Mr. Conventional Wisdom goes to antitrust court.

Hey, Tony’s got this whole player compensation thing sussed.

And there are two realities that the powers that be in college athletics have to face at this point in time:

1—Maintaining the status quo is no longer an option. We have reached a critical mass where something has to be done. If not, there are hundreds of lawyers who can’t wait to take on the system because they know they are going to win. And the NCAA member institutions know it too.

I’m not a lawyer but I raised one and I think a pretty strong case can be made that the current rules on this constitute a restraint of trade.

Oh by the way, Congress can’t wait to jump in on this one with both feet. Representative Mark Walker of North Carolina has introduced a bill that would strip the NCAA of its tax exempt status if it doesn’t allow the players to test the market place to see what their name, image, and likeness are worth.

2—You can’t just pay the players for services rendered. You can’t. As much as some players and some fans would like to just cut the guys a check and be done with this issue, there are clear reasons why that can’t happen.

Title IX says that if football and men’s basketball players get a check from the school, then the members of the volleyball team get the same check. It doesn’t matter that football and basketball generate billions and volleyball does not. College athletics is a multi-billion business but it operates under the umbrella of an educational institution.

If players are paid, then they become employees. If they become employees then they can unionize. If they unionize they can strike over compensation and benefits.

Does anyone want to tell him the players are already being paid?  Eh, what’s the point.

By the way, if you’re looking for your dose of quintessential Mr. CW, check out his conclusion:  “If this can gets kicked down the road again, it will get very, very ugly.”

And to think you can get that kind of deep analysis for free.

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38 Comments

Filed under Mr. Conventional Wisdom, The NCAA

38 responses to “Mr. Conventional Wisdom goes to antitrust court.

  1. 0400Dawg

    “I’m not a lawyer but I raised one and I think….”

    [Facepalm]

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  2. Greg

    Don’t see the colleges as being the only bad guy here. Make the NFL change the age limit, give them a choice.

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    • The NFL has an antitrust exemption and is a union closed shop … that ship sailed a long time ago.

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      • Greg

        Challenge it, it changed in the NBA.

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        • Clarett tried and lost.

          How many high schoolers are ready for the NFL?

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          • Greg

            Don’t know…besides, didn’t say high schoolers….said “age limit”. Maybe to 19, could be some ready by then. If they have the talent, let the pros develop them. Sort of like what happens in college.

            Not against paying them, maybe a small stipend for incidentals. Maybe what they can make off their name. How much??..who knows.They know the rules going in (college). Not a lot to complain about and a lot to be thankful for imo.

            Just saying, that the pros play some part in this….for those that think it is unfair.The colleges are not alone.

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          • Kevin

            Herschel could’ve gone straight to the NFL

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        • Gaskilldawg

          Who do you propose challenge the NFL’s age restriction? A player, Maurice Clarett, sued the NFL and the courts upheld the age limit. Do you contend that the NCAA would have standing? If so, why? And if so, why would the NCAA be more likely to win than Clarett did?

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          • JCDawg83

            The NCAA could force the NFL to change the rule by changing some NCAA rules if they wanted to. If players had to be accepted to the school they were going to play for BEFORE they could be awarded the scholarship or be on the football team, the NFL would have little choice but to create a farm system.

            The current system benefits the NFL and the NCAA too much for either side to make any changes unless something drastic happens. The NFL gets a free developmental league and the college programs get a cash cow.

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            • Sort of like now. The players don’t actually get the scholarship until they incur the obligations for which the scholarship pays. In other words, they have to be admitted before they get the scholarship.

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  3. chopdawg

    Not much doubt about the worth of player names: $25. Ledbetter, Nauta, Holyfield, and Hardman established that, at the Bookstore this past G-Day weekend.

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    • JCDawg83

      I think most of the players would be surprised, not in a good way, with how much their name and likeness was worth.

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  4. Tony Barnfart

    Look, we talked about tort reform around the Thanksgiving table !

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  5. DawgPhan

    I love that every college football thinks that they are a title IX expert and they think that currently football players and volleyball players are getting exactly the same resources and money.

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  6. CB

    Tony’s take would have been relevant in 2011.

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  7. Rocksalt

    His second point is the strongest. There has to be some way to get the players compensated without opening the floodgates for the other varsity sports. The school – and all the others, because it’s an institutional bias dontcha know – will be sued out the wazoo as soon as ample space for the Women’s Lacross Team star midfielder’s jersey isn’t made available in the bookstore right next to the Heisman candidate tailback’s. “More people show up for football and basketball” will not survive Gloria Allred’s onslaught. And then, when Lacrosse jerseys don’t fly off the racks we’ll have another lawsuit (and a Congressional inquiry!) to explore the institutional disparities that exist which lead to distortions in the market for male athletes’ jerseys. So-on and so-forth.This is the barrel that I think the NCAA institutions are staring down.

