“But Todd Gurley or any of these scholarship athletes would be penalized if they did the same.”

Seth Emerson does the Lord’s work and interviews Georgia representative Billy Mitchell ($$), who plans on introducing a bill in the next session that would essentially replicate California’s recently passed Fair Pay to Play law.  I’m not going to repost the Q&A — that’s what subscription fees are for, folks — but there are two things worth sharing with you here.

One is that Mitchell insists he’s already done the legwork to assure Emerson that his bill will have bipartisan support (“But to your point, no question about it this will be bipartisan legislation.”).  Given the way the legislature has acted in the past to provide support to Georgia football combined with the threat posed by surrounding states emulating California’s work, I never really doubted that, but if you were skeptical, there you go.

The other is that this sounds so damned reasonable:

My emphasis is this: We want to have good, wholesome sports. But as you know, we have so many student-athletes that come from financial backgrounds that the temptation to leave school early and not really take advantage of a college education, or the temptation to do certain other things that would get them penalized as a star scholarship student-athlete, is far too great. We need to be able to compensate them in some way. Do we need to make them millionaires? No, that’s not the intent of this legislation. But we need to put them on parity, I believe, with other scholarship students.

It shouldn’t be that hard to find a middle ground here.  Except, of course, that one of the parties isn’t acting in good faith…

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UPDATE:  More grist for the mill…

Ain’t no way our state government’s letting that go unanswered.

48 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Political Wankery, The NCAA

48 responses to ““But Todd Gurley or any of these scholarship athletes would be penalized if they did the same.”

  1. I think these laws are good for the student-athlete. What happens when this runs up against NCAA eligibility rules and the compliance rule book?

    The NCAA can still declare a student-athlete ineligible and throw the book at the university for “loss of institutional control.” I don’t think the existence of a state law can do a darn thing about it, but then again, I’m not a lawyer.

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    • ETDF

      Is this akin to the legalization of weed in some states? Its not federally legal in any of the states yet we still have state laws allowing it. Unless I am mistaken?

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      • ASEF

        There is no federal law or rule about name and likeness contracts.

        It’s more like car rentals. NY and Michigan will allow under 21 to rent cars. Every other state allows car rental companies to refuse. Just a state by state thing.

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      • A little different … you can the laws that legalize it, but the NCAA’s rules state you can’t do this and comply with NCAA’s rules

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    • Gaskilldawg

      The NCAA could declare an athlete ineligible even if all 50 States pass such laws. It won’t happen, however. The member universities will find it in their best interests to vote to make the NCAA rules consistent with State laws.

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  2. ugafidelis

    What’s wrong with them being millionaires? If athletes can make a million off their likeness in school, that will sure come in handy if they don’t make it in the NFL.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bill Glennon

    You can’t compensate them enough in college to take away the allure of a pro contract. If you are “not going to make them millionaires” but they can be millionaires by going pro, then why stay in school? That’s a fantasy.

    They are legislating this as window dressing. It’s just virtue signalling by local politicians. I’m sure the local college coaches support it. Why not? There will be federal legislation that will override what the states will do anyway, so none of this matters.

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  4. Bill Glennon

    That’s your whole point. It’s emotionally satisfying to take an anecdote and make it a sound byte. It’s good clickbait.

    But the issues here are complex. You can say that the players are slaves and the schools are plantations as you have blogged before. I get the clickbait juice of that.

    However, the money that the schools bring in for men’s football and basketball goes to women’s sports. How many women are going to make money when their sports lose money? What’s your solution that is compliant with Title IX?

    What about the competitiveness problem? If big market football schools can pay more because of lucrative gates and TV contracts and population centers, how do smaller schools in flyover country compete? Won’t this worsen the problem?

    How does this capitalistic model work in a landscape of college player free agency? How does it work in college with 18 year olds when the professional sports have anti-capitalistic restrictions like salary caps, rookie contracts, antitrust exemptions and cap hits to insure a competitive landscape?

    Does any legislation deal with any of these issues?

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    • I’ve never said the players are slaves and I’ve never bought into the plantation BS. What I have said is that there’s no justifiable reason to treat college athletes differently from other college students.

      However, the money that the schools bring in for men’s football and basketball goes to women’s sports. How many women are going to make money when their sports lose money? What’s your solution that is compliant with Title IX?

