It’s a real pleasure to outsource to Brian Cook the skewering of all the bad takes out there in the wake of California’s Fair Pay to Play Act becoming law. You should read the whole thing, as it’s full of examples of what I like to refer to as pseudo-economic rationalizations — just say you don’t want to pay players and leave it at that, folks — but I can’t help but zero in on what might be the dumbest rationalization referenced there.
If there is no value in an individual college athlete’s name because it’s all derived from the school’s brand, then why is anyone worried that the star quarterback might get more bank than his offensive linemen? After all, they’re all wearing the same jersey, right?
This is totally detached from reality. It should also help you understand how I can dismiss so many arguments in support of maintaining the status quo while respecting the underlying feelings of romance for it. Although if you are a romantic, the NCAA’s cynical milking of those feelings and its enablers’ support of that ought to offend you.