“I have no clue how to handle it.”

We are about a week from the O’Bannon ruling taking effect, and the list of questions that several athletic directors in Power Five conferences told Jon Solomon they still have about what the decision means if it holds boggles the mind.

* How does O’Bannon, which only addresses football and men’s basketball players, affect Title IX? If female athletes don’t get paid, are universities setting themselves up for Title IX litigation? Some ADs are prepared to provide men and women with an equal amount due to public backlash and legal concerns.

* Are walk-on players required to receive cost of attendance and/or deferred licensing money? Wilken used the term “recruit” — for instance, no school can offer a recruit more licensing money than any other recruit in the same class on the same team — but the word “recruit” could mean walk-ons based on NCAA definitions.

* Is the deferred money taxable income? It’s possible athletes would have to pay taxes for each year they’re credited with the new money, even though based on Wilken’s injunction they wouldn’t pocket the cash until they have stopped playing college sports.

* Where is the deferred money — perhaps $5,000 per year — housed until a player’s eligibility expires? Do schools create a trust fund? Do they store the money in their private athletic foundations? Is that permissible under varying state laws?

* Do schools write the deferred money offers into financial aid agreements starting Aug. 1? What if a school offers $5,000 a year to a recruit who accepts the deal and O’Bannon later gets overturned? Does the player still get the $5,000 even if the money conflicts with NCAA rules?

Pardon my French, but what the fuck have these people been doing for the last six months?  Mind you, these athletic directors get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to run their operations.  To be scratching your butt waiting for the answers to appear like the tablets on Mount Sinai ain’t exactly the kind of leadership you’re being paid for, fellas.  But it’s probably the kind of leadership present-day college athletics deserves.

21 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

21 responses to ““I have no clue how to handle it.”

  1. Macallanlover

    WTF, indeed! We have been kicking those very issues around for well over a year and felt those were the key stumbling blocks that had to be worked through. I realize we are almost unanimous (amazing itself) that the NCAA has been totally inept in its ability to address so many critical areas, and often lacked the ability to see more than 15 minutes ahead but seriously? I think how Title IX would impact any monies paid out to athletes was the very first discussion we had. Other than March Madness, why exactly hasn’t the conferences pulled away from this group? And even that money maker could stand without the folks from Indy, just change the name. Disturbing.

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  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    My guess: they’ve been looking for someone (preferably with deep pockets and/or good insurance) to tell them what to do, so they lay off the risk.

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  3. Scorpio Jones, III

    I find your French a bit strong.

    Yes, these folks make good money, but they are in the field they are in because they are not the brightest white lights of the business school…if they were they would be out making themselves billionaires in the global marketplace.

    For the most part, and there are exceptions like Steve Patterson, these are just your average Joe business school guy who hung around an athletic department during school and caught the disease.

    I would doubt that just because they don’t publicly offer their individual solutions does not mean they have not worked out some of the kinks.

    And, some of the answers to some of the questions are self-evident, are they not?

    Pour Instance: Of course deferred likeness money is taxable, and it is taxable when it is taken out of whatever vehicle the school sets up for the athlete.

    Of course a walk-on is a recruit…you think these guys just show up and get issued gear and go to work?

    But hey, I have always been an AD apologist. 🙂

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    • I know you’re our resident genius, but if some of this is so obvious to you, why are those guys – who, presumably may not be the brightest bulbs in the lamp, but certainly have access to those who are – having so much trouble figuring out what to do?

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      • Scorpio Jones, III

        I am not sure they are having so much trouble figuring out what to do. I am sure they dissemble when speaking on the record.

        Don’t these ADs have to wait till the NCAA tells them what to do, after all?

        Are you saying the two examples I gave are wrong?

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        • Scorpio Jones, III

          Actually, what I think they are saying to Jon Solomon is that we got some plans, which we hope will work, we just hope the plans are copacetic with the court and the NCAA.

          Genius is its own reward.

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        • “On the record”? Did I miss where any of them gave names?

          Don’t these ADs have to wait till the NCAA tells them what to do, after all?

          It’s an antitrust case, so they should collude more? Anyway, this is just about figuring out options in the aftermath, and things like Title IX are outside the NCAA’s bailiwick.

          They’re not even making the effort right now… at least the ones who spoke to Solomon. And if I were that clueless, I wouldn’t want him using my name either. 😉

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          • Scorpio Jones, III

            If you talk to a reporter, whether or not he agrees ye shall be nameless or not is irrelevant, it is still on the record.

            Assuming Solomon did not just make it up.

