You may say Donald Remy’s a dreamer…

So yesterday, the NCAA took the position that since it’s possible another organization could choose to pay college players, there’s no antitrust problem.  No, really.

NCAA economic expert Lauren Stiroh testified that if, as the plaintiffs allege, college athletes are meaningfully restricted under antitrust law from being paid for their names, images and likenesses, universities outside the NCAA would be attempting to “fill in the gap” by paying players.

“So some rival NCAA would try to round up other schools not in the NCAA?” U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken asked, sounding skeptical.

Stiroh explained that numerous college athletic associations could pay players, starting with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Since O’Bannon economic expert Roger Noll previously said the NCAA doesn’t compete with these associations, the market should correct itself if there’s an NCAA restriction based on antitrust analysis, Stiroh said.

… Grand View University in Iowa, the NAIA football champion last season, reported athletic department revenue of $6.3 million in 2012-13. Florida State, the national champion in major college football, listed its revenue at $89.1 million.

NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said it’s not a question of whether the NAIA or others have the finances to be competitive. Rather, Remy said, Stiroh’s point is that within the context of antitrust analysis, other organizations that don’t have the NCAA’s alleged restraints could compete in that space by paying players. Remy cited as an example the USFL’s entry into professional football to compete with the NFL.

“There’s no restraint on the rest of the world from developing the product that the plaintiffs’ lawyers want and competing against the collegiate model of athletics that the NCAA has had for 100 years, and say ours is better,” Remy said.

You can stop chuckling any time now.  Since we’re engaging in hypothetical possibilities, here’s mine for the day – let’s say that a number of NAIA teams with wealthy alums/boosters wake up one day and decide to take Remy up on his invitation, and let’s say further it turns out they’re wildly successful channeling Donald Trump hiring Herschel Walker so that both elite recruits sign with and established D-1 players transfer to NAIA programs.  What kind of song would you expect to hear Remy’s constituents warbling then?

About these ads

7 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

7 responses to “You may say Donald Remy’s a dreamer…

  1. Deutschland Domiciliary Dog

    In fact, why couldn’t a Grand View University enroll Herschel, himself, to complete his college eligibility? Not to mention a whole slough of others who have unused eligibility.

    Don’t you think ESPN would be interested in NAIA college football then?

  2. Lrgk9

    Talk about throwing “stuff” against the wall hoping something sticks…

  3. sniffer

    …and he’s not the only one.

  4. James

    This is so awesome. What’s the stop anyone who’s ever been accused of anti-trust or being a monopoly from using this defense? John D. Rockefeller should have just argued that if the world didn’t like Standard Oil controlling the entire market, the market should have just created a new Standard Oil. It doesn’t matter if no one has the finances to be competitive.

    • Monday Night Frotteur

      Exactly. Also, she’s trying to sneak in a legal conclusion in an economic opinion. Very subtle, but the sign of an organization losing badly at trial.

    • Cosmic Dawg

      I could be wrong, here, but I believe the difference in the cases of the “robber barons”, the government didn’t step in to provide protection for the industries, they just did what they did so well they beat all the competition, and in many cases prices actually dropped dramatically for the consumer.

      We can have protection against monopolies or allow monopolies, imho, so long as the laws are the same for everyone. The problem is that these major sports organizations are protected industries and subsidized. You can’t compete with the NFL AND Uncle Sam.

      • James

        I don’t know all the cases, but: Standard Oil did most of it’s damage by buying the competition and either integrating or shutting it down. They also grew by lowering prices to drive out the competition, furthering their market share and then raising the prices back up (referred to as predatory pricing, which is really just game that rewards the company with the most capital to float). There’s nothing particularly fair about either of those approaches to building a monopoly, and it’s definitely not “beating out the competition”.

        The NCAA has kind of done the same thing — except instead of buying everyone up, they simply collectively joined forces to build market share, so that (and this is exactly what they’re talking about above) there aren’t any schools left who have the financial resources (ie revenue potential) to build a competing college sport league that can provide an actual alternative to the NCAA. And then the NFL has their 3 year rule to boot.

        The NCAA nor any of the sports leagues other than the MLB are actually protected under an exemptions, and other than pro sports venues, they aren’t subsidized (the relevant ADs I mean, schools are obviously). The NCAA has simply colluded, while the non-MLB pro sports leagues have adapted their by laws and also allowed for player unions to do collective bargaining. That’s why the NCAA is going to have to either by more like a pro league (ie let players collectively bargain, rather than the current bullshit situation where they just put excess funds into administrative salaries) or do something incredibly radical.

        By the way, in the time it took me to write this, the stoops brothers just got a $500,000 raise. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/oklahoma-coach-bob-stoops-gets-182113569–ncaaf.html