“It’s harder than ever to defend [the current NCAA model]…”

The NCAA may have its head stuck firmly up its ass when it comes to amateurism, but Dennis Dodd reports that the conferences are already gaming out scenarios in the wake of losing Alston vs. NCAA.

Privately, though, there seems to be a general a feeling the plaintiffs will win, setting off alarms with which the NCAA is familiar. Alston is not the first legal challenge to the NCAA’s hide-bound amateurism model. But the cumulative effect of all those court cases may be a chipping away of the NCAA’s DNA. Without that one-of-a-kind amateurism model that exists nowhere else in the world, critics have wondered whether the NCAA would have any remaining worth.

Reacting to an Alston win, conferences at least have to consider what sort of compensation they would offer. That’s what makes Alston unique. Those plaintiffs have found their best chances of winning are to endorse a model that leaves compensation up to the conferences.

In significant issues like this, conferences don’t agree on much of anything.

Remember, the plaintiff in Alston doesn’t seek relief mandating that conferences have to compensate athletes.  It simply asks the court to prohibit the NCAA from restricting the conferences from compensating athletes.  If that becomes the status quo, every conference would be free to set whatever limits it prefers.  (Ironically, that was the status quo prior to 1956.)

If you think the conferences are money-chasing whores now, wait ’til you see what happens if they have to start sharing the wealth with the hired help.


Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

10 responses to ““It’s harder than ever to defend [the current NCAA model]…”

  1. RangerRuss

    That last sentence is why I like this blog. Language that I understand and is the truth.


  2. Flying Peak Dawg (formerly AusDawg85)

    So it will be left to guys like Larry Scott to decide whether to pay more, win more and thus get more TV revenue, or pay less, keep more and get enough TV revenue? Glad I’m not a PAC 12 fan.


  3. Jason Anthony

    Senator – are you saying NCAA athletes were allowed compensation prior to 1956? If so, how was the compensation determined? Can you give us some examples as to the compensation paid to certain athletes?


    • Read the linked piece for starters. You can do a Google search on the subject and find out more.

      There are plenty of old timers who can tell you about how schools like Georgia attracted talented athletes in the 30s and 40s by lining up “jobs” for them.


  4. DoubleDawg1318

    Just adopt the Olympic model already and save the conferences the trouble.


    • The intransigence at this point is remarkable to me. Either the NCAA is that shortsighted or it’s simply determined to squeeze every drop it can from the money flow as long as it lasts, damned the consequences. And with that kind of thinking, Mark Emmert is getting a contract extension.


    • Really … the absolute stupidity of the NCAA and its member institutions is stunning. Katie Ledecky would probably still be swimming for Stanford right now. Hell, Tiger may have stayed at Stanford for longer. Herschel may have never taken that call from the USFL.


  5. Chopdawg

    Cost-of-attendance stipends for Alabama scholarship football player was set at $5,386 for out-of-state players and $4,172 for in-state players, according to information the university provided to CBSSports.com in 2015.

    From the article the Senator linked above: “$4,000 is available to each family of a Final Four participant to travel to the games. Bowl gifts (capped at $550 per player) seemingly are a reward for playing football.”

    So–if the 2015 numbers are still accurate–an out-of-state scholarship football player at UA this season will receive up to $9,936 in compensation, depending on the value of the “bowl gift.”

    Isn’t that enough?


  6. Russ

    Since I’m convinced that playoff expansion is happening soon, and will irrevocably change CFB (for the worse in my opinion), I’m hoping this lawsuit blows it up even further. It will be entertaining to watch the conferences go nuts trying to pay the best players while some organization (NCAA? Bowl coalition? who?) tries to get them all together for a national league/playoff system.

    As someone on The Athletic said, just call it the NFL D-League and be done with it.