    Therefore, the $$ out of pocket for the schools needs to be a general stipend of some kind, and then after that the players get to make money off of their likenesses and their likenesses linked to the school. That’s the best (though not sure-fire) way to get the players to realize their relative value in the marketplace, while still being “fair” to the other scholarship athletes.

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    • The Olympic model deals with all of the Title IX issues.

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    • Title IX isn’t nearly as black and white as you insist it is. The law requires equal opportunity, but doesn’t mandate equal spending. If it did, then presumably all athletic budgets would have to be in sync with football.

      Georgia just spent $60+ million updating the football stadium. I don’t think anybody’s yelling for the same kind of money to be spent on women’s gymnastics.

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      • Rocksalt

        You’re likely right – and more likely to be right than I am. After all, I’m not a lawyer, but I do play one on social media.

        $60mm to Football doesn’t mean an equal amount has to go to the Equestrian team for sure – just an equitable or comparable amount. What I’m driving at is that I think the perception changes quite a bit when you’re talking about money spent that benefits a faceless “program”, and money flowing directly into the pockets of male student athletes to a significantly higher degree than their female counterparts. It’s the optics of the thing that will motivate the legal action. That, or the argument that contributing $10mm a year to facilities AND $500k a year to player compensation results in a new calculus for what is equitable under Title IX. the male athletes will be “double dipping” with the large sums put into their programs and the large sums going into their wallets.

        I believe that you pay a stipend to all, equally – or “equitably”. Then the signature on a LOI instantly creates a mutual licensing agreement between the athlete and the school. That way, if a tailback wants to sign UGA jerseys and profit, then fine. And if UGA wants to put “Gurley” on the backs of the jerseys in the bookstore, then fine. And if the head of the Equestrian team wants to put her name and a UGA logo on the side of some tack store somewhere, fine too. sort of a “eat what you kill” approach.

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      • UGA women’s tennis was the top ranked team in the country most of this season. They’re out performing the football team in their respective sport and the stands at the Magill facility are built out of wood and ready to fall over.

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    • I am a lawyer. I have actually read Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. I have also read the regulations of the Department of Education that apply. My reading of the law differs from yours.

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  8. TimberRidgeDawg

    Senator…

    How would you propose to handle the Title IX problem which is direct conflict with the free market principles which have generated this horde of cash specifically due to the demand for college football. You can extend the question to non revenue men’s sports as well but Title IX brings unique challenges due to Federal Law legislated gender equity. Not a bad thing but without the money from football and to some extent basketball, there would be no reason to be having this discussion.

    I would say let the athletes get paid on based on their fame and likeness like any professional and take the question out of the hands of the schools completely but I can also see how that could be converted into some kind of institutionalized program to make sure that car dealers throughout the south always have a few guys from the team on hand on weekends to participate in their sales events and have loaner cars free of use. So even there there’s the concept that programs could use the advantage of legally paying athletes but do so at artificially inflated rates.

    If this goes unfettered free market then with no salary caps, then those with the deepest pockets are going to win because they will be able to offer greater opportunities for athletes to maximize their value. Big market and small market economics.

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    • Junkyardawg41

      I think Title IX is going to make the paying of players problematic. I think going with NLI also becomes problematic. Questions I have include:
      1 – Does this introduce NFL agents into the market as middleman to secure future services?
      2 – How much does the school receive from the players endorsement deal if they are in school? (e.g. Todd Gurley potential endorsements at UGA is much higher than his endorsements at Georgia State… same player but brand matters)
      3 – How soon before the big apparel companies become the pickers of recruiting classes. E.g. Your endorsement deal is tied to you selecting a specific school? (See current College Basketball “scandal”)

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  9. The likeness issue for compensation seems to be an easier mark for the student athlete…no matter the sport, if that jersey, shirt, pants, sweater, hoodie has UGA, Georgia, Bulldogs… then the University should receive compen$ation…should Walker, Gurley, Pollack be on the back of said garment with 34, 47 or 3 identifying with that individual (licensing is an issue) compen$ation should go to that student athlete at the end of the year, when they graduate, leave school, whatever…just put “He Hate Me’ on the back of my jersey and don’t compensate me!

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