• Loading stock data...
Saturday, March 2, 2024

Athletes Launch Advocacy Group Amid NIL’s First Day

  • On the first day NCAA athletes could profit off their name, image, and likeness, a group of current and former NCAA athletes showed they’re not stopping at NIL.
  • They launched the United College Athlete Advocates, a nonprofit hoping to serve as a collective voice for the rights of college athletes.
Photo: Alabama Athletics/Design: Alex Brooks

On the first day NCAA athletes could profit off their name, image, and likeness, a group of current and former NCAA athletes showed they’re not stopping at NIL. 

With the help of Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn) and Rep. Lori Trahan (D-Mass), current and former athletes from Loyola Marymount to Washington State launched the United College Athlete Advocates, a nonprofit hoping to serve as a collective voice for the rights of college athletes.

The organization aims to fill a gap in college sports — the lack of collective representation for athletes, which many professional U.S. athletes have in recognized unions. Currently, there’s an organization called the National College Players Association, but no formal union since athletes aren’t considered university employees.

The UCAA’s founders felt it was the perfect time to launch a nonprofit that would focus not just on athletes’ economic rights, but also racial justice, gender equality, mental health, and LGBTQIA+ rights.

“It really is this perfect storm in our eyes, with the Supreme Court Decision, with NIL rolling out,” said former UCLA soccer player Kaiya McCullough. “It feels like the momentum is there.”

Former Washington State and UC Berkeley track and field athlete Andrew Cooper noted that several such movements — like the #WeAreUnited movement, which he helped found — were loud. But they didn’t singularly move the needle on the issues they supported, like economic rights. 

Cooper believes that an organization — even if it’s not an official union — can help strengthen athletes’ voices to drive real change. He hopes it will make sure athletes are “connected, educated, and compensated.”

“The true injustice of amateurism is the fact that college athletes are completely powerless in the existing system,” Cooper said.

The UCAA also aims to serve as a watchdog for coaches and athletic departments who mistreat players. University of Northern Colorado football player Kassidy Woods was cut from the Washington State football team last year after joining the #WeAreUnited movement and opting out of the COVID-19 season. 

“I realized athletes need protection,” Woods said. “Who’s gonna hold these institutions and coaches accountable?” 

He hopes the UCAA will do just that.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read


How Daily Fantasy Sports Solved NBA Fantasy

New Horizons in Sports How Daily Fantasy Sports Solved NBA Fantasy Presented…

NCAA’s Pay-for-Play Era: What We Know and What’s Next

After years of court battles, the NCAA’s pay-for-play era is here.
Michigan defensive lineman Kenneth Grant celebrates a sack on Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. in the second quarter during the College Football Playoff national championship game against Washington at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.

Pay-for-Play Is Here: Federal Judge Says NCAA Cannot Enforce Any NIL Rules

The ruling effectively allows pay-for-play to go forward uninhibited.

‘Treated Like Children’: College Football Players Offered $600 to Be in Video Game, No Royalties

Players may be receiving lower than the industry standard with the video game’s return.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Jenny Cavnar is Breaking Barriers During Oakland’s Strange Season


Featured Today

Sheer Madness: What You Need to Know About MLB’s New Uniform Saga

MLB’s reworked uniforms have become a major source of spring training controversy.
Oct 5, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, points to the lettering outside of the museum Tuesday.
February 28, 2024

How Do You Keep Negro Leagues Baseball History Alive? Put It in a Video Game

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum attracting increased donations, visits from ‘MLB The Show.’
February 26, 2024

The Victor Wembanyama Rookie Card Market Hasn’t Matched His Hype

A cooling market and Fanatics autograph deal leaves big-money collectors waiting.
February 25, 2024

Sham Gods: The Rapidly Growing World of Sports Impersonators on X

Fake Schefters and Wojs, fabricated trade demands, and borrowed profile pictures.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers

Tuned In: Inside Fox’s Plans for Covering Caitlin Clark’s Regular-Season Finale

The Iowa star’s biggest game to date won’t be buried on any streamer.
Caitlin Clark
February 29, 2024

Iowa Star Caitlin Clark Makes It Official: She’s WNBA-Bound

Iowa star Caitlin Clark announced she is declaring for the WNBA draft.
March 1, 2024

Why New Pac-12 Commissioner Teresa Gould Deserved Better

The first female Power 5 commissioner will inherit her predecessors’ mess.

How LivePass is Redefining Ticketing for the Next Generation of Fans

The next wave of ticketing technology.
Washington State
February 29, 2024

Washington State Cuts Football Coaches’ Salaries Up to 10%

The Pac-2 football team has an athletic department deficit near $100 million.
Howard University
February 29, 2024

Howard’s Figure Skating Team Part of Olympic Sport Growth at HBCUs

Olympic sports at HBCUs are growing, with gymnastics and swimming gaining momentum.
February 28, 2024

The George Kliavkoff Era in the Pac-12 Comes to an End

Kliavkoff presided over the 108-year-old conference’s demise.
February 27, 2024

From Tailgates to Scholarships: Winthrop Elevates Cornhole to Collegiate Status

The Rock Hill, S.C., school signed two high school players out of the Denver area to scholarships.