New NCAA “Name, Image and Likeness” policy will change college athletics

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) Cashing in on college sports.

That’s the new reality in the NCAA. After years of opposition, the NCAA announced on Wednesday that athletes at all levels can now earn income from their name, image, and likeness.

“I do think it’s the right thing to do. Student athletes should be able to do this, and use their name, image, and likeness to pursue some of these avenues.”

The new rules officially took effect today, and will allow student athletes to profit through endorsements deals.

But although the option is certainly there, for smaller schools like the University of Evansville or Southern Indiana, the question becomes, is there demand? USI Athletic Director Jon Mark Hall believes there could be.

“You may have somebody at the division 1, 2 , or 3 level that may not be the star of the team, or maybe a casual fan or spectator may not have heard of that person, but if they have developed a social media following for some other reason. Now they’ll be able to seize that opportunity.”

It didn’t take long for athletes to start chasing a piece of the pie.

Local athletes like Indiana’s Khristian Lander and Xavier’s Jack Nunge have already acquired endorsements.

There’s still a lot of unknowns about NIL and the effects it will have on college sports.

And while there could be a serious learning curve for athletic departments across the country, Evansville Head Coach Todd Lickliter believes it’s a step in the right direction.

“My hope is that it creates an environment that is good for the student athlete, and I believe it will be. Then we’ll just have to figure out the structure of it as we go, and we’ll have more information, more clues to how that goes, and I think we’ll build the right approach.”

(This story was originally published on July 1, 2021)

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