Student athletes weigh in on the NCAA move to pay athletes for their likeness

Local Sports

(WTNH) — Should college athletes get paid to play? Some athletes are all for it, while others say ‘keep the sport pure.’

Related: NCAA to allow athletes to cash in on their fame

This debate coming on the heels of the NCAA’s decision released Tuesday that says they will allow student athletes to “benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness.”

News 8 went to UCONN Tuesday and spoke to some athletes about the recent change.

Football players say they put their body on the line and have a full-time Division I job on top of school. They say ‘show me the money!’

Winston Jules, a member of the UCONN football team says, “I think athletes should get paid I mean we work hard every day in and out just like the pros.”

Other athletes told News 8 that the change will pit one athlete against another for endorsement dollars and hurt the team concept. They say it’s only going to benefit a few and it will create a division amongst the team.

Daniel Claxton, a UCONN track and field athlete told News 8, ‘keep the game pure’: “I think it will definitely change how the scene looks and maybe the motivations behind why people would want to become a college athlete.”

Nancy Harrington, a member of the UCONN Women’s Lacrosse team saying, “I think the team atmosphere would definitely change there would be more competition within the team.”

Other athletes questioned what will happen when 18, 19 and 20-year-olds end up with large sums of money in college.

David Benedict, UCONN’s Athletic Director said of the change in a statement:

I am supportive of student-athletes being allowed the opportunity to monetize their name, image and likeness and am looking forward to learning more about the legislative process to determine how we and our student-athletes can move forward in a thoughtful way to ensure reform is achieved without sacrificing ethical standards. 

The landscape of collegiate athletics has changed significantly over the last several decades and the NCAA definition of a student-athlete needs to be modernized.  

If a student-athlete has the capacity to benefit financially from his or her NIL, this should in no way jeopardize his or her amateur status.

– David Benedict, Athletic Director, UCONN

Coach Gino Auriemma, UCONN Women’s Basketball Head Coach says he’s for paying student athletes: “I think athletes should get paid; I think it somebody else’s job to figure out how they’re going to do that.”

This idea is nothing new to Coach Gino Auriemma, But the question is how do you pay the athletes? And how will it affect college sports? Will the rich schools get richer?

Scott Burrell, CCSU Men’s Basketball Coach says, “It opens up a can of worms for recruiting it opens up a can of worms for some schools which are more powerful they can get the better recruits because they know they’re going to pay more money because they’re getting more exposure.”

Scott Burrell knows what he’s talking about, he played basketball at UCONN and with Michael Jordan and the Bulls in the NBA. He now coaches basketball at CCSU.

What he wants to know is how is the NCAA is going to monitor all of this.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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