• Sumo

By Ken Reed

Josh Rosen has always been a progressive thinker. He’s also never shied away from sharing his ideas.

Those traits continue for the former UCLA quarterback and Arizona Cardinals rookie.

Along with a couple others, he’s come up with an economic justice proposal for the NCAA and its student-athletes.

Rosen likes college athletics but wants to make them more fair for the players.

“I’m not against the NCAA,” said Rosen about his plan.

“I do strongly believe in the student-athlete experience, and I don’t think the free market is the way to go. I also don’t want a system that was created in the 1950s to stay the way it was. I want it to be like the iPhone, constantly updating to stay current with the times.

“I want this idea to get people talking. I want this to sort of be the WD-40 that unlocks the stuck gears of how to compensate student-athletes.”

The working title of Rosen’s proposal is: “The Modernization of College Athletics as an Incentive for Graduation.” Rosen’s co-authors are Tye Gonser, a partner in Weinberg Gonser LLP, a Southern California business law firm, and USC law student Bryan Bitzer.

Basically, under what I’ll call “The Rosen Plan,” athletes can earn revenue from various opportunities that might arise during their college careers. The key is, they won’t get the profits until after they graduate. No graduation, no profits.

Under Rosen’s proposal, a non-profit “clearinghouse” would be formed to serve as as an intermediary between the players and companies looking to leverage their name, image and likeness. Money earned for name, image and likeness – jerseys, trading cards, video games, etc. — would go into an individual player’s account. It could only be accessed once the player graduates.

Players wouldn’t be allowed to get the money if they are rendered permanently ineligible to compete in NCAA athletics, or if they are convicted of various felony offenses, regardless if they graduate or not.

Rosen knows his proposal isn’t a perfect idea but he hopes it spurs conversation about ways to keep the spirit of college athletics while treating players in a more economically fair manner.

“It’s an idea, and I think it’s a cool one,” he said.

“We need to find a way where we can mutually push in the same direction. This can legitimately help both sides, the college side and the student-athlete side.”

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans

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