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Former Badgers forward weighs in on potential NCAA changes

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MADISON (WKOW) -- As an economics major, Zach Bohannon was able to look around during his three years at Wisconsin and notice the numbers did not add up.

"Why are athletes limited by the sham notion of amateurism that's been dating back 114 years?" he said.

While in school, Bohannon joined the National College Players Association, which fights for student-athletes' rights. He currently sits on their oversight board and followed the latest news that the NCAA Board of Governors recommended changes to the name, image and likeness rules closely while with the Air National Guard in Texas.

"At the end of the day, that's what we've been fighting first and foremost is this name, image and likeness," Bohannon said. "Just trying to get the same economic rights as all the other students on campus."

Bohannon sees the NCAA reacting to legislation out of states like California that said NCAA athletes can make money off of endorsements. Star athletes, like Bohannon's former teammate Frank Kaminsky, could generate six-figure incomes in college.

"It wasn't just college football and college basketball players," he said. "Of course, Frank Kaminsky or Melvin Gordon would be able to make a few hundred thousand dollars outside of what they're currently getting for scholarship and probably even more than that, upwards of a million for the Zion Williamsons of Duke."

However, the recommendations fell short in a few areas for Bohannon. He pointed out the NCAA still prohibited group licensing which would allow athletes to profit from things like video games and jersey sales.

"It's really the elephant in the room is there's no group licensing allowed still," he explained.

Still, Bohannon acknowledges the recommendations are a step in the right direction.

"It is probably a baby step," he said. "They're moving in the right direction finally."

Bohannon stressed the NCAA still has not officially made any rule changes.

The NCAA released a statement indicating the Board of Governors would like to adopt new name, image and likeness rules by January to take effect at the start of the 2021-22 academic year.

Lance Veeser

Sports Director, 27 News

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