Paying student athletes for their image and likeness would pay dividends to the NCAA, the players and their schools in the future.
The amount of money that the NCAA, as well as all of the leagues within it will earn would be a lot. This could allow the universities to make officially licenced products that reference players.
Making a shirt with a silhouette of ECU kicker John Young’s moustache with text like “fear the ‘stache” is an example of how this would add another level of fun and creativity that colleges could partake in.
Now this is in no way suggesting that it is likely to happen within the next few years, as the coordination from each school and the costs required for paying the players would be too much to sort out within the year.
Allowing players’ name and image would allow the comeback of arguably one of the most popular sports gaming franchises of all time. The NCAA sports series is along with the likes of vastly popular sport series’ like Madden, Fifa, and NBA 2K.
Sadly, the most recent NCAA game to come out was NCAA Football 2014, which was released in 2013 game and has not had any follow up games since its release.
Although the games omitted the real names of players, many characters in the game had similar likeness to the real life players the game was based upon during that previous season of college football.
As well as football, EA has also made a NCAA basketball series titled “NCAA March Madness,” which had several games in the series until the game series was cancelled. The series actually used real players in the game, and had a feature athlete from that previous season on the cover.
The University of Texas’s Kevin Durant graced the cover of “NCAA March Madness 08,” one of the last games that was created before the eventual demise of the series.
This past college basketball season, the NCAA missed a momentous opportunity to market and sell products featuring one of the most talked about college basketball players of the last decade, Zion Williamson.
If the league did their due diligence and allowed the players to be paid for their image, the popularity of those players, and the league itself would rise.
For a league that already draws so much attention during its regular seasons of football, basketball, and a plethora of other sports, it could attract an entire new audience of fans who may not watch it on television or be familiar with players around the NCAA.
Especially during bowl games, college championships and March Madness tournaments where viewership is astonishingly high, regular fans of college spirts and non-viewers come together to watch these events.
The NCAA should finally pay players for their images and names, so that the league can expand its audience, the players can have an increased motivation and dedication to the league, and so that the universities involved can increase revenue.