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            • Sigh. I know what on the record means. When a source goes anonymous, the difference hardly matters, does it?

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            • Cosmic Dawg

              No, going on the record means your name is on it. In fact, it’s the exact opposite of being quoted anonymously.

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              • Scorpio Jones, III

                Sorry, Cos…but I disagree. If you tell it to a reporter, it is on the record, whether your name appears in the story or not. The reporter knows who the anonymous source is. Since this is a sports reporter there might be fudge room, those guys hate to lose their press box perks.

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                • Cosmic Dawg

                  My friend with the Blaxploitation handle,

                  The whole point of saying “I’m going on record” is that you’re saying something publicly – you’re taking a stance with your name on it. As in, “he went on the record” in the Senate saying such and such. That’s why a reporter from previous eras with more discretion might ask, “can I quote you on that?”

                  When you tell a reporter, “this is off the record”, you’re generally trying to give him back story so he can better write his article or understand your POV.

                  The reporter will ask if he can use what you told him, and you may reply “no”. But you may also reply, “yes, but don’t you dare put my name in the paper as saying this, I’ll catch hell.”

                  At that point, you are NOT “on the record”. You are specifically trying to stay OFF the record. The reporter may have trustworthy, factual information accumulated from several anonymous sources whose names he personally knows, but none of them went “on record” unless he uses their names.

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                • Scorpio Jones, III

                  Cos, trust me, I understand your perception of what “off the record” with a reporter is. What I am saying is that despite not using names, a reporter with more than shit for brains takes notes, records, etc. and thus the public may not know the name, but the reporter and his or her editor knows the source’s name, thus it is on the record. The name may not be published, but it is on the record.

                  That’s all I am saying.

                  Blaxploitation? are you saying the name my daddy gave me is somehow exploiting blacks…shit I feel bad about that.

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                • Cosmic Dawg

                  No, no, no. It’s not my perception. Somebody can write something in their diary and it’s “recorded”.

                  “Off the record” means “I never said that” or “you didn’t hear it from me”. The distinction between On the Record and Off the Record is EXACTLY whether or not their name is publicly attached to the statement. Not if they made the statement in confidence – even to a reporter.

                  And if your dad actually gave you that awesome name, you need your own B-movie film franchise. Playing a spy.

                  In the 70’s.

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        • AusDawg85

          Well, your example about deferred compensation is likely wrong. Check IRC section 409A. Lots of rules and issues to be addressed, but failure to do so will likely mean immediate taxation prior to receipt of the actual money.

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          • Scorpio Jones, III

            Please God, Aus, can’t I just take your word for it?…please don’t make me read IRC section anything…I’ll have a headache for two weeks.

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            • AusDawg85

              Just fishing for any deferred comp geeks on here. 😉 Unless the IRS (or Congress) specifically exempts these deferred payments from current income then they will have to be structured very specifically according to law or the players will have to find the cash now to pay the taxes. Unintended consequences indeed…

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  4. Chuck

    I am pretty sure that’s Saxon, not French, having been in use for centuries before the Norman Conquest…. 😉

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  5. Cosmic Dawg

    What’s always interesting and sad to me is the economic loss, waste of energy, and string of unintended consequences that follow endlessly through the years when you try to benefit one powerful group by restricting the freedom of a less powerful (or less organized) group.

    In this case, we have:

    The NFL antitrust exemption creates a roadblock for people with marketable skills by forcing them into a traditionally “amateur” environment.

    However, although they’ve restricted the “supply”, there is still huge demand for / big money to be made on those skills sitting untapped. So the NCAA, individual colleges, video game manufacturers, and memorabilia dealers jump through hoops, act illegally, lie to themselves and each other, etc, because there’s money on the table. Money that should rightfully be going (in whole or in part) to the owners of those skills.

    NOW – in addition to ridiculous enforcement of NCAA amateur rules, the ripple effect of exempting 32 or so NFL teams from anti-trust legislation is forcing an insane amount of energy and money to be expended by other people and institutions to address crazy issues like calculating COA, the effect of Title IX, etc.

    All to protect a handful of NFL teams. We’re looking at the symptoms, not the disease.

    It’s the same with the drug war, with healthcare since WWII, retirement planning, and in a thousand other places where legislation and our economy overlap but shouldn’t. So many sectors rigged – it’s not only unfair for the buyers and sellers in those markets, it’s a ridiculous waste of time and energy.

    (btw – if you think govt should be involved in healthcare, cash grants to the poor would be the solution, not cronyism disguised as charity-minded legislation)

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