UWSP athletes could benefit from NCAA rule change

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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW)-- On Tuesday, the NCAA changed its stance, allowing athletes to be paid for their name, likeness and image.

UWSP receiver Jonte Webb vs. UW-River Falls, 10/5/19. (WSAW photo)

Legislation passed last month in California may have forced the NCAA to change course.

"I'm not sure yesterday was a great day for NCAA amateur athletics," said UW-Stevens Point athletic director Brad Duckworth.

By January 2021, all three levels of NCAA Athletics (Divisions I, II, III) will need to create new rules that allows student-athletes to be paid for their name, image and likeness.

"In towns like Stevens Point where athletics is very public, very visible, very successful, will we have industries ask to use our student athletes name/image/likeness? I think we will," Duckworth said

Wausau West grad Nate Condon had a successful career playing hockey at the University of Minnesota. He sees this as a recruiting tool if not legislated properly.

"Are there going to be people starting to move to bigger markets because that's where there's more potential money for these players," said Condon.

Condon believes the trickle down effect could be harmful.

"If you're taking money away from the NCAA which supports a lot of those non-money making sports, tehn you could theoretically lose out on a lot of those just because the pie is getting smaller."

One thing's for certain, there's no going back now.

"I definitely think its a step in the right direction for some of these big players, but very skeptical how its going to run out for everyone else," said Condon.

"There's a place for professional athletics and the NCAA is not that," Duckworth added.

Duckworth pointed out this could also impact tax legislation. Not just what the players could earn, but also on tuition and other athletic benefits.

Both he and Condon agree, right now, there are more questions than answers.