Go back and read this quote from Mark Emmert about paying college athletes:
“I don’t like that idea, I loathe that idea,” Emmert said. “I can think of all kinds of compelling reasons why not to do it. I can’t think of a compelling reason why to do it. . . . There’s a constant discussion that we ought to stop pretending that student-athletes are amateurs, that they’re really professionals, that they ought to be paid.
“I understand that perspective, but I just profoundly disagree with it.”
Even if you buy that argument and extend it to prohibiting players from profiting from their own names, how can the NCAA deny payment to former players? Once they’ve left school, there’s no amateurism left to protect. To me, this is where the NCAA’s sanctimony turns into something more akin to basic greed.
I still think the O’Bannon suit (and the eight others) wind up getting settled, but I have to wonder if Emmert is blind enough to believe his side will prevail. It’s a helluva risk. If the NCAA loses, would Emmert stick by his convictions strongly enough to walk away from a revenue stream that, even if shared, would likely be significant? And if he were, do his member schools share the same sentiment?