The promised earthquake has come, perhaps not coincidentally after the G-League started targeting elite prospects: the NCAA Board of Governors now supports letting athletes profit from their names, images and likenesses. It’s not official yet but clearly it’s coming.
For some schools, players will be able to make much more money than they could in the G-League. Combine that with the exposure that NCAA basketball offers and who that translates into future endorsements and it’s a potent argument to stay in school. The NCAA Tournament is sort of the cherry on top.
It’s not entirely clear yet exactly what will be allowed. Could a Zion Williamson have his own shoe contract? What would that do to Duke’s relationship with Nike? Could he endorse apparel?
Remember the Marvin Bagley T-shirt that was in Cameron when he was at Duke? Would that have been acceptable?
The next question is about local businesses like say a car dealership owned by a booster?
It’s a smart move by the NCAA that has the potential to wreck the G-League initiative because once people figure out that what the G-League offers is a job and an extended tryout rolled into one, with some major limitations, not to mention a one-year contract, it’s not going to be nearly as appealing.
We’ll have more as this shakes out.