Johnny Football, get your butt off the bench in Cleveland and get back to Fort Worth, posthaste. The quarterback who was recruited over you at TCU is being exploited, and no one gamed his NCAA existence for his own personal financial well-being better than you.
No one is looking for you to organize autograph shows for Trevone Boykin, or parties for that matter, but Mr. Boykin needs some guidance. Boykin is the latest high-profile student-athlete to have his likeness used, and to not receive a thing in return.
The debate over whether student-athletes should be paid is endless, but regardless of which side you stand on this divisive issue there is no way that Boykin does not deserve a cut from those T-shirts.
Those T-shirts are starting to sell around Fort Worth, and there is a good chance a few fans will be wearing them Saturday in the stands in Lawrence, Kan., when No. 4 TCU puts a beatdown on No. 400 Kansas (the latter ranking is approximate).
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For the uneducated, the T-shirt simply reads: “Keep Calm, and Trevone.” Or “Keep Calm. We got Trevone Boykin.”
The “Keep Calm” T-shirt/poster motif has proliferated recently for any number of names, and some enterprising entrepreneurs have capitalized on the success of TCU and its Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback, Mr. Trevone Boykin.
Good for them, and too bad for Trevone.
The shirts are fun and a favorite among TCU fans. Boykin said he has seen them, too. Hopefully he grabbed a few as keepsakes, because he can’t see a cut or sell any on his own.
Right now, it’s fun to have a T-shirt with your name on it, or your likeness used on a poster, or a video game. It’s fun, only until you are older and realize someone made some money off of you with zero compensation. That’s why Johnny Manziel trademarked his famous nickname.
These shirts are not licensed property of the NCAA or TCU, so it is not as if either institution is profiting from these guerilla marketing efforts.
In early August, a federal judge ruled that the NCAA cannot stop players from selling the rights to their names, images and likeness. That effectively stopped the college video games that used likenesses, but not names.
During the court proceedings, the NCAA quit selling jerseys with the numbers of the most popular players. The judge’s decision was not appealed, and it will go into effect July 1, 2016.
There was no reason not to put the policy in immediately, which would have allowed Boykin and others to receive a share. Not 100 percent — the name of the front of the jersey is worth more than the back.
By July of 2016, Trevone will be done at TCU and he will not have seen any money from this potential opportunity, and “Keep Calm and Trevone” will just be a shirt in a drawer.
The counter argument from schools and the NCAA is that covering the cost of the education is just compensation. Any parent or kid paying the spiraling costs of college education would completely agree.
This is not about covering the cost of college or whether a student-athlete should be compensated beyond that. This is about the potential to make a little bit more from a name, likeness or something akin when their career is over. The ruling will allow players to profit from their likenesses and collect the check when their “amateur” careers are over.
If the NCAA, or the courts, did the absolute right thing Boykin could begin this process immediately. Instead, somebody else is making money for themself off Boykin’s name. Right now, the same can be said for Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott, Baylor’s Shawn Oakman, or any other prominent men’s college basketball or football player.
Trevone, and Johnny Football and countless others, are going to have missed the opportunity for a few extra bucks in their pockets when their college careers are over. We aren’t talking about millions, but we are talking about some. And for most of us, every bit helps when we are starting out, or even after we are moving along.
When the high court ruled that the NCAA can no longer enforce its outdated laws, the judge should have opened it up for this immediately. Why wait?
In these cases, this is when it’s good to have friends. Johnny Football, a fellow Texan QB needs your help. Get off the bench and get down here and Trevone.
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