The Ball family is making waves again as they’ve announced a reality show as well as a new line of shoes for the youngest Ball, LaMelo. They released a whole video selling the shoe on Twitter:
Ball is already committed to play for UCLA in two years, but most people believe this kind of stunt and use of his likeness to sell shoes could be devastating for his eligibility. However, there is one major loophole that would allow him to do this for the next two years and still be eligible to play for the Bruins in 2019.
LaMelo’s ability to play at UCLA likely comes down to the clauses in NCAA bylaw 126.96.36.199:
188.8.131.52 Modeling and Other Nonathletically Related Promotional Activities.
An individual may accept remuneration for or permit the use of his or her name or picture to advertise or promote the sale or use of a commercial product or service without jeopardizing his or her eligibility to participate in intercollegiate athletics only if all of the following conditions apply: (Revised: 1/14/97, 4/29/04, 1/8/07 effective 8/1/07)
(a) The individual became involved in such activities for reasons independent of athletics ability;
(b) No reference is made in these activities to the individual’s involvement in intercollegiate athletics; (Revised: 1/18/14 effective 8/1/14)
(c) The individual’s remuneration under such circumstances is at a rate commensurate with the individual’s skills and experience as a model or performer and is not based in any way on the individual’s athletics ability or reputation.
184.108.40.206.1 Exceptions. The individual’s eligibility will not be affected, provided the individual: (Revised: 1/18/14 effective 8/1/14)
(a) Meets the conditions set forth in Bylaw 220.127.116.11; or (Revised: 1/18/14 effective 8/1/14)
(b) Takes appropriate steps upon becoming a student-athlete to retract permission for the use of his or her name or picture and ceases receipt of any remuneration for such an arrangement.
The main bylaw to note here is the very last one where he can maintain eligibility by taking the appropriate steps to retract his permission to use his name or picture to sell the shoes. LaVar is not the idiot some people believe him to be and he has to have seen that bylaw in the rule book.
There’s no way he would allow his son to skip college and play in the G-League or overseas because he knows the best exposure comes from college basketball. So he has to be on top of this and know exactly what he’s doing or else LaMelo could face a much more uncertain fate than his older brother Lonzo who was taken second overall by the Lakers this year.
[h/t USA Today]