Mark “They are our students, so we don’t pay them” Emmert’s organization is getting ready to take up a new proposal.
… Currently, the NCAA bars companies from using an athlete’s name, image or likeness in advertisements, promotions or other ventures. That would change if the legislation gets passed.
The initial proposal, for instance, would allow game footage of current athletes to appear in TV ads, as long as the ads mention the name of the athlete’s institution. Companies could publicize sales events by saying athletes would be present to sign autographs.
In both cases, the sponsor would benefit from the athlete’s image or presence. The school would benefit with money from the sponsor. The athlete would remain unpaid.
What’s particularly nauseating is how shameless the rules’ proponents are about them.
… Baylor law professor Michael Rogers doesn’t deny money plays a crucial role in the legislation. Rogers is chairman of the Amateurism Cabinet and helped write the original proposal, which he defends despite widespread concern that caused amendments to be written.
“We want to find additional corporate sponsors who share the values of the institutions and the conferences,” Rogers said. “We were told that the (existing) rules were too complex and that some companies that might be interested in being a sponsor were staying away because they felt like it was hard to comply with.”
Rogers said he doesn’t believe the original proposal exploits athletes, but added that exploitation “is in the eye of the beholder.”
Well, to this eye, it doesn’t seem like a very close call at all. Telling someone that he or she isn’t allowed to profit by trading on his or her name while raking in the bucks doing the same thing is the essence of exploitation. And, no, a scholarship doesn’t justify that. After all, there are plenty of low profile student athletes who receive the same benefits from their schools that the kids who are prized by sponsors do.
When Rogers talks about “the values of the institutions and the conferences”, I guess he’s including corporate hypocrisy. He’s sure not referring to amateurism.
If this passes, I hope the NCAA gets fried in the O’Bannon case.