So it begins, the new era in college sports. In late September 2021, the SEC became the first conference to implement a new policy towards compensating athletes. Following directly on the Supreme Court's June 21 decision in NCAA v. Alston, the SEC has chosen to allow its member schools to provide the maximum amount in education-based benefits, almost $6000 a year, to their student-athletes. Though the move gives the SEC a temporary recruiting edge, other conferences will certainly follow suit over the upcoming weeks and months.
Only the Beginning?
The next question is, where will things go next?
Money to athletes must, for now anyway, be tied specifically to educational needs. It remains to be seen, however, what sorts of benefits might be included in the phrase “education-based.” The NCAA may try to rein the situation in with guidelines, though that may ultimately become a moot point. For now, anything and everything seems to be on the table, from overseas internships to cars for getting to and from campus.
It is equally unclear how long the $6000 cap may remain in place. Many experts have suggested that caps like these more often become the minimum rather than remaining the maximum.
Far more significant is the possibility that in the very near future compensation won't be limited just to “education-based” benefits. While that was the thrust of the Alston case, the Supreme Court made clear in its decision just how it feels about conferences and schools racking up billions of dollars in revenue at their athletes' expenses. President Biden and Congress have each said separately they favor college athlete compensation, and several state legislatures have already begun working on specific laws to make this happen at the state level.
A New Landscape
There's a bigger question, though.
If you're a college athlete, how will all these changes affect you? Compensation is great and long overdue. There's much more to it than that, though.
Compensation will almost certainly require some system of negotiation. No one is naive enough to believe that college athletic commitments haven't always involved high-level negotiations as schools jockey to get the top talent. Money changes things dramatically, though. The best players will receive the best benefits. That means athletes must compete with one another in a brand-new way. Meanwhile, schools will be competing with each other more than ever to land top athletes. The business of college athletics in the future may make today's scholarship-based landscape, as cut-throat as it sometimes seems, look like an Elizabethan fair.
Now more than ever, if you're an athlete, even if you're just in high school, you need someone who can represent your interests. You're trying to be a student and compete on the field. You don't have time to get involved in high-level negotiations. It's not your parents' job. You need someone to take care of all that for you.
You need attorney Joseph D. Lento. Joseph D. Lento has represented hundreds of student-athletes just like you. He built his practice on helping college students deal with the many complications they face at school. Attorney Joseph D. Lento understands how universities operate and how to navigate through the bureaucracy. He's a master at negotiation and can make sure you get everything you deserve.
Things are already beginning to change. If your school hasn't yet started offering benefits for athletes, they will soon enough. Don't wait. Get representation now. For more information, contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-555-3686, or use our automated online form.