Show them the money.

I don’t know if you caught the news, but the plaintiffs in the O’Bannon suit have filed a motion asking the court to expand the scope of the claim dramatically.

… O’Bannon seeks a judge’s permission to expand the class action to include current D-I football and men’s basketball players. O’Bannon does not ask that current players be paid while in college. Instead, he wants a temporary trust set up for monies generated by the licensing and sale of their names, images and likenesses. Players could access those trusts at the completion of their collegiate careers. A star college quarterback like USC senior Matt Barkley, for instance, generates significant monies for USC and the Pac-12 Conference. Under O’Bannon’s proposed trust, when Barkley finishes his time at USC, he would receive money for four years’ use of his name, image and likeness. Under an economic formula proposed by O’Bannon, players would receive half of the NCAA’s broadcasting revenue and one-third of video game revenue, with the remainder of revenue staying with the NCAA, conferences and colleges.

I’m skeptical the judge will go along with this, but I can’t say this argument in particular doesn’t resonate.

… O’Bannon also dismisses the series of documents student-athletes are required to sign as part of their participation in college sports. These forms require student-athletes to accept the NCAA’s use of their name, image and licensing. If a player refuses to sign these forms, he will be deemed ineligible to play, which could jeopardize his athletic scholarship and ability to afford college. O’Bannon repudiates these forms as “contracts of adhesion” or unenforceable no-choice contracts.

Does anyone think any current football/basketball stars are likely to join O’Bannon’s suit?  It sure would be interesting if that happened.

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13 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

13 responses to “Show them the money.

  1. DawgPhan

    that is a lot of cheddar for the players.

  2. …he will be deemed ineligible to play, which could jeopardize his athletic scholarship and ability to afford college.

    Riiiiiight. It’s about the education when it is beneficial to be about the education. Be careful what you ask for… even if you have a point. If the NCAA has to give up that much of its revenue, don’t expect the players to be rolling in it all of a sudden. I could see players being required to graduate to receive the stipend… after all, it’s about the education.

  3. Darrron Rovelll

    I hope several of them do sign up and the this last bastion of “amateurism” will finally start to crumble. It is ludicrous to think that a player gives up his likeness rights forever simply because the NCAA wants to hold onto an antiquated business model that is fundmentally flawed and inherently elitist.

  4. Scorpio Jones, III

    I thought a “contract of adhesion” was when you super-glued yer fingers together. I can see some interesting meetings with players about joining the suit. Which meetings would then become further fodder.

    Senator, since this is sorta what you do for a living, why don’t you give us an idea about the chances this thing has for ultimate success.

    • This isn’t even close to what I do for a living, so all I’ve got is pure talk-out-of-my-ass. The NCAA has a good track record with this sort of litigation. Former players have a shot at winning, but I don’t see current players prevailing.

  5. What fresh hell is this?

    If there is not a graduation requirement, wouldn’t this be an incentive for some (poorest) to leave school early?

    If there is a graduation requirement and the student becomes academically ineligible, or for some other unforeseen reason cannot finish school (i.e. is Sabaned out of a scholly), is he not compensated?

  6. Cojones

    You know, this could be an incentive for players to make their # famous. Of course, you don’t want to have AJ’s # if you want to sniff the gold.

    If a player makes a jersey famous enough to cause great profits to ensue from it’s purchase, what’s the odds that player will be poor when he moves on? That do make for a conundrum of reasoning, don’t it?

  7. Always Someone Else's Fault

    The “image and likeness” thing is going to be a winner for the players. The formula for a division of broadcast spoils, not so much.

    We do not watch CFB for the individual players. If AJ Green and Julio Jones had both gone to Marshall, following in the footsteps of Randy Moss, I would have watched exactly zero more Marshall games.

    Most of the players playing NCAA sports are being used to one degree or another – but I think it’s the sure-fire future pros that get used the least. It’s the bottom of the rosters, which see so much turn-over in all the sports, where kids are getting left out in the cold.

    I would love to see the NCAA – or at least the top tier of schools – guarantee the academic side of the scholarship, no matter what happens to the player’s roster status.

  8. Boz

    NCAA has created a welfare state with its distribution of scholarships and the rich revenue generators (footbal/basketball) paying for the poor revenue takers (everything else). How do the balance of college sports survive in the wake of 33% less football/basketball revenue?