By Ken Reed
I have written many times in the past about the clear economic injustice that is the NCAA not allowing college athletes to control their names, images and likenesses (NILs). (See here and here) Every other college student can benefit from the use of their NILs, including students on music and cheerleading scholarships.
The NCAA doesn’t regulate cheerleading like it does football, basketball and other sports. Cheerleaders aren’t held to the archaic amateurism standards that athletes are. Some college cheerleaders rake in thousands of dollars from corporate sponsorship deals. They can sell autographs, appear in commercials and promote products as social influencers while wearing their uniforms. If athletes try to do similar things, they lose their eligibility.
Former Oklahoma cheerleader Jamie Andries received thousands of sponsorship dollars while cheering for the Sooners football and basketball teams. She even hired an agent while in college to help manager her endorsement deals. She said her coaches had no problem with her benefitting from her name, image and likeness. The cheerleading coaches only requirement was that cheerleaders couldn’t miss practices or games for outside sponsor appearances.
Why couldn’t the same be true for college athletes?
“I was like, ‘Wow I get to cheer and I get to have this sort of side job that I get to focus on and I get to make some money that I can save up for myself to use after college,” says Andries.
That’s great for Andries and other cheerleaders. But college athletes deserve the same rights.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group, whose mission is to defend academic integrity in higher education from the corrosive aspects of commercialized college sports.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
Episode #4 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Biggest Issue in Sports Today? Brain Trauma – The guest is Patrick Hruby, a journalist who has done extensive research and in-depth writing on the topic of brain trauma in sports, most notably football.
Episode #3 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Styles with Sports Sociologist Jay Coakley – The guest is veteran sports sociologist Jay Coakley, a former college athlete who went on to earn a Ph.D. in Sociology from Notre Dame.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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