Will student-athletes ever receive the compensation they deserve?

Will student-athletes ever receive the compensation they deserve?

Ma’Rico Holland II, Editor

Frankfort Ky.- Are we looking at a sign towards the end of the NCAA?  The NCAA has had a major fallout in support from the public due to some questionable decisions and past rulings coming back to the light. Student-athletes have been deprived of compensation from their respective schools because of the NCAA and push back has come multiple times with no success until recently. The NCAA organization has struggled massively throughout this pandemic and even before then in 2019 all the way between revenue loss due to the pandemic and lawsuits filed against them between this time. This situation, however, is a matter that cannot be pushed off anymore with students finally getting their opportunity to finally reap the benefits of their hard work.

The NCAA faced pressure from student-athletes and media after California in October of 2019 passed a law making it illegal to penalize student-athletes for receiving compensation for his/her likeness. This ruling would go against the NCAA’s consistent ruling favoring the institution over the individual. This law was set to take effect in 2023 making it imperative for the NCAA to make a move that would put them back in favor of the public. “NCAA’s Board of Governors voted unanimously Tuesday to permit college athletes the opportunity to benefit from the use of their names, images and likenesses. (Howard)” This occurred late that month and was a good step for the NCAA but came with a catch. The NCAA ruled that each division is to draft its own set of rules relating to player likeness and gave them until January of this year to have those rules set in place, essentially giving them a buffer of time to make a concrete decision. The NCAA in Jan. 21 this year held their yearly convention and discussed the rulings on player likeness. Each division unanimously agreed to delay voting towards player likeness to a later date to be announced. The NCAA seems to keep delaying the inevitable, trying to hold on to its old values putting the priorities of the institutions over the individual student-athletes. Student-athletes have been fighting to receive the money they are due from the money they make for the school. To receive a scholarship that does the bare minimum for their efforts for the program is unacceptable when looking at the revenue gap. For example, “if the NCAA had a similar player revenue share percentage as the NBA. The numbers are astounding. Duke standout Zion Williamson would have made over $5 million dollars. Napheesa Collier, UConn women’s team standout, would have profited slightly less than $1 million dollars (Trainor).” Instead of receiving this, all Zion and Napheesa received were scholarships equivalent to about $110 thousand.

Will students finally be able to make money off their likeness? Students dedicate much of their time and energy to their sports and in turn make their institutions and the NCAA the billion dollar business it is. Despite this fact, the NCAA with their actions would like to keep the status quo and keep benefitting from essentially free labor. Their efforts to make the change have seem lackluster and with each delay towards the ruling the support the NCAA loses only grows more.


Howard, Chelsea. “NCAA Board Opens Door to Athlete Compensation for Name, Image, Likeness.” Sporting News, 29 Oct. 2019, www.sportingnews.com/us/ncaa-football/news/ncaa-set-to-discuss-athlete-compensation-for-name-image-likeness/fcl2iyr49mgk1tlhs3p4ik7d7.

Trainor, Kelsey. “Here’s How Much Money College Athletes like Zion Williamson and Others Should Have Received from the NCAA.” FanSided, FanSided, 12 Nov. 2019, fansided.com/2019/11/12/college-athletes-ncaa-compensation-data/#:~:text=Duke%20standout%20Zion%20Williamson%20would,less%20than%20%241%20million%20dollars.