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BTP The Offseason, Day 46: When pigs participate in a boat race

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Ward’s meat products, 1890s. Photo by History of Advertising Trust/Heritage Images/Getty Images

It’s likely that student-athletes will be able to profit off of their name, image, and likeness in the near future—the NCAA announced Wednesday that it supports rules changes to allow for NIL benefits. This could be enacted for the 2021-22 season.

Local car dealership commercials are about to turn up!

Among the restrictions: schools cannot facilitate endorsement deals, and athletes cannot appear in advertisements while wearing school or conference logos. The players can mention their school (“Hello, I’m Braxton Beverly, guard at NC State, and I want to talk to you about shaving cream...”) but no official logos will be allowed.

The NCAA is also going to attempt to establish some framework so that this doesn’t turn into a purely pay-for-play recruiting scheme across the country, but as for how that’ll work out in practice, uh, I have doubts. I mean, these lines are obviously going to blur, and it won’t be that difficult to establish a modicum of plausible deniability.

So we’ll see where this goes. Here’s a good FAQ breakdown on the topic from ESPN.

On a lighter note, I’ve been enjoying this series from Ricky O’Donnell in which he takes over Western Illinois in College Basketball 2K8 and attempts to turn the program from garbage to title contender. In the latest installment, WIU makes the NCAA tournament and gets a first-round matchup against ... NC State. There’s video, so here is your only chance to see the Pack play an NCAA tournament game in this calendar year. You’ll like the ending.

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In the above advertisement for Ward’s meat products from the 1890s, there are pigs in a boat race for some reason. What does this convey about the superiority of Ward’s pork products? That they are in better shape than the competition? I guess that’s one approach.