Get coupons on Prime Day deals, Delta variant cases rise, NCAA meets: 5 Things podcast

On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: The future of student athletes is up in the air. Plus, the Senate is considering voting rights legislation, Delta variant cases of COVID-19 are on the rise, Amazon Prime Day continues and Facebook gets in the audio business.

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below.This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text.

Taylor Wilson:

Good morning, I’m Taylor Wilson, and this is 5 Things you need to know, Tuesday, the 22nd of June 2021. Today, the future of compensation for college athletes, plus the Delta variant of COVID-19 is on the rise, and more.

Taylor Wilson:

Here are some of the top headlines.

Carl Nassib:

I want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest. I really have the best life. I got the best family, friends, and job a guy could ask for. I’m a pretty private person. So I hope you guys know that I’m really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that one day videos like this and the whole coming out process are just not necessary.

Taylor Wilson:

Nassib is a 28-year-old five-year veteran in the league.

Taylor Wilson:

The NCAA Division I Council will meet starting Tuesday. The main topic: the elephant in the room of college sports for generations, should athletes be able to make money from their name, image and likeness? The meeting comes after the Supreme Court ruled Monday against the NCAA in a landmark case about athlete compensation. The ruling ends the college sports’ ruling bodies limits on education-related benefits. That includes things like laptops, tutoring, or study abroad programs. And some student athletes will now be allowed to receive cash awards based on academics. More broadly, the decision will likely redefine the entire concept of amateurism. Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in his concurring opinion that many college athletes, “…collectively generate billions of dollars in revenues for colleges every year.” The ruling does not specifically tackle name, image, and likeness, which the NCAA will discuss this week. But new laws relating to so-called NIL rules will go into effect in some states on July 1st. And in his opinion, Kavanaugh wrote that NCAA must give a legally valid justification for its remaining compensation rules. Confused? Well, USA TODAY Sports Dan Wolken is here to break it down.

Dan Wolken:

The institution of the NCAA, which has been part of the fabric of American culture for a hundred years is no longer looked at as a force for universal good in the world. I think people recognize the NCAA does do a lot of good things. They offer a lot of opportunities for people to go to college, but the money has gotten so big that this is essentially professional sports. I think people view it that way now more than ever, and that the distinction that college athletes don’t get paid is not why it’s popular, which is in contrast with what the NCAA has tried to argue in this court and others. I just think you’re seeing further chipping away at this notion that the NCAA is special, that the NCAA stands for something that is wholesome and good. I think you’re now seeing that just the perception of the NCAA has shifted and the people realize it stands for making money and that the student athletes who are building this product, that’s making everybody money, they’re not being fairly compensated for it.

Dan Wolken:

This is a separate issue, in a way, from what the Supreme Court decided to not really address name, image, and likeness, but it’s related in the sense that there was broad acknowledgement that the deal that had been offered to college athletes before, which is you play and we give you a scholarship, is no longer sufficient.

Taylor Wilson:

NCAA President Mark Emmert continues to say he supports proposed rule changes, but he said the council is faced with a decision about whether to make permanent changes right now, or temporarily change the rules while working with Congress on a potential national standard.

Taylor Wilson:

The Senate will probably consider voting rights legislation this week, and maybe as soon as Tuesday. Democrats are pushing the For the People Act, it’s a bill aimed at protecting voters’ rights, increasing election security and mandating independent redistricting. But Republicans have slammed the legislation arguing that elections should be left to states, not the federal government. The bill passed the House on a near party line vote 220 to 210 in March, and one Democrat joined all Republicans in opposing it. In the Senate, Democrats will need the support of at least 10 Republicans to avoid a filibuster and bring the bill to a vote.

Taylor Wilson:

Cases of the delta variant of COVID-19 are on the rise in the US. The variant was first identified in India and now accounts for 10% of all US COVID cases. Health experts warn that the highly contagious variant among unvaccinated people could pose a new threat. Former FDA Chief, Dr. Scott Gottlieb said it could especially trigger a surge this fall if only 75% of the country’s population is vaccinated. Currently 53.4% of the country is at least partially vaccinated and 45.2% is fully vaccinated. In other terms, 150 million Americans are now fully vaccinated and cases and death numbers continue to fall. On Monday, less than 300 people died from the virus. The first time that number has dropped below 300 since the early days of the pandemic in March of 2020.