      There are numerous schools that don’t have revenue producing sports to fund non-revenue producing ones. Somehow they manage just fine. Title IX, of course, doesn’t apply to a third-party NIL setting. It also mandates equal opportunity, not equal funding. (If it did, the women’s basketball coach would be paid similarly to the men’s.)

      What about the competitiveness problem? If big market football schools can pay more because of lucrative gates and TV contracts and population centers, how do smaller schools in flyover country compete? Won’t this worsen the problem?

      This argument has been thoroughly debunked so often, I’m surprised you raise it. How, exactly would the problem worsen from the existing lack of parity?

      How does this capitalistic model work in a landscape of college player free agency?

      I don’t know what you mean by “work”, but if you’re referring to player transfers, perhaps the NCAA could get off its ass and come up with something to address your concerns. Or, there’s always the possibility of schools and players entering into contracts that restrict a player’s ability to transfer. As long as that’s something freely and knowingly entered into, I’m fine with that.

      How does it work in college with 18 year olds when the professional sports have anti-capitalistic restrictions like salary caps, rookie contracts, antitrust exemptions and cap hits to insure a competitive landscape?

      College football isn’t a monolithic structure in the way that pro sports are. There’s no way to insure a “competitive landscape”, whatever that’s supposed to mean, although I will point out that the antitrust plaintiff’s lawyers point out there’s nothing that would stop the individual conferences from competing with each other in the absence of the NCAA’s mandate.

      How emotionally satisfying is it for you to throw your hands up and say “we can’t know what will happen, so we have to stick with what we have”?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Got Cowdog

        For the life of me I cannot figure out why people keep dragging “Universities paying players” into this. It’s about NLI. The University has no responsibility in it other than collecting their share if the player capitalizes off their brand.
        Regarding slavery, there is a pretty good podcast put out by NYT, “1619”. It’s worth a listen if you are a history buff.

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      • Bill Glennon

        This argument has been thoroughly debunked so often, I’m surprised you raise it. How, exactly would the problem worsen from the existing lack of parity?

        Large schools and schools near big population centers would be able to attract better players because the players could make more money because those schools have more money to pay them. Good players at smaller schools could transfer in for the money via free agency. The best players are concentrated at certain P5 schools, and other schools can’t compete, leading to even more declining interest in the lesser schools revenue making programs.

        Show me specifically how your proposal would work where this wouldn’t be a problem without referring to generalizations or dismissive snark.

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        • Large schools and schools near big population centers would be able to attract better players because the players could make more money because those schools have more money to pay them.

          Schools wouldn’t pay for NIL. Is Tuscaloosa a big population center? How ’bout Clemson?

          Good players at smaller schools could transfer in for the money via free agency.

          They can transfer now, anyway. Are you simply opposed to them doing it for money? And again — that can be managed by smarter NCAA regs and/or contract provisions.

          The best players are concentrated at certain P5 schools, and other schools can’t compete…

          Unlike now, you mean?

          You’ve got nothing here, which is why you’re getting non-stop snark from me. Maybe you can use that to lobby the Georgia general assembly to stop this in its tracks.

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      • Bill Glennon

        I’m not saying we should stick with what we have, but I also believe in incrementalism and common sense. There should be a full vetting of the pros and cons without hyperbole and virtue signalling.

        On that score, I am not holding my breath.

        However, I don’t get why someone who is as obviously as interested and well-read as you on this topic, is so reluctant to address any of the potential problems with changing the system. They are not going away, and the monied interests in preserving the status are going to point them out with a bigger microphone. The reality is that there are a handful of male athletes in skill positions playing major sports who will benefit from selling their likeness for 1-2 years while in college. That is not a big, enduring constituency. Is it going to survive the sausage-making that will be coming up on this? What happens when women athletes realize they aren’t going to get paid for their likenesses at the same rate as men and complain? Are you expecting congress to ignore them and adhere to the “free market”? Does the women’s rowing team member get the same stipend as Tua?

        How do you reconcile the “free market” proposal with the current societal obsession with “fairness” and “equity?”

        Do you have a proposal or can you point one out that is comprehensive?

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        • Got Cowdog

          First rule of holes, Bro

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        • What happens when women athletes realize they aren’t going to get paid for their likenesses at the same rate as men and complain?

