Olympic model will serve NCAA

Published 12:00 pm Friday, July 8, 2016

When the 2016 Olympics begin in Brazil next month the world will tune in for unmatched competition from the best athletes in a myriad of sports.

The NCAA should take a close look, since the Olympic model for athlete compensation may be the solution for collegiate athletics. Consider that the Olympics do not pay athletes that participate in the games.

The Olympics do, however, allow participating athletes to be compensated for their fame and likeness. Olympic athletes can receive endorsement money from shoe companies, car companies, or any company they can make a deal with; they just don’t get paid to participate in the actual sport.

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At major college universities exceptional athletes are helping their schools generate tens of millions in revenue and profits, yet they can’t receive a dime. Many, like former Rebel star Laremy Tunsil, potentially end up accepting benefits from agents, alumni, or fans as a result of limited resources they have in college.

But under the Olympic model, if Nike wanted to pay Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly, so be it. If an agent gave Tunsil money in college he could have accepted without punishment under the Olympic model. 

Remember this works quite well for the Olympics, arguably the world’s greatest display of competition. Thus, the model seems to be the NCAA’s best, if not only, feasible solution.