Today is a historic day for college sports

Alabama football enters a new world on July 1.

In the past, Alabama football players had to wait until after college to earn money from their name, image, and likeness. On July 1, that changes for all varsity athletes.

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

This will have an impact on all sports. Montana Fouts will be eligible to host pitching camps during the offseason. Jahvon Quinerly can tweet sponsorships for money. Bryce Young can become the face of a brand on campus before heading to the NFL.

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

We’ll have to wait and see how this affects recruiting and power structures in college sports. Will players want to go to the big schools to have the infrastructure to get sponsors? Will they want to start early in order to maximize their field presence and salary? Will we see schools close to business hubs see a boost as players seek opportunities to earn money in college? We won’t know those answers for a while, but we’ll at least see college players getting paid to be themselves.

It’s just a small step on the way. At this point, it seems inevitable that colleges will inevitably have to pay students for their participation in sports. The NCAA cannot shift responsibility to other industries to supplement student income. It’s still far.

Expect wild stories this month as Alabama football players can finally make money for their rigs.

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