Last week we here at BroBible were the first to bring you news of ‘Play For’, an app/company/service created by a former University of Miami graduate who is seeking to solve the issue of NCAA athletes not getting paid.
As reported last week, the service is a combination web app + Venmo integration and is essentially crowdfunding a trust for every student athlete in the NCAA. Upon graduation, the student athlete will get a check for whatever is in his ‘Play For’ account. If people like you or me believe that an athlete should be paid for his or her services to a school than we can finally make a donation in that athlete’s name. There is one caveat – according to a Federal Court ruling ‘Play For’ has to cap the trust at $5,000 per player per year of eligibility, so any excess funds over that $5k will trickle down and be distributed evenly to that player’s teammates. I can only imagine the locker-room conversations this is going to stir up…
At the time last week that I reported on this revolutionary new way for athletes to get paid the service was just taking off, but after a weekend long ‘Startup Weekend’ hackathon the app has actually taken form, and this is no longer just a novel idea. Now ‘Play For’ is launching with all 15,000 D1 football players, and I assume basketball is right around the corner.
Here’s the press release detailing this latest step for ‘Play For‘:
Problem (In General): Should college football players get paid? NCAA makes $3.5B per year – a fraction of which trickles down to the student athlete that drive this billion-dollar “amateur” business.
Problem (Focused): It is too overwhelming to tackle the larger problem – should college athletes get paid – so we have focused “Play For” to take action on a smaller subset of the problem… How can we help the majority of student athletes transition to the real world after they graduate?
Solution (Short): Crowdfunding college athletes through Venmo.
Solution (Long): Ed O’Bannon v NCAA found that Universities can set up a trust of $5k per player per year of eligibility. We are crowdfunding that trust. Any transfers to an individual player in excess of $5k will be distributed evenly to that player’s teammates.
How are you going to make money: “Play For” is in the process of raising a Seed round, so we have absolutely no interest or need in profiting from this social movement. We will not take a penny from the crowdfunded trust.
Why are you passionate about this problem: Our solution isn’t meant to be a direct attack on the “amateur” status of collegiate sports. This is coming from a much deeper and more social place – we’ve talked to countless college players (current and former) and have heard their stories of real, genuine struggle. Each year, hundreds of thousands of student-athletes struggle with the transition to life after playing college ball. The passion for this problem is pouring out of every aspect of the founding of this company. We can’t choose one specific answer to showcase here, so if someone would be kind enough to create a subreddit, we will prominently advertise that forum on our website and in this press release. You can also join the conversation on all traditional forms of social media at #playfor.
The new site officially went live today, so if this is something you believe in, if like me you believe that student athletes deserve to be paid for their contributions to their schools, then you can CLICK HERE to get involved.
They’re not going to skim any money from the public. This is just a group of intelligent, start-up focused individuals who got their educations at football schools and recognize the need for student athletes to get paid.
Is this legal? Yes.
Will they take a profit from this? No.
Is this the long term solution for NCAA athletes getting paid? Perhaps.