Going for gold has taken on a different connotation since the Supreme Court ruled college athletes can be paid by parties not directly affiliated with their schools. Now, another ideal this nation once embraced — the scholar-athlete — appears headed to the dustbin.
The court ruled last year in a case brought by three students that it was illegal for the NCAA to restrict “education-related benefits.” That freed athletes to be paid for any use of their name, image, or likeness.
Star athletes such as Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young of the University of Alabama were immediately approached to sign multiple contracts worth thousands of dollars. But even players with less marquee value are banking cash while retaining their amateur status.