Talk is cheap, chapter two

Larry Scott wants you to know he’s not a bad fellow.  Or at least he doesn’t think he’s a bad fellow.

… And let me be clear — I am not defending the status quo. The Pac-12 Conference, of which I have been commissioner since 2009, along with other conferences around the country, have been pressing for NCAA reform that would reflect the evolving needs of student-athletes, allowing for increased academic support, improved student-athlete health care, and enhanced athletic scholarships up to the full cost of attendance. I am confident reform is coming within the NCAA in the next few months, and soon universities will be allowed to provide this additional support for student-athletes.

Keep pressing, Larry.  Soon will come any day now.  Patience, student-athletes.  These things take time.  After all, who could have seen the evolving need for improved student-athlete health care coming?  Well, other than Walter Byers and every other suit who’s followed his example since… which, now that I think about it, would include you, Larry.

You really want to do something about that union threat?  John Infante suggests it wouldn’t be that hard.

The response to the NLRB decision from Scott and other leaders in college athletics has been that reform is necessary, inevitable, and on the horizon, but unions are the wrong way to go about it. All student-athletes have to do is wait, just a few of months according to Scott.

One problem: the leaders of collegiate athletics are running out of time. The NCAA and college athletics will not and maybe cannot fix themselves overnight or all at once. It will be a process of first not getting any worse, then getting better over time. But to have the time to do that, the NCAA and its members need to earn back a sliver of trust that they will follow through.

To do that, they should not wait months or weeks. Larry Scott could get the athletic directors and presidents of the Pac–12 on the phone tomorrow and have them vote to guarantee everything the union is asking for that is allowed under NCAA rules. The conference could make it a requirement that institutions provide these benefits and assurances. They could even agree to provide cost-of-attendance scholarships and outside income opportunities as soon as the NCAA allows them.

The most effective argument against unions is to demonstrate they are unnecessary by providing the protections and improvements a union would fight for without the fight. At the moment, institutions and conferences acting on their own can one-up the union by extending these guarantees to all athletes, including walk-ons and sports other than football.

You’re supposed to be a cutting edge guy, Larry.  Maybe it’s time to prove that in some other way than building a television network.



Filed under Look For The Union Label, Pac-12 Football

9 responses to “Talk is cheap, chapter two

  1. AthensHomerDawg

    “The loss of any athletic program would be a blow to the valuable access and opportunity athletics afford to many students on our campuses.” Larry Scott
    Obviously Larry hasn’t been told this:
    “Rather than spend money on expanding sports for women, many universities have instead cut men’s teams in order to comply with the proportionality method. The practice is frowned upon by the Office for Civil Rights, but it is not prohibited.”


  2. W Cobb Dawg

    “Larry Scott could get the athletic directors and presidents of the Pac–12 on the phone tomorrow and have them vote to guarantee everything the union is asking for that is allowed under NCAA rules.”

    What a load of naive b.s. ‘Guarantee everything they’re asking for’!? Unions (and yachts) wouldn’t exist on this planet if management/ownership gave the employees such a fair deal. That’s the eternal struggle over the size of the pie slice.


    • South FL Dawg

      I wonder how many of us would be willing to work for a government mandated wage. Me personally, I would not.


      • W Cobb Dawg

        You mean like just about all government employees – cops, teachers, military, etc. etc. already do?

        I worked for the state for a few years. Really enjoyed the job, but the pay sucked and I was easily lured away. As I approach retirement I really wish I had that gov pension though.


        • South FL Dawg

          Nah come on, the government doesn’t force you to accept a wage because you are free to go work somewhere else, which you did. College football players don’t have another avenue for playing football, and the NCAA makes them sign away the right to make money from their name. But never mind endorsements, I think if only players could play professionally out of high school we would not be here today.

          The funny thing is I always thought players were getting enough. But that was before the TV money, naming rights, postseason games, etc. started raining money into the equation. Then I saw how that money was being spent – not on education, but on fatter salaries for the coaches and administrators. It became a question of how would I rather see that money spent….and since I can’t force them to put it into the academic side, I’d rather have more go to the athletes. Maybe that’s just me. Free to disagree though.


  3. Dog in Fla

    Larry mans up on Let Me Be Clear

    “Yes, those are strong words. And let me be clear — I am not defending the status quo.”