Finally, a high-ranking college official has taken a stand on something incredibly logical: College athletes should be compensated for use of their name and likeness.
West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck was the one to come out and stated the obvious, via CBS Sports‘ Jeremy Fowler. Luck said student-athletes have a “constitutional right” to their name/image/likeness — duh — and added:
“That is who you are…That’s sort of existential,” Luck said. “If we are in fact using name, image and likeness of student-athletes, they should be compensated.”
This is a common complaint in the O’Bannon case and among student-athletes around the country. A former Notre Dame player told me earlier this year it always amazed him how many No. 5 Notre Dame jerseys were sold in 2012 and how Manti Te’o saw none of that money. EA Sports’ NCAA Football franchise never hid the fact No. 2 on Texas A&M was Johnny Manziel.
Still, that Luck came out and said it — and Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby agreed with it — probably speaks more to the entrenched system of doing things in the NCAA than it does a bold step from an AD or conference honcho.
Fowler provides a lot more important context to Luck’s quote in his story, so give it a read.