In a forum on the state of college athletics hosted by the Big 12 Wednesday, conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby and West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck both voiced support for the idea of student-athletes being compensated for the use of their name, image and likeness.
The comments come on the heels of the O’Bannon vs. NCAA lawsuit and a day before Thursday afternoon’s vote on the restructuring of the NCAA. According to ESPN, both Bowlsby and Luck alluded to potential loop holes that could come with player compensation, but both were cognizant of the changing nature of the world of collegiate athletics.
“I think that the collegiate community has learned a lesson about taking a broad latitude with name, image and likeness,” Bowlsby said.
As an example, Luck said he would not have had an issue with former Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith earning endorsement money from “Nike, Coca-Cola or a West Virginia hospital” when Smith was still at WVU.
"I think they should be compensated for use of that name, image and likeness," Luck said.
On the other hand, Texas AD Steve Patterson was not so sure about student-athletes receiving compensation. Per ESPN:
Texas athletics director Steve Patterson, who also participated in the forum, said he was concerned agents could attempt to create a market for the athlete to advertise with an apparel company that competes with the university's. Patterson disagreed with allowing players to collect, for example, on advertising, video games or jersey sales, adding, "The presumption that they are getting nothing for these things is a fallacy."
The vote to give added autonomy to the Power 5 conferences will allow these and several other issues to be hashed out among the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and Pac-12. Assuming the vote passes as expected, the first priority will be to provide student-athletes with full cost of attendance.
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