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NCAA President and Board of Directors Bravely Appoint a “Working Group” to Examine Allowing Student-Athletes to Profit Off Of Themselves

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This took a ton of courage.

NCAA President Mark Emmert News Conference Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The NCAA President and Board of Directors must have played NCAA Football at some point and were wondering when the new NCAA 2019 was going to be released.

Then their children, or their friends’ children, informed them that EA Sports stopped making the extremely popular video game because of the potential of lawsuits coming in the future.

So I would like to take a moment and those children for informing the NCAA President and Board of Governors about the sad state of affairs that is the NCAA restricting student athletes from benefiting from their name, image or likeness.

Thus, behold, the NCAA President and the Board of Directors have announced that they will form...

wait for it...

a “working group,” also known as a commission, with the inspiring name of “The NCAA Board of Governors Federal and State Legislation Working Group.”

The NCAA issued the following statement:

“This group will bring together diverse opinions from the membership — from presidents and commissioners to student-athletes — that will examine the NCAA’s position on name, image and likeness benefits and potentially propose rule modifications tethered to education,” said Val Ackerman, commissioner of the Big East and working group co-chair. “We believe the time is right for these discussions and look forward to a thorough assessment of the many complexities involved in this area.”

It ends with saying that a final report is due to the Board of Governors in October.

A report.

I was told as I was growing up that in regards to politicians, especially Governors, whenever there is an issue they don’t want to stick their neck out for, they would appoint a commission to come up with an answer. That way, if the commission’s report states what the Governor wants then they can say they had the backing of the commission.

However, if the commission disagrees with the Governor then the Governor can say they will address it at a later date.

This commission is made up of 19 individuals. Of those 19 men and women, only three are student-athletes and we don’t even know who they are at this point. I would not consider that ratio to be quite equitable.

I understand there are downsides to paying college athletes. There are also huge issues with the amount of money being made off these kids and all they are receiving are a scholarship and some living arrangement benefits. This article isn’t meant to dive into that issue.

What I fail to understand is why would we not allow Adrian Martinez to go out and do a commercial for Big Sal’s Pizza? Is the concern that instead of paying him $2,500 for recording a commercial that it may in fact be $25,000? Or instead of cash that they may give him a life-time coupon for free large pizzas?

Or maybe a dealership will give him a brand new vehicle to “lease” while he is at Nebraska? I am sure that has never happened before.

Maybe this working group is going to sit around and decide what limits they plan on putting on student athletes to make money on their own name, image and likeness in some form or fashion.

If they do put a limit, please make sure that the limit does not prohibit EA Sports from making another NCAA Football game. Because that is actually what is important here.

In all seriousness, if some type of oversight is needed then that is fine but don’t stop the kids from profiting off of themselves merely because you (the NCAA) don’t want to give up power over the student-athletes.