It is a contentious issue, and it is one that Kevin Plank knows about from firsthand experience. The issue is that of college athletes being able to profit from their own names and images. It is an issue that the founder and CEO of Under Armour recently spoke out about. Kevin Plank came forward in mid-September to speak in favor of college athletes being able to be compensated for their images, names, and likenesses. Currently, in order to maintain their amateur status, student athletes are not permitted to do so. While college athletes are currently, under NCAA rules permitted to benefit financially from their athletic successes, their colleges and universities have. The students’ only “compensation” may be an athletic scholarship at the school.
However, the school may reap significant financial benefit from the use of their names and images. That is especially true in the case of schools that do well in areas such as college basketball’s March Madness. Kevin Plank knows from experience what it is like to be an uncompensated student athlete. He played football in high school and went on to play at University of Maryland, College Park. While some student athletes may go on to professional sports and the potentially significant pay associated with those positions, not all do.
Kevin Plank was one such case. He never went on to play professional football. Unlike many other student athletes, however, his sports experiences led him to founding what would grow into a multi-billion dollar company. Kevin Plank knows, however, that is not the case for everyone. When asked specifically about California’s “Fair Pay to Play” Act, he voiced support for it. He favors student athletes being able to make endorsement deals, which is something that the NCAA has opposed and continues to oppose even in the face of the state’s move to make it possible for the students and not just their schools to benefit from their athletic talents. Read More.