          Seriously, what do expect would happen?

          I don’t get this. The UCLA gymnast was denied the opportunity to monetize her performance after it blew up on YouTube. You don’t think she wishes otherwise? If there are only a handful of males who will profit, why do you GAS about women being jealous? For that matter, why is jealousy only a significant issue in this particular setting?

          I don’t understand why you expect me to have answers when I don’t know what the legislature and the market are going to do. I can’t predict the future, yet that seems to be an all-consuming issue for you. I don’t have specific proposals in mind; I simply think that the current structure is both unlawful and un-American.

          Your questions and concerns are all things that could be addressed in negotiations if the NCAA was a good actor. If you’re upset about the uncertainty of the future, instead of being exasperated with me, you might do better pointing your finger elsewhere. In the end, what’s likely to happen is that the schools get much less say in the future after the dam breaks than they would now if they sat down and worked out a compromise, which is what the states seem to be offering by having the new laws go into effect in 2023.

          You’ll probably blame me for not seeing that, too.

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          • Bill Glennon

            You think the NCAA is going to sit down and negotiate with 50 state legislatures? How will that work?

            I’m not saying you should have all of the answers. I just don’t understand why you don’t want to ask any questions. Shouldn’t we at least consider what might happen if we throw out the amateur model with addressing the potential consequences?

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            • Shouldn’t we at least consider what might happen if we throw out the amateur model with addressing the potential consequences?

              I keep pointing out that players are getting paid and they’re getting paid more in the past few years. The “amateur model” is whatever the NCAA says it is.

              And who’s this “we”, anyway? You and I are going to get to set the parameters somehow?

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            • You think the NCAA is going to sit down and negotiate with 50 state legislatures? How will that work?

              Right now, if they sat down with California and cut a deal I suspect that would mollify every legislative body out there making moves.

              But they won’t.

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        • Former Fan

          The argument that women won’t get paid the same just makes me cringe at times. For some women, their ONLY opportunity to be paid for their NIL is while they are in college. There are fewer pro opportunities awaiting them in sport after graduation.

          So lets not use that “college women will be paid less” argument to keep some of the college women from being paid at all.

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          • Bill Glennon

            I’m not using that argument. I don’t care. But go tell that to the US Women’s soccer team. I don’t think they are convinced by the supply and demand arguments.

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      • Bill Glennon

        “I’ve never said the players are slaves and I’ve never bought into the plantation BS.”

        Dude. C’mon.

        https://blutarsky.wordpress.com/2019/06/11/life-on-the-plantation/

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        • The article referred to the plantation.

          You’re stretching.

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        • trbodawg

          Dude, C’mon indeed. . .

          “Those quotes didn’t come from me, they came from a school president seventy years ago. The point to this post wasn’t to lob inflammatory accusations, but to point out that player compensation has been part of college football’s rich tapestry for many moons. And despite that, you seem to keep hanging around.”

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    • By the way, all the OMG hand-wringing you do over player compensation shouldn’t obscure the reality that players over the past few years are already getting paid more and the republic hasn’t yet collapsed.

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  5. Mayor

    Make no mistake—-this is the end of the NCAA if that organization doesn’t adapt. Personally I hope the NCAA doesn’t. I’ve been saying for years that we need to get rid of the NCAA. It’s a corrupt organization run by incompetent uncaring assholes seeking only personal gain.

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  6. Derek

    The issue that continues to be avoided is how you stop:

    Bubba Bama Booster Endorsement Inc., from forming for the express purpose of pooling money and recruiting kids to Alabama via bullshit endowment contracts with the player and Th wit entire extended family?

    No one answers why this is acceptable either.

    Yay future!

    Seems stupid to me.

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  7. Hobnail_Boot

    So let me get this straight.

    Paying players transparently will make them more incentivized to stay in school instead of leaving early for bigger pro money?

    Does anyone actually believe this bullshit?

    If that’s really a selling point, then make them stay for 4 years so they can graduate.

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  8. DawgPhan

    You would think that UGA fans, more than most, would understand why NLI rights for student athletes should be a top priority.

    Imagine all the heartache and pain we could have avoided if selling a ring, jersey, or your own name was just legal.

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