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Jones supports, Tuberville opposes NCAA athletes profiting off of names, images, likenesses

In an interview with NewsTalk WANI on Tuesday, Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) reacted to the historic NCAA decision to soon allow student athletes to accept compensation from the licensing of their names, images and likenesses.

While the full interview with Jones will air Wednesday at 6:35 a.m., “Auburn/Opelika This Morning with Zac Blackerby” released a segment early in which Jones voices his strong support for the NCAA decision.

“I think that that is a logical extension of the business of college sports these days,” Jones said. “We’ve got to look at it like that.”

“I think it has been a shame that these students have been so restricted in what they can do,” he continued. “I haven’t seen the exact proposal, to be honest with you — I was coming back from the meeting over in the Capitol and just saw the topline, so I don’t know all the particulars. But I think that we’ve got to do more for these athletes than just send them — to pay their tuition and expenses. I think it’s only appropriate. This is a big business nowadays. And these athletes are the biggest component of that business. Overall, I think it’s going to be a good thing for these sports as long as we can make sure it’s done in the right way and we monitor it and we don’t have the illegality problems that often accompany things like that.”

One of Jones’ 2020 Republican U.S. Senate challengers also discussed the issue on Tuesday.

Appearing on Fox Business’ “Varney & Co.,” former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville came out against allowing student athletes to receive this type of compensation.

“No, no, they’re (student athletes) already getting paid,” Tuberville responded when asked if he supports the NCAA decision. “Let me tell you — a scholarship now in athletics is worth between $50,000-75,000 per year. They actually get cash money in their pocket, along with everything else being paid.”

He said if student athletes are going to get into the business of profiting off of their names, images and likenesses, they will have to hire agents, lawyers and accountants. Tuberville said “it would be a travesty” if that happened, cautioning of labor and anti-trust issues as well.

He also warned that the NCAA could go the way of the Olympics, where it really is not amateur sports anymore.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

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