ANN ARBOR, Mich. – University of Michigan fans will now be able to wear a jersey sporting the name of their favorite athlete, thanks to new laws surrounding college sports.
The M-Den, the official store of U-M athletics, is partnering with Wolverines football players to sell custom jerseys for the first time ever.
“We could put a number on the back of a jersey, but we couldn’t put the player’s name on the back of the jersey,” said M-Den president Scott Hirth. “Fans for years have been asking, ‘what about this player,’ and ‘what about their name and number.’”
Hirth says the new deal is one for the history books: Following a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court and the passing of name, image and likeliness laws, college athletes can now profit off of their image for the first time in history.
“The rules are changing by the minute, but certainly it’s a good thing ... for anybody to be able to make money off of their name image or likeness. And now these student athletes are able to do that,” Hirth said.
Long-time U-M fans like Mike Matthews believe that while there may be pros and cons to everything, this change is certainly a step in the right direction for players to be financially compensated while they can.
“They work hard and some of them never make it to the big time, and so they’re able to make a few dollars on the way and come through college without student debt,” Matthews said. “I think that’s a great thing.”
The new laws and regulations truly open the door for significant change in the future for college athletes. We expect to hear more about those changes in the coming months.