Alabama Football: Today’s a historic day for college sports

Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports
Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama football enters a new world on July 1.

In the past, Alabama football players had to wait until their college days were over to make money off of their name, image and likeness. On July 1, that changes for all college athletes.

Finally, athletes are allowed to earn money for being who they are, according to the NCAA. This means that companies can pay athletes in exchange for sponsorships, social media posts and other acts. There are still rules, and there remains plenty of grey area, but Pandora’s box has been opened, and we’ll never go back to a world without athletes being paid at the college level.

This will impact every sport. Montana Fouts will be eligible to host pitching camps in the offseason. Jahvon Quinerly can tweet sponsorships for money. Bryce Young can become the face of a brand on campus before he heads to the NFL.

As the day progresses, expect to see plenty of news surrounding Alabama football players and other athletes. We may even see the first sponsorships and posts from this new era.

We’ll have to wait and see how this impacts recruiting and the power structures in college sports. Will players want to go to the big schools so they have the infrastructure necessary to get sponsorships? Will they want to start early so they can maximize their presence on the field and their paycheck off of it? Will we see schools near business hubs see a boost as players look for opportunities to earn money in college? We won’t know these answers for a while, but we’ll at least witness college players getting paid to be themselves.

This is only a small step on the journey. At this point, it feels inevitable that colleges will inevitably have to pay students for participation in sports. The NCAA can’t pass the buck to other industries to supplement students’ income. Still, that’s a long way away.

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Expect some crazy stories this month as Alabama football players can finally earn money for their platforms.