Former LSU stars react to new NCAA endorsement rule

Former LSU stars react to new NCAA endorsement rule
Former LSU baseball star, Ryan Theriot (left), and former LSU basketball star, Tyrus Thomas (right), spoke out about the NCAA's decision to allow college athletes to profit from the use of their names, images, and likenesses. (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The NCAA voted unanimously Tuesday, Oct. 29 that college athletes can now profit from the use of their names, images, and likenesses.

California’s new law forced the issue. Some estimate this new rule could allow the average college football player, like the guys in Death Valley, to make around $160,000 per year.

However, two former LSU athletes have different opinions on the new rule change.

“Truthfully, I’m concerned a little bit. Not that it can’t work, I think it could be great, and I hope it helps those that need help, but man, I wouldn’t want to be the one trying to figure it out,” said former LSU baseball player, Ryan Theriot.

It’s a new day for NCAA athletes. College athletes can now use their talent to earn a paycheck while still in school.

“It can possibly help enhance the quality of NCAA basketball, where guys potentially staying a little longer, when they have an opportunity to capitalize off their likeness while they’re still in college,” said Tyrus Thomas, former LSU basketball player.

Student athletes can soon earn money for things like autographs and endorsements.

Theriot has some concerns of his own though.

“For myself personally, to go to LSU was payment enough. You get a scholarship, you get your education paid for, they give you food, they give you board,” said Theriot.

Yet Thomas, who led the team to a Final Four in 2006 before heading to the NBA early, says he could’ve benefited from it.

“A major part of my decision making was the financial situation of my family at the time, so had I had the option to make a little bit of money off my likeness, you know, I probably would’ve came back to school,” said Thomas.

Each NCAA division will have to come up with rules before athletes can get checks.

However, questions remain for these two former athletes.

“Look, everybody’s situation’s different, and some may need that little extra money to get them over the top so they can stick around, to get a degree possibly, so it can be good, absolutely,” said Theriot.

“As long as it’s a fair structure and it’s not anything that becomes similar to the black market, but I definitely think it’s fair,” said Thomas.

At one of the last gubernatorial debates, when asked if they would support the rule change, Governor John Bel Edwards said he wasn’t sure yet and was having his staff look into it, while Eddie Rispone said he did not support the law that California passed to allow college athletes to get endorsements.

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