Colleges located in the biggest state in the nation could be excluded from competitions for the biggest prizes in college sports. Supposedly.
In response to an effort by California to consider allowing college athletes to earn money from their names, images, and likenesses without losing their amateur status, the NCAA has suggested that those schools could be kept from attempting to win national championships.
“We recognize all of the efforts that have been undertaken to develop this bill in the context of complex issues related to the current collegiate model that have been the subject of litigation and much national debate,” NCAA president Mark Emmert wrote in a letter to California legislators, via USA Today. “Nonetheless, when contrasted with current NCAA rules, as drafted the bill threatens to alter materially the principles of intercollegiate athletics and create local differences that would make it impossible to host fair national championships. As a result, it likely would have a negative impact on the exact student-athletes it intends to assist.”
That’s a fancy word salad that carries at its core a very real threat.
California’s potential effort to give student-athletes a fair path to capitalizing on their skills, abilities, and sacrifices makes plenty of sense. But the NCAA continues to stubbornly refuse to allow those who are most responsible for making money in college sports to get any of their own. It’s an inherently corrupt and unfair system, and it continues to operate in plain sight, with the likes of the NFL enabling it via the rule that forces players to spend three years playing college football before finally earning a proper living.