Psychologist, YSU athletics discuss pros and cons of endorsing college athletes
YSU is named the top-earning school in the Horizon League when it comes to Name, Image, and Likeness.
Penguins earned over half a million dollars in less than a year, and this comes as U.S. Senate members push for nationwide standards in an effort to ensure college athletes aren't taken advantage of, mainly to protect against potential in-reputable agents.
Agents are something YSU Special Assistant to the Executive Director of Athletics Rocco Nolfi, said YSU is avoiding.
Rocco said the priority is to ensure all money earned goes to the students.
If only one percent of athletes go pro, it's an opportunity for the Penguins to invest in the future, he said.
"If they want to start a business and take the money they earned in sports, take that to the business, at least they have some capital to do it with," he said.
Rocco also recognizes it can be a lot of cash going to students for the first time and sports psychologist Dr. Sam Maniar said in some cases, it could be a slippery slope.
"It's hard to say no. It's hard to know who to trust," Maniar said, "When you go from little money to lots of money, and you don't necessarily always have the life skills on how to manage that money."
Rocco said YSU is also keeping an eye on the mental health of students getting paid, and the ones who aren't.
"If you take on some of the risks where it becomes just about the money you kind of lose the purpose," Nolfi said, "If player A sees player B gets an amount of dollars, you don't want it to start to divide the locker room, so it's a careful balance, but something I think the coaches do a great job with."