This should end well.

I know I’ve been met with varying degrees of skepticism and frustration for daring to suggest that the NCAA would be wise to head various legislatures off at the pass with regard to all the bills regarding NIL rights for college athletes by attempting to negotiate a compromise instead of following its usual path of maximal opposition.

Why do so?  Well, to start with, there’s the obvious legal threat if the organization continues to dig in its heels.

In the end, the NCAA’s sustained efforts to maintain rules barring athlete endorsement deals is a foolish move that will back the trade association into a legal corner with irreversible damages. NCAA rules, which are a product of the agreement among member colleges, are reasonably subject to antitrust challenge. If the NCAA were to truly attempt to ban member colleges for complying with state laws that require colleges to allow athletes to engage in free-market transactions, the NCAA would very likely be found to have engaged in an illegal conspiracy to restrain.

Beyond that, there may be a bigger threat — state legislatures could up the ante.

Moreover, even leaving aside the antitrust risk, if the NCAA does not reform its athlete endorsement rules, certain states may pass laws to require member colleges to leave the NCAA, much as a New Jersey legislator seems to propose in the latest iteration of that state’s bill.

If several states make it a violation of their own laws to remain a member of a trade association that concertedly denies athletes the right to control their own likenesses, the NCAA could reasonably lose its monopoly power over the college sports industry as new legislation is enacted.

It would be both ironic and fitting if Mark Emmert’s stubborn dumbassery led to the dismantling of the organization he leads.


Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

9 responses to “This should end well.

  1. Argondawg

    Serious question here Senator. If the NCAA does pass legislation allowing players to make money off of their likeness something fair and reasonable then what is the likelihood that all of these states passing laws won’t constantly be going farther than that agreement with each piece of legislation? I am for it but if each state legislature can compel the NCAA to follow its particular law it just seems like it may never be enough for some states until the players are straight up employees. I don’t see every state being happy with a negotiated middle ground. Maybe that’s just the cynic in me.


    • You’re about to get an answer to that in the next week or so, as the NCAA is scheduled to release its NIL proposal soon. My guess is that it won’t be very robust, which means the pols will have little incentive to slow their march.


    • jt10mc (the other one)

      Here is the thing…I do not believe a private organization can supercede State/Federal Law. That is the NCAA has NO authority over the law.


  2. The other Doug

    If a few states forbid their universities to be members of the NCAA, what happens to the conference contracts between the teams? I wonder if this could usher in another round of conference realignment where the lower value teams are not included.


  3. Tony Barnfart

    I feel like this whole thing is destined to just leave a shitty taste in everyone’s mouth about the entire operation. Not saying the players don’t deserve it…. i’m thinking about the schools in conferences like the American—the ones that fleece the school, debt ridden students, and the tax base to the tune of $30mil+ per year. In other words, these schools lose $ / operate in the red every year to the tune of about $25-45million.

    I can’t stand that their coaches make $2-3m per year. And i won’t like seeing these kids, who the $$ says should not even be getting full scholarships then doing Bubba’s local car commercial. Basically i’m strictly talking about G5 schools here.


  4. jt10mc (the other one)

    GOOD! In my best Emperor Palpatine voice…


  5. ASEF

    In terms of sheer numbers, the have-nots outnumber the haves in the NCAA by a huge margin. There are something like 350 schools eligible to play in the NCAA basketball tournament at the start of each season.

    I honestly wonder how this dynamic plays out between schools like Georgia and Georgia State. I can’t see why schools like Georgia State would care, and I can’t see why schools like Georgia would either.

    The big school/small school thing absolutely shows up in the things like restrictions on staffers on headsets, staffers in the press box, crap like that. ADs get tired of their staffs wanting to run their operation like a big SEC school and just have the NCAA set a limit to make their day easier.

    But here? I am not saying it isn’t a factor, just curious if this issue deals with that have/have bit tension at all.


  6. Macallanlover

    They definitely should do as you suggest in your opening paragraph. They may be too late though as each ego-maniac legislature has already dug in and gotten a taste of new power and publicity…and that is what drives them most.