Little League pitching sensation Mo’ne Davis is all the rage. She recently became the first girl to pitch a shutout at the Little League World Series. Her spectacular feat landed her on the cover of Sports Illustrated, the first Little Leaguer–boy or girl–to ever do so.
But it seems the 13-year-old player from Philadelphia could lose out in another aspect. There’s the possibility of making some major money but she may have to turn it down since she plans on entering college sports. And while this dynamo is still five years away from starting college, she may be affected by the NCAA’s strict rule about college athletes making money. The conundrum: The Little League World Series has been offered an autograph signing deal that could be worth $100,000.
Brandon Steiner, owner of leading memorabilia company Steiner Sports, told USA Today he wanted to offer Davis a deal possibly worth up to $100,000 for her to autograph items. But he added he would not do so because he was worried it could jeopardize her eligibility to play college sports in the future. Davis has already mentioned that her dream is to play basketball at the University of Connecticut.
There was a recent court decision about college athletes and compensation that could help Davis if she moves forward with any deals. A judge ruled that the NCAA unfairly restricted athletes from being compensated for selling the right to their name, their image, or their likeness. “However, the judge in the case set a limit of compensation at $5,000 and ruled that the payments would be deferred until after a player’s eligibility had expired,” reports Business Insider. The NCAA has appealed the ruling, so the situation is still in limbo.For now it seems that if David inked a deal and she continued to make money off of it once she was ready to enter college, it could cost her her college sports career.
Others are cashing in on her fame, for instance, by selling her autograph. “A baseball advertised as being autographed by Mo’ne…turned up for sale on eBay. An auction had driven the price up to $500 on Wednesday,” reports USA Today.
The winning bid was $510. “The initial asking price was $9.99, but the bids jumped considerably after the Philadelphia phenom won admiration for her 70-mile-per-hour fastball that helped her to throw a shutout last week,” report NBC.
Several more baseballs allegedly signed by Davis are up for sale on eBay along with autographed Sports Illustrated covers. About 40 other items featuring Mo’ne, many of them claiming to have her John Hancock, are for sale on the eBay.
With the cost of college the way it is, these athletes should be able to make a little something from their fame, no? The NCAA certainly does.