NCAA hopes that Congress will save it from devastating antitrust liability based on NIL rules

Senate Holds Hearing On NCAA Athlete NIL Rights
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The NCAA is caught between a rock and a potentially devastating antitrust lawsuit.

Faced with a long-overdue reckoning regarding a corrupt business model that consistently has refused to give fair value to the athletes who generate it, the NCAA has an immediate dilemma regarding name, image, and likeness laws that become effective in six states next Thursday. What does the NCAA do as to the other 44 states?

At one extreme, NCAA rules that persist in the flat refusal to allow athletes to profit from their fame become clear targets for another antitrust class action. At the other extreme, it’s open season and/or free enterprise, with individuals who have something worth buying able to sell it — the very foundations of a capitalist society.

Via TheAthletic.com, NCAA president Mark Emmert therefore hopes to provide “temporary guidance” for the member schools while the NCAA asks Congress to pass a national set of rules regarding the ability of athletes to sell their NIL rights.

But why should Congress save the NCAA or, more accurately, become complicit in the NCAA’s corruption? If someone wants to pay an athlete for autographs or personal appearances or whatever, so be it. As many say whenever the federal government pokes its nose into matters of sport, Doesn’t Congress have better things to do?

The NCAA made this mess and then refused to clean it up for years, profiting dramatically from its existence. The NCAA should not be entitled to a solution that both protects it from liability and prevents the ability of athletes to capitalize on their fame.

Meanwhile, the NCAA needs to wake up and smell the blistering concurring opinion authored by Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Although the specific ruling in the Alston case was narrow, the NCAA would be foolish to hide behind it. The next shot from the Supreme Court will be something far more serious than a flesh wound; the next shot will be a death blow.

More accurately, it will be confirmation of the death blow that Monday’s narrow ruling, as amplified by Justice Kavanaugh, delivered, once lawyers and athletes and administrators come to terms with the fact that the game is over.

15 responses to “NCAA hopes that Congress will save it from devastating antitrust liability based on NIL rules

  1. Every time there is a story about this this we get multiple commenters whining that a scholarship is sufficient “pay” for college athletes. The interesting thing about those commenters is that they never went to college.

  2. gibson45 says:
    June 23, 2021 at 8:34 pm
    Every time there is a story about this this we get multiple commenters whining that a scholarship is sufficient “pay” for college athletes. The interesting thing about those commenters is that they never went to college.
    ==========================================
    I don’t care either way. I think the athletes should be able to have endorsements and things like that without long eligibility. However, I also believe that a student getting a free ride to play football (or any other sport) that will equal upwards of $600k (or more) is pretty fair as well. This is why people are whining and crying about their $500k college tuition debt because they couldn’t go to a smaller school, they had to go to one of the most recognizable colleges in the country

  3. “If someone wants to pay an athlete for autographs or personal appearances or whatever, so be it.“

    Talk about corruption. Now the boosters have free reign to funnel as much cash to players as they want. That’s all fine, but the landscape of college sports will be destroyed within the next five years. Players will be bought and sold like cattle. 15 and 16 year olds will have agents. And 95% of these players are not professional athletes. Only 5% will ever see the inside of an NFL locker room.

    An athletic scholarship is a great way for tens of thousands of kids to get their college paid for. But now, when all the money is funneled to the elite programs and the elite players, most scholarships will dry up.

  4. I doubt that congress will want to travel that path to aid the NCAA. Not because it is the right or wrong thing to do, but simply because the politics of such a course of action would likely blow up in their faces. It is unlikely that congress will step in to help “the sport” as they did with baseball decades ago. Times have changed, and it is time for the NCAA to quit pocketing their multi-million dollar profits at the expense of the people who make it all happen.

  5. Just a guess but congress will rescue the ncaa somehow because politicians rely on boosters too.

  6. Completely agree that college employees (football players) should be paid. I also recognize this will bring an end to big time college football by 2030. This will turn into a complete circus as the fake amateur mask is ripped off. There is no Sheriff. The States aren’t going to enforce any rules on colleges in their own states and the Feds aren’t going to waste time on enforcing some unenforceable “rules”.
    This will be the SMU 1985 football business model on steroids. Buckle your chin straps.

  7. This will change college sports dramatically. Wealthy Boosters will now be working directly with the Athletic department to secure recruits. It will start this year with Arch Manning. He could be the first million dollar plus recruit. Transfer portals will be full as players who have a good year follow the money to the higher paying schools.

  8. gibson45 says:
    June 23, 2021 at 8:34 pm
    Every time there is a story about this this we get multiple commenters whining that a scholarship is sufficient “pay” for college athletes. The interesting thing about those commenters is that they never went to college.

    ******************

    Lol – no.

    People are (rightfully) pointing out that the idea that athletes receive nothing of value in exchange for their play is absurd. A 6 figure scholarship has REAL value – especially in light of the student loan debt in this country.

    Sincerely – someone with a degree and zero student debt due to working and paying it off myself over the last 6 years.

  9. If I were a bean counter at an NCAA school, I’d be looking at taking pay for student athletes right out of the crazy compensation packages of head coaches.

    The money is already there. They just need to move it around to the correct places.

  10. Some of you clearly have no idea what college tuition costs. The only way that scholarship is worth “500k,” as someone claimed above, is if that student played at an Ivy League school or something similarly expensive. Generally speaking, even with room and board and even if you’re paying out-of-state tuition, most state colleges (and the overwhelming majority of major programs are at state colleges) aren’t going to have more than 50k in total costs. The question then is whether the pay the athlete receives is commensurate to the benefit the team provides to the school. I don’t know the standard college football roster, so let’s say it’s 150 players. That means the cost spent on players is $7.5 million. Alabama brought in $164 million in revenue in 2019. Does anyone actually believe the players were responsible for only 5% of that revenue generation?

  11. ” The interesting thing about those commenters is that they never went to college. “. And you know this, How? I went to college ( Masters @ NSU )and completely disagree with the ruling. These athlete’s became famous BECAUSE of the NCAA. Simply put, without the NCAA, they’d be flipping burgers. Not sure about you, but making 60-70 THOUSANDS dollars as a High School graduate is quite impressive (never mind the housing, supplies, medical etc.) that the NCAA offers. If YOU (the athlete)want a college degree or a stage to show case your talents, then either receive the above stated benefits OR pay for everything yourself, but you’d have the right to sell your autograph. Life is full of choices, give the athletes them, but don’t cry when you never make it to the Pro level, but at least you’ll have a degree.

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