Will Johnny Football Change NCAA Rules on Marketing Likeness?

footballESPN.com’s Rick Reilly has an excellent piece on Johnny Manziel, and the fact that NCAA rules prohibit him from profiting off of the use of his likeness.

Reilly questions the logic of the NCAA’s ruling that Manziel can keep the proceeds of a lawsuit, but cannot accept a bagel from a booster.  (The so-called “Johnny Football loophole” would not allow for an orchestrated violation of a student-athlete’s intellectual property rights in an effort to funnel money to that student-athlete).

Reilly further opines that Manziel should have a right to profit from his likeness, but such profits should be held in trust until Manziel leaves school:

What would be wrong with Manziel getting a piece of the pie he baked himself? Let’s say he got a third of the profits of every product with his number on it — coffee mugs, hats, key chains, everything — with the money going into a trust account, to be given to him when he leaves school. And — get this, Aggie Fan — maybe he’d stay in school longer if he thinks that school isn’t ripping him off.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

While the pay-for-play debate is extremely polarizing and legally complicated, easing up on the NCAA’s prohibitions on student-athletes marketing their likenesses is much more simple.  Why not allow a student-athlete to take advantage of his or her likeness?  It appears to be a fair compromise between the status quo and pay-for-play. 

The bottom line is that Johnny Manziel should be able to get a piece of the Johnny Football pie without jeopardizing his eligibility.


  1. […] Johnny Manziel had a busy year, from suing a T-Shirt vendor to instigating conversation over the NCAA’s marketing rules to receiving a 1-half suspension for allegedly accepting money for his autograph.  My students at […]

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