‘Who wants to defend this?’

Revealing nugget from Jon Solomon’s piece on former NCAA infractions committee chair Jo Potuto, who, by the way, as one of the few people associated with the NCAA who doesn’t appear to have her head stuck up her ass, ought to be in consideration should the day ever come when Mark Emmert is deposed:

Top NCAA leaders have privately debated for years how to defend its model as the games became more commercialized. Their answer for keeping it: Losing the amateurism component loses operating as a nonprofit with tax benefits and control over policies.

“If it becomes a version of the professional model, why would you go see an athlete in college who looks like a pro when the pros play better?” Potuto asked. “If they’re college students, that has to mean something.”

I don’t think I’ve ever seen the gap between what the suits want and what the fans want described better.  And in a mere two paragraphs!

Potuto – gasp! – is even willing to entertain the heretical notion that college players should be able to profit off their names.  She’s unconvinced it will be the end of the republic.

“I don’t know that it would be such a terrible, dramatic, awful thing,” she said. “We should look at what it looks like and talk about what maybe the consequences might be. If boosters involves themselves in ways that tilt things, maybe you say the players can’t get the money until they leave school. I think it’s worth looking at seriously instead of worrying the house will fall down.”

On the other hand, Potuto believes economists should create a model that accurately shows the monetary value of college players.

“”What I think we would find, to the chagrin of a lot of college athletes, is their value in name likeness is not a whole lot, and a lot of it comes from wearing the name of their school on their shirt,” Potuto said.

Clearly this woman is too reasonable to be entrusted with a position of responsibility governing college athletics.



Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

21 responses to “‘Who wants to defend this?’

  1. Scorpio Jones, III

    “Clearly this woman is too reasonable to be entrusted with a position of responsibility governing college athletics.”



  2. Lrgk9

    Ahh, the voice of reason crying out alone from the belly of the beast.

    But, Despots often bury them like a Boston Snowplow operator buries cars.

    Napoleon asks Metternich what it will take to invade Russia. Metternich reasonably replies it is out of the question as it will cost a million men’s lives and endanger France to England.

    Napoleon’s reply ‘What’s a Million Men’s lives to a man like me?’

    Anybody want to take a shot at Emperor Emmert’s answers to Potuto’s rational replies?


  3. Macallanlover

    She has more of a sack that Emmert but then, who doesn’t? I think she is also the one who had the confrontation with Cheetz-ick about the Newton investigation at SEC days, and maybe the one who clearly articulated in November, 2010 the NCAA rule that a family member taking money from a school/boosters would be a violation. Wonder who among the NCAA staff didn’t have the reading comprehension skills that woman had?


  4. AthensHomerDawg

    “Never go against the Barners when a NC is on the line.”


  5. The other Doug

    She brings up a good point about the real world value of the athlete’s names. What’s an AJ Green jersey worth if it’s not an UGA jersey? My guess is not much unless you are a rogue booster or agent runner.


  6. Cojones

    I’ve never thought it was a good idea because we can’t control every dickhead that will take advantage of players getting paid. It opens up such a conflagration of bonfires that we can’t possibly imagine all the memory soiling that can take place except by witnessing the fire-brand who is proposing it self-immolate. .

    She proposes that it would be good to investigate and work out all possible scenarios of student-athlete pay beforehand….well, ok. I’m never against trying. Even though we elderly are looked to for the wisdom gained from our failures, I still find myself literally pissing into the wind (last week I barely jumped out of the way in time). Yep, we can bang our heads against that wall until we have satisfied ourselves that “opening Pandora’s box” is just a gutter expression that has no reflection of reality.


  7. DawgByte

    Sorry, but you’ve got it all wrong and so does this Potuto chick. The millisecond you change college sports into a form of amateur pay for hire scheme, you’ll have ruined it FOREVER. It boggles my mind that anyone would think otherwise. Money is the root of all corruption, adding more to the college athletics is not even remotely close to the right answer.


    • Dog in Fla

      The last thing the Plantation needs is a Potutu-based redistribution scheme


    • mp

      The money’s already in college athletics – the question is allocation. I guess we can put you down in the “those kids get a free education, they should be happy with that” camp as the athletic departments fall all over themselves to find new ways to eke out every last dollar in the system.


    • Darrron Rovelll

      So the NCAA hasn’t had corruption before now? Virtually every other major athletic organization that at one time required amateurism as a tenet for participation has abandoned it. While there are those who claim the NCAA form of amateurism is designed to avoid workers compensation rules, it actually dates back much further than that. It was modeled after the European school system athletic model, as was the Olympic revival.

      The amateur movement is designed to keep out those of different ethnicity, of lower socio-economic classes. As the popularity of collegiate athletics has grown along with the revenues, the fact that the NCAA continues to prop up amateurism as a virtue for the participants while the organization, its members and employees reap billions and millions in benefits is laughable.


  8. Always Someone Else's Fault

    She raises some interesting points about player marketing value. Let’s say Johnny Manziel has to sign the same sort of waiver that grad students do: “Texas AM owns everything that you produce that can be plausibly connected to Texas AM resources.” How do you even begin legally to separate earning values in a free market environment?

    In other words, would the NCAA take a Disney-esque approach to intellectual property arrangements (“Yeah, it’s hopelessly lopsided, and you’ll like it.”), or would they follow a model like the professional leagues (“Do what you want, but you can’t use any of our intellectual property at all”)?

    I think we all tend to assume it would an NFL-type model, but I’m thinking the looming Big Boy Division would follow more closely in the footsteps of Disney – craft a legally defensible, lop-sided agreement, and if you don’t like it, have fun playing somewhere else. That’s what I read behind Potuto’s comments.


  9. DawgPhan

    It is utter non-sense to act like these football players are doing it for free. It isnt just the scholarships, it is everything. We just spent 2 weeks going over the fiscal arms race. Who is the beneficiary of most of that extra money being spent? Student athletes.


  10. Monday Night Frotteur

    Not impressed. We already have the model she describes as the “professional model,” and have had it for decades. Kids at TAMU won’t stop going to football games because Johnny Manziel’s college experience doesn’t have anything in common with their college experience (and he isn’t nearly the scholar they are, obviously). They’ll go because they want to win. Non-aligned football fans will watch on TV because he’s the best at his age. Sports have gone from amateur/fake-amateur to fully professional before, and it always increases interest and revenue in the sport. CFB would be the same.

    And like all bureaucrats, her proposal for allowing players to benefit from their likenesses involves more bureaucracy. That should be a non-starter. Programs should have to bid against each other to offer “student-athletes” the best terms. Perhaps Georgia would ban players from selling jerseys altogether, while Alabama would allow it but only on clothing that didn’t have Alabama’s trademarks on it, while Auburn said “anything goes.” After awhile, everyone would probably be where Auburn was, and despite what this lady’s economists would be paid to say the players’ *everything* is “worth a whole lot.”


  11. Darrron Rovelll

    Perhaps someone can explain to me how the NCAA would lose its tax exempt status by relinquishing its hold on amateurism? The NFL, PGA, and the NHL are all non-profits.

    I can see where it may affect some classification of the donations to athletic associations, but if the NFL can be a non-profit so can the NCAA.