Mark Turgeon on Supreme Court ruling for player compensation: ‘I love it’

Turgeon on Supreme Court ruling for player compensation: 'I love it' originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

On Monday the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of a law that would allow college athletes to be compensated during their time at a university.

It’s a decision that has long been in the making, and one that Maryland men’s basketball head coach Mark Turgeon is happy to see come to fruition.

“I love it, I think it’s great,” Turgeon said to NBC Sports Washington. “The kids are on social networks all the time doing their little platform stuff anyways so if they can make some money off of it, let’s let them do it.” 

Turgeon not only believes it’s right for the players to be compensated for their brand, but as is confident the ruling will not impact the product on the court. Student-athletes already budget time to work on side projects while still managing sports and athletics, and the only thing that will change now is that they will be paid for it.

Some may argue that a potential disparity in the amount of money one player in the locker room earns compared to a teammate could create a rift, but Turgeon doesn’t see that happening either. While it may take some time to adjust, he views it as a benefit to all.

His larger concern is the NCAA and all states and universities following the same rules.

“I just want everybody on the same page. I don’t want this state to do that and another state not to do it. I just want the NCAA to come together and, whether it’s the senate, congress or whatever, just get us all on the same page so we’re all doing the same thing,” Turgeon said.

When Turgeon played college basketball at Kansas in the 80s, the idea of being compensated wasn’t as prevalent, largely because social media wasn’t around. Now, though, the platforms are a big part of a college athlete’s presence in society.

There are positives to that in terms of exposure, but also some negatives. Turgeon has seen first-hand how cruel and harsh some can be to such young athletes online. Therefore, if there is a route to helping social media be a more beneficial environment for players through compensation, Turgeon is in favor of it. 

“They go through a lot, and I’ve changed my whole coaching philosophy to, where we use positive energy,” Turgeon said. “We talk about being positive all the time just because of what these kids go through.”

“So if they can make money, and they’ll be able to do that here at Maryland. Make a few extra dollars, a few thousand dollars on their name, image and likeness. I’m all for it,” Turgeon said. “I think it’d be great.”

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