Georgia football recruiting: What happens if the NCAA allows athletes to profit off their likeness?

D'Andre Swift-Georgia recruiting-UGA recruiting
Junior All-American tailback candidate D'Andre Swift would be one of the few Bulldogs who might beneift from upcoming NCAA legislation.

The NCAA cleared a major hurdle on Tuesday. An agenda-setting panel voted unanimously to begin modifying NCAA bylaws in areas that prevent student-athletes from profiting off their name and likeness. It can affect all sports, most notably major properties like the Georgia football team.

It was the first step in addressing a recent political climate that has seen double-digit state legislatures propose bills to help student-athletes receive compensation for the marketing of their personal brand.

The news that came out on Tuesday was long overdue in a lot of ways. For many, this has been a long topic of debate.

Joe Football Star can’t afford to take his girlfriend to the movies. Yet his No. 11 Nike jersey hangs for sale in the school bookstore for $99. That’s his number on that piece of licensed apparel. The university makes money on that. He does not.

That’s even though the demand for that No. 7 or No. 11 would not be there save for the talents he puts on display every Saturday.

The classic arguments are still there: Art students can sell their work while still in school. Graphic designers and music majors can profit from their talents. Computer science majors qualify for well-paid internships. Journalism students can get paid to report, too.

The student-athlete? They are broke all the time. That’s while their coaches now command seven-figure deals and the TV payouts for a behemoth like the Southeastern Conference seemingly set all-time records on an annual basis.

The most recent 8-year extension between CBS and the NCAA for rights to the men’s basketball tournament was for $8.8 billion dollars. That deal, signed in 2016, now runs through 2032.

It was highly likely that the NCAA would step in and try to adopt uniform legislation. The events of the day are the first step toward those future models.

See that “SE7EN ERA” branding on that D’Andre Swift mouthpiece after a touchdown run? The cameras sure do. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

The news of the day: What does it really mean? 

With this topic, there will be knee-jerk reactions. What does it mean for recruiting? Which school will now be able to find corporate partners to pair up with potential 5-star recruits?

Which schools will open up the vault? How will it be regulated? How will it not?

Recruiting advantages should be nill. The incoming prospects, except for rare cases, won’t be able to monetize their brand to the same dollar figures current stars will.

Let’s effort a stab at what that might actually look like. Using UGA football as a litmus. If any UGA athletes can make money off their name and game, it will be the stars from the Sanford Stadium stage.

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