
The NCAA's new ruling will allow for athletes to monetize their name, image, and likeness.(KY3)
Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 8:50 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - College athletes in some states are now able to profit off of their name, image and likeness, but what does that mean for Alaska college athletes?

The groundbreaking decision from the NCAA earlier this week means that NCAA college athletes will now be able to accept money in exchange for use of their name, image and likeness. They can also use their name, image and likeness on their own via public appearances and social media to make money.

At its most basic level, if a college athlete is playing in a state that has passed name, image and likeness legislation, they can profit from them. If they live in a state that has yet to pass such legislation, then it is up to individual schools to come up with policies. As of right now, Alaska is one of those states that has yet to pass name, image and likeness legislation, leaving it up to the individual colleges to come up with those policies.

“We have had to tell them, ‘hey, you can’t wear this,’ you can’t say ‘I like to drink this’ ... or wear this sweatshirt from this company they have been approached like that on certain things, and now that is going to be okay, as long as it passes through the appropriate channels,” said Ryan McCarthy, head coach for the University of Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team. “Well see how UAA and the athletic department decides to handle that, but I am confident that they will do it in the best interest of the student athletes and help them make the best choice.”

In the next few months, people can expect schools across the country, including in Alaska, to come out with written policies that outline the do’s and don’ts for their athletes when it comes to capitalizing on the new rule changes. However, some high profile college athletes have already started making money in ways that would have never been allowed before this past week.

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix (10) scrambles from the pocket during the first half of the Citrus...
Auburn quarterback Bo Nix (10) scrambles from the pocket during the first half of the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game against Northwestern, Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)(John Raoux | AP)

Bo Nix, the starting quarterback for the Auburn Tigers, announced an endorsement with Milo’s Sweet Tea shortly after the rule change on his Instagram account. Hanna and Haley Cavinder, who play basketball for Fresno State, signed a major endorsement deal with Boost Mobile. Five members of the Jackson State University football team signed a deal with 3 Kings Grooming.

Those are just a few examples of many who are already diving right into the new freedom.

For athletes at the Division II level like the UAA women’s basketball team, McCarthy says that the majority of the endorsements at that level will come from social media. Not all of the endorsements are going to be high dollar. According to McCarthy, if a player gets the chance to get a free pizza or some clothing, then why not?

“I think, if we could do this, right, in Alaska, and they get a chance to be famous and maybe it brings in more fans, or maybe it pumps it out to media outlets a little bit more,” McCarthy said. “I think that’s really good for our state, and everybody wins.”

McCarthy said that overall, he sees the rule changes as a good thing. However, he would like to see some more guidelines put in place. The next few months are going to be like nothing sports fans have ever seen before when it comes to college athletes making money on their name, image and likeness, and it remains to be seen how much it is going to impact the NCAA and how it operates.

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