Tick, tock.

It bears repeating that one of the NCAA’s biggest shortcomings is its aversion to being proactive.  It’s an attitude that’s cost it before and now, with regard to NIL compensation for college athletes, if there was a time to get in front of a problem — problem that no other than Mark Emmert has called an existential crisis, mind you — this would appear to be it.

The NCAA has a choice. It can get on board or risk getting run over. It can craft legislation that embraces change or invite change being thrust down its intransigent throats.

There is still time to get ahead of California’s Fair Pay To Play Act and the like-minded legislation gaining traction in other states; still time to create a progressive national policy on the compensation of college athletes; still time to act before Congress asserts jurisdiction.

That time, however, is not unlimited. Though California Bill 206 does not take effect until 2023, other states and multiple U.S. Congressmen are contemplating similar legislation on faster tracks.

The optics for schools are bad.  The politics are building momentum in a direction the schools oppose.  Even people in the business who don’t like the new California law admit there’s some need for change.

“I do think there are a lot of things we can do for student-athletes to give them more opportunities and more money, but don’t think (the California bill) is the right way to do it,” New Mexico State football coach Doug Martin said. “In my opinion, this is going to destroy college athletics. States like New Mexico, you are not going to have college athletics. Only the power conference schools will be able to survive this in my opinion because they are going to have the money to do it. Nobody else is going to be able to sustain what they are doing.”

If you think it’s apocalyptic, why on earth would you let state legislatures and Congress dictate the change instead of working hard to head that off with proposals you generate and convince others of their merits?

“They can be proactive or they can end up being reactive and it will be done for them,” Ridpath said. “I agree with the NCAA that it should be able to make its own rules, but the rules have to be constitutional. They have to be fair. And I think, honestly, from the federal perspective, they have to be forced. And this is eventually going to force them to do something.”

That’s the bottom line here.  If you don’t want politicians dictating the terms of your business to you, don’t give them a reason to do so.  You’d think a guy who is facing an existential threat would have all the motivation in the world to be proactive.


Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

11 responses to “Tick, tock.

  1. These coaches and administrators are scaremongering about the California bill. Trading on NIL done right won’t cost the universities one cent more to the student-athlete than what it does now.

    It would enable what TG3II did to be done aboveboard. Nothing more, nothing less. It doesn’t require pure pay-for-play.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, exactly. Having a kid sell trucks for the local dealership or charge $10 for his autograph doesn’t cost universities a dime. And I think you could make the point that the kids that would benefit the most from this come from states where there are not professional sports, aka, small markets. Places like Nebraska and New Mexico. And that window is small for kids that don’t move on to the next level. The NCAA doesn’t have to do anything but get out of the way.


  2. chopdawg

    This is from the NAIA’s website, under Acts Permitted by NAIA Amateur Code:

    “A student may receive compensation for working for summer camps, recreation programs, municipal centers and private clubs, but the student must be paid a reasonable wage and only paid for the time the student has worked. Students may not receive compensation for promoting or endorsing a product or commercial venture.
    A student may receive compensation for coaching an amateur, recreational or interscholastic level team as long as their wage is reasonable. If a student coaches at the intercollegiate level, the student’s wages must be sent directly to that student’s institution per Article II, Section B, and be distributed as athletic aid.
    A student may receive compensation for the use of their name or picture to promote a commercial product or enterprise as long as there is no reference to the student’s intercollegiate athletic participation, institution’s logo, name, or marks. Finally, the student must receive the same wage amount as anybody else being used for this type of promotion.”

    What would be wrong with the NCAA adopting these rules?


    • Dawgflan

      Paragraph 3 is too subjective and seems to contradict Paragraph 1, but otherwise sure. I don’t like the idea of individual promotions/endorsements. In addition to the licensing items in my post below, the idea of them being able to teach/coach/work and having it flow through the school as noted above is reasonable. Can even be setup for kids to monetize YouTube videos, etc. and have it come through the school. The NCAA along with every conference and school already have the bean counters taking in payments and routing to the right accounts. The complexity and burdens are being overblown.


  3. Dawgflan

    If only there was an existing partner that the NCAA could turn to to help craft a sensible approach and manage all the complexity: http://www.clc.com/

    Look, it would likely change over time, but I think they would put out a lot of the fires with a few bare minimum proposals:

    1) Take 25% of the licensing fees for NCAA video games and divide it equally among the entire rosters for that year. These aren’t currently on the shelf due to this issue, so win-win-win.

    2) Take 5% of the TV money and divide it up among the entire rosters for televised games.

    3) Allow each team to sell autographed TEAM posters and paraphernalia, and divide 50% of the profits equally among the players on that team. Could do the same thing with All-Conference, All-American teams.

    4) For players that have never transferred, allow Juniors and Seniors names/images to be placed on licensed apparel and give them 50% of the licensing fees for those SKUs.


  4. Reading some of the statements Mr. Emmerts spits out is one thing….see the video of those same comments (2-5 year old interviews) exiting his face brings to life how short sided the ncaa is being ahead of potential speed bumps, that leaves a negative impression with the public at large


  5. 69Dawg

    The NCAA has the Winston Churchill mentality, “we will fight them on the beaches…” Unfortunately the NCAA does not have an island to defend but the bad PR this is getting them is the final straw.


  6. It’s all about the $$$$.


  7. Drain the [NCAA] swamp!


  8. WHB209

    There is still time to get ahead of California’s Fair Pay To Play Act and the like-minded legislation gaining traction in other states; still time to create a progressive national policy on the compensation of college athletes;
    Sen. B.

    Dear sir,
    How can the NCAA get involved with player’s pay if they do not have an
    antitrust exemption from Congress? All major pro leagues have this exemption, which allows them to have a say in pay, salary cap, team payroll cap and other such thing regarding money.
    Fifty different State laws or twenty different league rules will not stop the legal buying and selling of players.