Today, in doing it for the kids

I don’t know if you heard about Zion Williamson’s injury last night, caused by one of his shoes literally falling apart.  Shoe deals are one of college athletics’ abominations, purely for the financial benefit of schools and coaches, with the product forced on the student-athletes, regardless of quality.

Even if you’re a staunch defender of amateurism, I don’t see how you can begrudge this small gesture.

First, remember that, no matter what silliness you’re told, NCAA amateurism is not a purely ‘no-pay’ amateurism. The NCAA bylaws say that any player benefit, pay, or special arrangement is perfectly fine if “expressly authorized by NCAA legislation.” The NCAA can vote to provide all players with candelabras, or pickup trucks, if it wants.

Zion Williamson got hurt not just while wearing a shoe provided for the commercial profit others enjoyed: the cause of Williamson’s injury was the shoe. He provides the promotion, with no pay; he should not be required to assume all the cost of injury. NCAA legislation should be immediately passed to require that any D-1 school shoe or apparel contract include a provision mandating that the shoe or apparel provider fund loss-of-value insurance for any basketball or football player.

It’s not like the bastards can’t afford it.

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24 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

24 responses to “Today, in doing it for the kids

  1. Biggen

    Loss of value insurance? That’s a bit of an overreaction.

    How many 100,000s of thousands of NCAA athletes have played throughout the years in shoes provided through these deals and actually gotten injured? I can think of only one. Nike will make this right. They want good PR.

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    • Biggen

      *100s of thousands.

      I wish we could edit posts for a period of up to 10 minutes or so. Typing comments on tablets leads to grammatical errors often.

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  2. ASEF

    Zion has been a “Nike” player for awhile now. It’s a big reason he picked Duke. Also major rumors about a sizable shift in family financial fortunes, courtesy Nike, as Zion moved into his transition year between college and pros.

    Zion picked Nike and limited his recruitment to Nike schools.

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  3. Atticus

    Here’s a thought, don’t agree to the contract or the school that forces you to. Or go play in Europe. Or don’t take the money that you are being paid under the table. I am amazed at this idea of “forced” servitude as in these kids being taken advantage of….it’s honestly laughable.

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  4. Atticus

    Here’s a thought, don’t agree to the contract or the school that forces you to. Or go play in Europe. Or don’t take the money that you are being paid under the table. I am amazed at this idea of “forced” servitude as in these kids are being taken advantage of….it’s honestly laughable.

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    • Gee, since we’re playing the “here’s a thought” game, how about the NCAA quits running an illegal cartel?

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      • Atticus

        Don’t disagree with you on that the NCAA is a mess. But this endless discussion about kids being taken advantage of is ridiculous. They ARE being paid. Research it. Both legally and under the table. They receive tremendous benefits not afforded to other non revenue student athletes. If they don’t like the system, the school, the sport, the coach don’t play. Problem solved.

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        • The question isn’t whether they’re paid. They are. The question is whether they’re paid what they would earn in an open market. Zion Williamson isn’t even close by that measure.

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          • Atticus

            That’s ONE freaking player. For every Zion there are 5 stars NOT delivering the revenue. So don’t play go to Europe.

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            • So as long as it’s only ONE freaking player who gets screwed, we’re good, eh?

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              • Sides

                Zion should give up 70% of his value so all the other less talented/motivated/interesting NCAA athletes can have their fair share.
                Sincerely,
                NCAA and the Democrat party

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              • Atticus

                How is he screwed, he is getting a free education from Duke, tons of benefits, working under Coach K and he signed of his own free will.

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                • C’mon, man. This is a topic that’s been beaten to death here.

                  Do you honestly believe if Williamson worked in the same kind of setting you and I do, he have to settle for education and Coach K? What kind of fortune do you think he’d earn just off being compensated for his name, likeness and image?

                  I get that you prefer amateurism, but don’t pretend there’s no cost to any student-athlete.

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                • By the way, speaking of being screwed and free will, if he elected to sit out the rest of the season to protect himself for the NBA draft, would that be okay, or would we brand him a selfish bastige for turning his back on his teammates who were counting on him not using his free will anymore this season?

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                  • reality check here

                    Is there a reason he can’t file a product liabilty suit? If his injury affects his future earnings he should do that

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                  • reality check here

                    I see that Duke paid $50,000 for a $8mm insurance policy of he drops below a top 16 pick. That is as it should be, but not enough to completely indemnify him. There are plenty of people who would advise him to sit the rest of the season and I wouldn’t criticize him if he did. I’m glad his injury is reportedly minor.

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  5. Just a reminder that the reason Zion isn’t getting paid right now by a NBA team is an NBA rule. And that Zion went to Duke expressly to build his brand and make himself more valuable as a Nike endorser. That doesn’t make the NCAA set up a good thing or even a bad thing “balanced by other factors.” But the NBA and Nike are getting a ton of free marketing and added value out of this arrangement as well. So, kind of ironic that Nike got egg on its face last night.

    I wonder what would happen if the shoe companies lobbied hard (read: leverage their financial support) for the NCAA to go Olympic model with athletes that shoe companies deemed worth an investment in high school. Start with P12 schools. They’re desperate.

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  6. FlyingPeakDawg

    Man you guys misunderstand these contracts. Nike is going to sue Zion and own his pro contract for the bad PR related to his causing the shoe to blow out and getting himself injured. #Nikeisthevictim

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