Griffith: Student-Athletes Should Benefit From Name And Likeness

Howard Griffith supports Gavin Newsom's legislation allowing student-athletes to sign endorsement deals

The DA Show
October 01, 2019 - 12:48 pm

On Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation allowing college athletes to sign endorsement deals and be compensated for use of their image

How will this pay-for-play bill influence college athletics?

“I wouldn’t refer to it as necessarily pay-for-play,” Big Ten Network analyst Howard Griffith said on The DA Show. “Image and likeness and naming, I think that’s pretty much what it is. I don’t think you’re going to have people going out and saying, ‘We’re going to pay everybody.’ I think one of the things that ultimately is going to happen, I think you’re going to see some other states also get involved in it. It’s not just going to be about California.”

Griffith, who starred at Illinois and won a pair of Super Bowls with John Elway and the Denver Broncos, believes this is long overdue.

“Student-athletes should be able to benefit on their name and likeness,” he said. “I think that’s going to be good for the game. I understand that it’s going to cause some problems and some ripple effects that people believe, but I don’t think it’s as bad as people think it’s going to be. The Olympic system seems to be working pretty well for us.”

Still, it isn’t difficult to see why the NCAA opposes this.

“It’s change,” Griffith said, laughing. “It’s change. It’s the NCAA not being able to control the entities and the individuals. I think people will always be resistant to change, and when something is this different, I think it’s scary for some people. But I think the free market will ultimately win out.”

While this type of legislation would benefit someone like, say, Zion Williamson, other student-athletes would benefit as well, especially when it comes to social media.

“That’s where the majority of the student-athletes are going to have an opportunity to benefit,” Griffith said. “There’s only one Zion Williamson out there, but (other student-athletes can) monetize (social-media accounts). I think that’s where you’re going to see the most of the activity happening: on social media where they have an opportunity to build their brand there, not so much the star athlete that’s going to be signing with the car dealership to sign autographs once or twice a year.”