“A month ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California signed legislation that will allow college athletes in the state to profit from their sports celebrity by promoting products and companies. Other states quickly moved in the same direction, and on Tuesday the N.C.A.A., the governing body of college sports, bowed to the inevitable after long opposing the move.
The group’s governing board voted unanimously to allow student-athletes “the opportunity to benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness.” The board directed the organization’s three divisions to develop new rules to begin no later than January 2021.
While the details of this “modernization” remain vague and it is unclear how student-athletes will be allowed to “benefit,” the new rules will be “consistent with the collegiate model,” according to the organization. By that, the N.C.A.A. means “consistent with the values of college sports within higher education.”
Professors like me already follow a “collegiate model” for receiving revenue from intellectual property created by university research we do. This model provides an obvious and straightforward solution to the challenges of compensating athletes based on their name, image and likeness. Just treat athletes like others on campus.
In 1978, Joe Allen, a member of the staff of Senator Birch Bayh, a Democrat of Indiana, discovered that of the 28,000 patents owned by the federal government through government-funded research, only about 5 percent were being commercialized. This was a dismal record for a nation investing hundreds of billions of dollars in science and technology. Senator Bayh teamed up with Senator Bob Dole, a Kansas Republican, to propose legislation to fundamentally change how universities commercialized their discoveries.
Signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, the Bayh-Dole Act allows universities to retain ownership of patents that result from federally funded research and to share any revenues that result with professors and other researchers whose work led to the discoveries. For instance, at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where I work, 50 percent of such revenue is split equally between the researcher’s personal and research accounts, and the remaining 50 percent is divided equally between the university system and the campus.”
David Lindsay: It is hard to be smart. I really liked the idea above, until I read the comments. Here are the top three which I liked.