LOS ANGELES, California — Now that a new NCAA rule has taken effect, Southern California collegiate players are making their first steps to benefit from their name, image, and likeness.
The University of Southern California’s (USC) and UCLA’s (UCLA) high-profile rivalry is only now beginning to pay off. According to Yahoo, UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-clothing Robinson’s line FriendsOverFans has made over $10,000 in sales. USC shooting guard Drew Peterson has been named one of the first Barstool Athletes, a spin-off of the Barstool Sports site.
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The new name, image, and likeness rule, sometimes known as the NIL rule, was adopted by the NCAA on June 30 and went into effect on July 1.
“This means that athletes can now sign with agents, do endorsement deals, monetize a YouTube channel, and basically part of the broader rules of amateurism restricted athletes from making money from third parties,” an Arizona State University sports historian who studies the intersection of sports and society, explained.
In collegiate athletics, USC and UCLA have a lot of name recognition, which he believes will help athletes build brands and earn their payday through sponsorship deals.
“Big brands in college sports come with a lot of added baggage and reputation, and this was an argument made by the NCAA and colleges,” he said. “It provides athletes a stronger ability to sell themselves because of the coaches, the school, and the brand.”
Schools with a long history of success have always had an advantage over smaller, lesser-known programs.
“It would be unjust if athletes were unable to compete for NIL,” she explained.
Before signing any contracts, USC wants its student-athletes to know all the facts.
“Our main objective is to support and serve our student-athletes,” the institution said in an email to Cronkite News, “particularly today as we approach a new era in collegiate athletics.” Our immediate focus is on providing NIL-related education and implementing a California-compliant institutional NIL policy.”
The new rule has sparked a campaign to clear the name of former USC running back Reggie Bush, who was stripped of his 2005 Heisman Trophy and NCAA records in 2010 after NCAA investigators discovered his parents had received an improper payday.
On July 1, former Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III tweeted, “It’s time to give Reggie Bush his Heisman Trophy back.”
In a tweet on July 1, he wrote, “My team and I have contacted out to both the NCAA and the Heisman Trust in regards to the reinstatement of my collegiate records and the return of my Heisman.”
The Heisman Trust declined a day later, blaming the NCAA.
“Bush’s 2005 season records have been invalidated by the NCAA, and as a result, he is ineligible for the 2005 Heisman Memorial Trophy per the regulation established by the Heisman Trust and mentioned on the Heisman Ballot. The Heisman Trust looks forward to welcoming Bush to the Heisman family if the NCAA reinstates Bush’s 2005 status, according to Tim Henning, associate director of the trust.
Many former collegiate athletes are wishing the rule change had been in place while they were competing.
“I want to go back to college!” tweeted former USC quarterback Matt Leinart, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2004.