While the NCAA likely doesn’t have any idea what to do about the impending collision between widespread legal gambling and amateurism, you can be damned sure it’s feverishly preparing for its coming payday from sports betting. Start with this:
As of this morning, the NCAA has still not announced plans to allow college athletes to control their own names, images and likenesses…
However, the NCAA does not move equally slowly on all potential initiatives.
When it comes to monetizing revenue streams related to its college athletes, the NCAA shifts from operating at a snail’s pace into Speedy Gonzales.
Early this morning, the NCAA was proud to announce the launch of its newest initiative: monetizing college athletes’ game statistics. According to an article that appeared this morning on Bloomberg.com, “the NCAA has signed a 10-year partnership with the U.K.-based Genius Sports to centralize the data, and ideally make some money off it.”
While there is no doubt a financial benefit for the NCAA in mining player statistics, one is nevertheless left to wonder what the NCAA plans to do with this data, and why this initiative was consummated even while other, presumably more important matters remain unaddressed.
One hypothesis, raised by Ebon Novy-Williams of Bloomberg.com, is that the NCAA’s data mining initiative could mark a first step toward the NCAA selling data to companies for gambling-related ventures. Indeed, such data could emerge as a valuable revenue stream given that, also today, the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act — a statute that had disallowed for state legalization of sports gambling in 46 of 50 states.
What a happy coincidence! Although “you can’t sell your names, only we can sell your names” admittedly isn’t the best look right now… not that anyone at the NCAA is likely to give a shit as long as the checks roll in. Besides, it’s only what’s on the front of the jersey that matters, amirite?
Oh, and let’s enjoy this amusing analogy.
First, and placing emphasis on the phrase “sports betting right”, such fees would account for the derivative quality of sports betting: Leagues provide the games upon which bets are made. Leagues then expect to receive a portion of the share, much like a player or musician expects to receive a portion of a royalties associated with others trading on their identities or talents.
Well, some players, anyway.
I can hardly wait to hear Emmert and Delany twist themselves in verbal knots explaining the difference between the NCAA goose and the student-athlete gander. Somehow, I won’t be surprised to hear it all justified as being in the best interest of the player, who, after all, is only there to get an education.