Steve Muehler's Plan to Allow College Athletes to Make Money
Updated: Apr 23
Earlier this year, the NCAA Basketball Commission issued its shameful report on college basketball that failed to grant college athletes the immediate right to license their names, images and likenesses for money.
To keep this point short and to the point, here are nine reasons the NCAA will re required under my Administration to allow college athletes to license these publicity rights in endorsement deals:
It Would Benefit College Athletes. The typical Division I college athlete devotes about 40 hours per week to his or her sport. If college athletes were allowed to license their names, images and likenesses, they would be able to earn some spending money for themselves, even though they often do not have time to work more traditional work-study jobs.
It Would Benefit Small Businesses. We all know that large, national companies hire elite professional athletes as endorsers. For example, LeBron James endorses Nike, and Tom Brady endorses Under Armour. But what about the small businesses that operate on, or near a college campuses? These brands would also benefit greatly if they could tap into the college athlete endorser market.
Consumers and Fans Want It To Happen. We can reasonably infer that the consumers and fans of college sports favor college athlete endorsements. We can infer this because if consumers and fans were overall opposed, there would be no market for companies to hire college athletes as endorsers. That's simply how capitalist, free-market principles work.
College Athletes Have a Legal Right to Do So. Despite NCAA rhetoric to the contrary, Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, in pertinent part, states that any contract, combination or conspiracy in the restraint of trade shall be declared illegal. When 1,200 NCAA member schools come together and all agree concertedly to prevent their college athletes from entering into endorsement deals, that violates the most fundamental principles of American free trade.
Revamping the NCAA Bylaws Is Simple. All the NCAA member schools will be required to amend their existing bylaws to make student-athlete licensing feasible is add the following language:
12.01.5 Permissible Student-Athlete Licensing Rights. A payment administered by a non-educational institution is not considered to be pay or the promise of pay for athletics skill, provided the student-athlete does not use the trademarks of the NCAA or any NCAA member college in any manner that may be construed as an endorsement, unless such manner is otherwise protected by principles of the First Amendment or fair use.
Title IX Problem? What Problem? While some within the NCAA have purported there is a Title IX problem with allowing college athlete pay, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 has nothing whatsoever to do with third-party non-educational institutions paying athletes. Even with its broadest interpretation, Title IX is entirely about educational institutions providing equal opportunity irrespective of sex.
Allowing Endorsements Would Benefit All Athletes, Male or Female. It's also noteworthy that allowing college athletes to sign endorsement deals would benefit female athletes. Elite female athletes in Olympic sports such as track and field and swimming are likely to benefit most. But don't tell me there isn't also a viable market for brands to license to names, images and likenesses of elite women's college basketball players such as Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale, who has already been signed by Dancing With the Stars.
Athletes Are More Likely to Stay in School and Graduate. If elite college athletes are able to earn money by licensing their name, images and likenesses, they may no longer feel as compelled to leave college to support themselves and their families. This could lead to an increase in the number of college athletes who earn their degrees and thus serve as educational role models.
It Would Reduce the Risk of Future Bribery and Corruption. The NCAA Basketball Commission's entire reason for forming was to suggest a way to stop a black market in which major shoe manufacturers purportedly bribe college coaches and athletes' family members to steer them to particular colleges. The best way to quash this bribery and corruption is to bring the market for college athletes' services into the public and simply allow sneaker companies to hire the best college athlete endorsers they can find. It's really that simple.
Steve Muehler is the Founder & Managing Member of the Private Placement Markets:
Private Placement Markets: www.PPMSecurities.com
Private Placement Debt Markets: www.PPMDebt.com
Private Placement Equity Markets: www.PPMEquity.com
Private Placement Markets – Real Estate Loans: www.PPMLoans.com
Equity Lock Residential: www.EquityLockResidential.com
Equity Lock Commercial: www.EquityLockCommercial.com
About Mr. Steve Muehler, Founder & Senior Managing Member:
Personal Site: http://www.SteveMuehler.com
Personal Site: www.StevenMuehler.com