Evan Harris Responds to NCAA Move on Student Athlete Images on Newsy TV
NCAA Will Let Athletes Profit Off Their Names, Images And Likenesses
By Adam Elrashidi
The NCAA, the national governing body for collegiate athletics, ruled Tuesday that student athletes will be allowed to “benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness.” The NCAA said its decision followed months of input from “current and former student-athletes, coaches, presidents, faculty and commissioners across all three divisions.”
. . . Tuesday’s ruling marks a 180 from how the NCAA addressed this issue just a month ago, when it called California’s Fair Pay to Play Act “unconstitutional.” The NCAA said at the time that such rules would give some schools an “unfair” recruiting advantage, and that those schools would be barred from competition.
So, what changed? One expert summed it up in one word: money. Evan Harris of the Pacific Research Institute, a free-market policy think tank, told Newsy California had “called the NCAA’s bluff” over the state’s lucrative sports market.
He said: “I think the flip was the fact that California is a huge market, and the NCAA, despite their leanings and pushback, they are driven by the free market in making decisions that will benefit them financially — and being on the right side of these issues. They couldn’t really turn their back on the state — it was just too big.”
Harris echoed the NCAA president’s comments, saying it could take some time for all the details to be ironed out.
He said: “I think the key phrase is, they said, ‘This will work in a manner consistent with the college model’ — and, I mean, that’s really the question. How do you do this? How do you dip into paying these athletes and maintain that student athlete term? I think it’s going to be a wait-and-see in terms of, you know, you might have to throw everything out in terms of what this looks like.”