Money well spent.

You’ve got to spend money to keep money.

The Power Five conferences spent $350,000 on lobbying in the first three months of 2020, more than they had previously spent in any full year, as part of a coordinated effort to influence Congress on legislation affecting the ability of college athletes to earn endorsement money.

The Southeastern Conference was the biggest spender, hiring three lobbying firms and paying them a total of $140,000, according to lobbying disclosure forms reviewed by The Associated Press. Before this year, the SEC did not employ Washington lobbyists, instead leaving the work of influencing Congress to individual universities and the NCAA.

In a statement to AP, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said the conference hired lobbyists so it could be part of the discussion as Congress gets more serious about reforming college sports.

“It is important for the SEC to have a voice in this national dialogue,” Sankey said. “We look forward to a constructive exchange of ideas about ways we can further enhance our student-athletes’ educational and athletic experiences while ensuring that any future changes can be administered fairly on a national level.”

Yeah, nothing says “enhance our student-athletes’ educational and athletic experiences” like spending money you’ve saved by not paying them to lobby Congress so you won’t have to do so in the future.

Kids, you don’t know how good you’ve got it these days.  Why, it’ll be a darn shame if they spend all that money and have nothing to show for it.

7 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

7 responses to “Money well spent.

  1. FisheriesDawg

    This amounts to $117.65 per scholarship football player in the SEC, so it’s not like they’re spending the type of money that would really make a difference on this. I don’t remotely blame them for hiring lobbyists. It’s what any industry would and should do when Washington starts getting a hankering to regulate them in a new way.

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    • Last time I checked, they’re non-profits, not an “industry”.

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      • FisheriesDawg

        Lots of non-profits lobby. I work with a lot of them. It doesn’t take making a profit to have a legitimate interest in federal legislation and rule making.

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        • Yeah? How many lobby for an antitrust exemption?

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          • FisheriesDawg

            Certainly that’s a different animal.

            I don’t say any of this to say they’re doing all of this right. But they’d be stupid not to involve lobbyists even if their motives were completely pure. I certainly wouldn’t leave the planning to Congress. They’ve got no clue what they’re doing. They’re liable to come up with something that is worse for players, conferences, schools, AND fans.

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  2. spur21

    Reading that I can’t decide – should I be sad or infuriated – infuriated is my final answer.

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  3. Cynical Dawg

    “All that’s left is our friendship.” -Tom Hagen.

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