Here’s an observation of mine from my post about the O’Bannon ruling:
Her ruling in this area may have bigger ramifications than its impact on the NCAA.
Michael Hausfeld, a lead attorney for the O’Bannon plaintiffs, said his team will now consider whether to take any legal action against networks for use of players’ NILs.
“It’s an open field right now because of the antitrust violation,” Hausfeld said. “We’re going to have to take a look at what our next letter might be to ESPN or CBS or Turner. We’ve been looking at it. For example, maybe we don’t go to the larger networks, but go right to the Big Ten Network or Pac-12 Network. Here you have a conference with a most direct relationship to an athlete. They’re clearly use the name, image and likeness.”
Larry Scott’s decision to go it alone on the Pac-12 Network looks more and more expensive every day.
So guess which conference commissioner has the most strident reaction to Wilken’s decision.
Mike Slive takes it in stride.
“We are pleased that the judge recognized the educational component of college athletics, and the importance of integrating academics and athletics in this decision. There are a number of legal questions of some significance that must be answered to fully understand the ultimate consequence of this decision, and how to comply with it.
Together with the change in NCAA governance that was approved just a day earlier, this decision reemphasizes the fact that we are going through a historic evolution of the landscape of college sports and it is incumbent upon all of us to be thoughtful and deliberate in building a better future for our institutions and our student-athletes.”
In other words, as long as nobody screws with autonomy, he can live with it.
Bob Bowlsby? Copacetic.
Bowlsby said the ruling did not move to anything that would be perceived as professional sports and that the “collegiate model” remains largely intact.
“This operates inside the higher education environment, and the fact that the payments for name, image and likeness can’t be manipulated prior to departure from school, I think is a pretty significant distinction,” Bowlsby said. “I don’t think it’s anybody’s perfect solution, but I think it falls short of having an open marketplace where the individuals are differentially compensated.”
So how about the guy who owns a network? He’s not too happy.
“We fundamentally disagree with the O’Bannon court’s ruling that the NCAA and our collegiate model violate anti-trust laws in any way. Our system provides untold opportunities and beneficial life experiences for the almost 7,000 Pac-12 student-athletes every year, and we are intent on improving the system to do even more to benefit young people for generations to come. While we plan to support the NCAA on their appeal of this ruling, we will be working with our institutions to develop next steps in the event the appeal is not successful.”
Maybe Larry’s just more concerned about student-athletes than his peers. But I bet his presidents are wondering if he’s as smart as they thought he was a year ago.