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Ken Ralph speaks about what this week’s Supreme Court ruling against the NCAA means for UMaine

UMaine Director of Athletics feels they are in a good spot
Ralph speaks about what this week's Supreme Court ruling against the NCAA means for UMaine
Ralph speaks about what this week's Supreme Court ruling against the NCAA means for UMaine
Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 8:59 PM EDT
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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - With this week’s Supreme Court ruling against the NCAA in the Shawne Alston case, college student-athletes are now able to receive compensation provided it is education-related. It opens the door toward paid players.

But what will it mean for small schools like Uaine? We asked the Director of Athletics Ken Ralph...

“At UMaine, the Alston case isn’t going to have that much of an impact,” says UMaine Director of Athletics Ken Ralph, “It really deals a lot more with how you can package up scholarships. What you can do to fund certain educational experiences and expenses. Because of the way the decision was rendered, and what is going to be downstream from this, we are really going to have to pay attention. Because I think it is going to throw even more of a divide between the really well-funded programs and the rank and file program like Maine.”

Ralph says they are in a good position as the push for name, image, and likeness rulings come.

“We have some student-athletes that are going to profit from name, image, and likeness. But it will be very low level,” says Ralph, “We do have some students with some significant social media followings that potentially could do some sponsored content. The good thing for us at Maine is most of our sponsorships are local. There actually could be sponsorship enhancements rather than sponsors shifting from supporting the institution to supporting the athletes directly.”

Ken says UMaine’s patience to not push the state to legislate on name, image and likeness will pay off.

“We wanted to be able to apply this as broadly as possible,” says Ralph, “Slow playing it like that has really turned into an advantage for us. Because we can provide the broadest possible definitions of name, image, and likeness. This is going to turn out well for us.”

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