TV money for student-athletes? ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit suggests it could happen
The changes in college athletics allowing student-athletes to profit from NIL opportunities has completely changed the world of amateur sports. ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit that even bigger money opportunities could be coming down the pipeline, too.
Speaking with the Pat McAfee Show recently, Herbstreit said he believes that, at some point down the road, college athletes will start to receive an income from television revenue. That would be quite a chance to cash in, as conferences rake in hundreds of millions of dollars per year from networks.
Here’s what Herbstreit had to say regarding student-athletes and TV money, as transcribed by On3 Sports:
“I think all of us have reached a point where we agree that players obviously should be freed up to do whatever they can with NIL,” explained Herbstreit. “I think that there’s another step to this. With the TV networks — I never really said this publicly — but with the TV networks giving a lot of money to college athletics, I think it’s inevitable that eventually the players are going to have it, whether it’s a union or somebody’s going to represent them, and they’re going to say hey, why not allow us to have a share of the television money?
“Everybody’s talking about the players are entitled and that kind of thing to be able to have NIL. That, at this point, is a given. I’m thinking more about, if you’re really looking at the players and saying hey, what’s in it for them — if I were a player, wouldn’t you be talking about that next step. So, I think it’s inevitable, the path that we’re heading down.”
Though some student-athletes have earned the opportunity to receive a significant amount of money through NIL opportunities, we’ve not seen anything of this magnitude. Yet.
The B1G is reportedly in negotiations with multiple networks about a potential deal that could net the league $1 billion per year. How that would trickle down to student-athletes — if Herbstreit’s projection comes to fruition — is still unclear.
It’s a changing world in college athletics, though. So much has changed so quickly. Herbstreit might be spot on about the future of television contracts and NIL opportunities.