On June 21, the Supreme Court ruled that the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s strict limits on compensation for student-athletes violated antitrust law. The door is now open for college athletes to license their names, images and likenesses.
The lion’s share of licensing money will likely accrue to a small number of elite college athletes who are headed toward careers in professional sports. Most NCAA athletes won’t go pro, but they will have long working careers after they leave college—with or without a degree.
When it comes to ethical treatment of—and lifelong success for—these student-athletes, much work remains for the universities that benefit from college sports. Unlike with licensing, universities can make swift and meaningful changes to athletic scholarships. Rather than continue the status quo, I propose moving to a 10-year athletic scholarship that allows players to pursue rigorous degrees as student-athletes.
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