The NCAA took a long overdue step this week by announcing that it will now allow athletes to earn a profit off of their own name, image and likeness. Already, current athletes have began the process by using their platforms to sign historic endorsement deals with companies.
As is the case with any major change or shift, not everyone is thrilled with the ground-breaking moment, but the new policy has been generally well-received. Nevertheless, a potential issue for athletic departments could already be arising.
Former NFL executive Andrew Brandt pointed out that this week’s move by the NCAA could lead to potential conflict between athletic departments and individual athletes. He continued by explaining that sponsors could choose to primarily advertise with the players, which would divert funding from the departments themselves.
“Here is the problem with NIL for Athletic Departments (beyond compliance issues): sponsors may decide to divert their advertising budget away from the school and towards the athletes,” Brandt tweeted out on Thursday morning. “This will happen.”
Here is the problem with NIL for Athletic Departments (beyond compliance issues):
sponsors may decide to divert their advertising budget away from the school and towards the athletes. This will happen.
— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) July 1, 2021
Brandt certainly has a point. Plenty of current student-athletes have massive platforms that will make them appealing to companies and the money to sign those individuals will have to come from somewhere.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the diverting of funding is a problem. Athletic departments have seen the writing on the wall for quite some time, so the NCAA’s decision shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. At this point, university officials will have to get on board and adapt to the change.
The new policy on NIL deals is uncharted territory for the NCAA and its nearly 500,000 athletes. The road ahead won’t be easy but it is a necessary move to fairly compensate the college students for their vast contributions to the programs they compete for.