College Athletes Could Be Allowed To Earn Money From Their Publicity In The State Of Washington
College athletes currently cannot be compensated for use of their name, image or likeness. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence could probably earn a lot of money from endorsement deals after beating Alabama in the 2019 National Championship, but NCAA rules preclude that from happening (if Lawrence wishes to retain his eligibility to compete).
The college football industry is waiting on word from the federal court in California in the Alston v. NCAA case, which may bring an end to the NCAA’s restriction if the court finds it to be in violation of antitrust law. Interestingly, some in the State of Washington have no concern with waiting around. They want action now.
A bill has been proposed that would allow college athletes to earn money from off-field and off-court marketing deals. It specifically sets forth that college athletes in Washington should be able to earn compensation for the use of their name, image and likeness. It would also allow those college athletes to hire agents to assist in the negotiation of such deals.
The bill has lofty goals. It intends to shield such players and institutions of higher education in the State of Washington from any discipline by a third party (i.e. the NCAA). Whether the NCAA would comply with the bill, if passed, is up for debate.
If the State of Washington is successful in turning the bill that allows paying college athletes into a law, and if the status quo remains whereby college athletes are generally not permitted to license their publicity rights for monetary gain, then it could give schools in the State of Washington a big edge on the recruiting trail. For instance, if a notable college prospect is considering playing for Washington State, then being able to make money on the side would be quite the added bonus and maybe push the player to committing.