Taylor Wilson:

It’s the second and last day for Amazon’s Prime Day discounts. Millions of deals are live on Amazon’s site across most categories. Last week, USA TODAY and Reviewed.com gave readers and listeners some tips and tricks for hacking Prime Day this year. Reviewed’s Editor-In-Chief David Kender told 5 Things listeners this week about Amazon lightning deals, and David’s back for a quick explainer on how to find Amazon coupons.

David Kender:

So coupons, they’re a part of the Amazon experience. They are not core to getting a good deal. You don’t need to cut them out of the newspaper, which is great. That’s the way my grandmother used to do it, but you don’t need to do that anymore. Frequently, you’ll see them right on the product page. So let’s say you’re looking at a case of bottled water or something. You’ll see the price. Maybe there’s a sale price underneath it. And then frequently there’s a button underneath to check off to save 10% when you go to checkout, and that’s the way coupons normally look. There’s also a ton of coupon sites out there that maybe you’re familiar with and they’ll have coupon codes. So it’s a part of Amazon, but you don’t need it to get great deals on everything.

Taylor Wilson:

In addition to Amazon, other retailers are offering deals this week to compete with Prime Day. They include Target, Kohl’s, and The Home Depot. For more, head to USA TODAY’s Money section and Reviewed.com.

Taylor Wilson:

Facebook has jumped into the world of audio. The social media giant unveiled live audio rooms on Monday as the company takes on audio-only social media apps, like Clubhouse. Tech Reporter Brett Molina explains on the Talking Tech podcast.

Brett Molina:

The social media giant is rolling out a suite of live audio rooms and podcasts on Monday. Interesting thing about this is it gives Facebook a platform in a new space that has seen a big surge of interest, which follows the rise of audio-only social apps like Clubhouse. If you’re not familiar with Clubhouse, it is a social app. When you open it, you’ll see a variety of different audio focused chat rooms. So you’re not reading anything. It’s just, everyone’s having different conversations and you can pop in and listen. And a lot of the people that are there that host these chats come from all walks of life. A lot of it’s in tech, but you’ll see them in other fields as well. And they’ll discuss certain topics and you can hop in and listen at any time. Clubhouse has drawn more than 10 million users, and it’s amassed a valuation upwards of a billion dollars.

Brett Molina:

So it’s up there with companies like Uber and Airbnb. Now, of course, because audio chats and Clubhouse have become so popular, a lot of other tech companies are trying to get in on it, which is why we see Facebook in there. Also Twitter and Spotify have released their own versions of Clubhouse that they want to roll out to their users as well. The way it’ll work right now on Facebook is only public figures and select Facebook Groups in the US can create live audio rooms on iOS. Then over time, they will expand this ability for more public figures and groups to host their own audio rooms. So what does this mean for you? Does this mean that you’re going to get to create your own audio room soon? Or I will? We’re not quite there yet. Facebook said they’re going to roll this out, it seems over the course of the next few months or so.

Brett Molina:

And really what it means for you is you might see more of these live audio rooms popping up, depending on the group that you’re in, or just in general. Obviously, you’re going to see notifications on your Facebook app that tell you, “Hey, there’s a live audio room started on this topic, come join in,” and you might hop in there and listen and hear a small group of folks talking about whatever the topic is. So that’s how it’ll look for right now. It’s also interesting too, because there’s going to be a select group of podcasts that Facebook users can listen to directly from their app.

Brett Molina:

It’s definitely interesting to see Clubhouse take off, because it feels like the kind of the hottest app of the moment. It’s always funny to see… once you see that trend, all the other companies that kind of follow suit. We saw it with TikTok. When TikTok really started to become super popular, we would see Instagram added its own version of TikTok called Reels. And then Twitter had Fleets, which was their own version as well, and then even Snapchat. Remember when Snapchat was the only app that had stories on it. Now, I feel like every single app we have has stories on it, even the apps that really don’t need stories, but they have them anyway. So this is just kind of the latest hot thing, Clubhouse and this social audio experience. So we’ll see how this grows and develops over the coming months and years.

Taylor Wilson:

You can find full episodes of Talking Tech wherever you get your podcasts. And you can find 5 Things wherever you get your pods as well. A reminder, it helps us out if you could drop us five stars and a review on Apple Podcasts and a special thanks as always to Claire Thornton and Shannon Green for their work on the show. 5 Things is part of the USA TODAY Network.

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