Daily Archives: July 18, 2020

The Student-Athlete Equity Act of 2020

Boy, this is a chock-filled paragraph:

The NCAA’s Power 5 conferences’ proposed legislation governing name, image and likeness (NIL) is as many expected: filled with restrictions. According to a summary of the Power 5’s draft, athletes cannot sign endorsement deals until they complete their first semester of college, can be barred from entering into certain NIL ventures and must make public NIL contracts.

The first thing that jumps out there is that the legislation isn’t being proposed by the NCAA, but by the P5 conferences.

If that alone doesn’t indicate that the emphasis is no longer about maintaining the purity of the amateurism model, what follows should make it clear that the emphasis is about sharing as little from the pot of money collegiate sports generates as the P5 can allow.

In the first, NIL deals are delayed until an athlete’s second semester in college. The NCAA would also permit schools to prevent athletes from entering into endorsement agreements that “violate university standards or that conflict with institutional sponsorship agreements,” legislation reads. In the third policy, contracts that athletes enter with both agents and businesses must be disclosed to the public to help “prevent athletes from acting without sufficient information” while also ensuring that deals are not recruiting inducements.

NIL restrictions are at the heart of the debate over a universal bill governing athlete compensation. How aggressively do you regulate athletes’ NIL endeavors? The argument is a hurdle that both college leaders and lawmakers must cross. They are seeking a middle ground. Imagine athlete compensation as a football field: one end zone representing a full-fledged open market without restrictions, and the other a closed system of uncompensated labor. Amid the gulf between them, the NCAA is only moving so far from the latter system, according to the summary of legislation.

Dellenger goes on to say the proposals “… will likely trigger harsh pushback from athlete advocate organizations and some lawmakers who believe a Congressional NIL bill should be more player-friendly.” 

And that really is the crux of the matter.  Will Congress ultimately see this as simply a players’ rights issue or as an economic issue threatening the schools’ earning ability?  It’s likely this will be a key tell in regard to that:

The Student-Athlete Equity Act of 2020 also requests from Congress a safe harbor and the preemption of varying state NIL laws, which were the impetus for all of this. “NCAA, conferences and institutions will not be subjected to inappropriate liability and preempts a patchwork of inconsistent state laws,” the act says.

Antitrust exemption is never far from their minds.

9 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery

PFF sez, “QB controversy? Wut QB controversy?”

These guys have been in Jamie Newman’s corner since the day he transferred, so this probably isn’t that surprising on one level.

To me, it reinforces how shitty Southern Cal’s coaching must have been during Daniels’ freshman season.  Surrounded by talent that Newman could only dream of at Wake, and so little to show for it.

Monken the position coach has got as much work cut out for him as Monken the OC.

4 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“The positivity train has died a quick death.”

This is what constitutes leadership at the college football level.

Herbstreit’s comments set off what became a months-long information war over how the coronavirus could affect college sports. College athletics leaders, realizing the devastation early on if Herbstreit’s prediction proved true, kicked off a battle to control the narrative. For some within college athletics, that meant publicly projecting optimism and reiterating they planned to go ahead like normal. There was too much money at stake, they reasoned privately, to give credence to such potentially disastrous hypotheticals. They preached patience, hope, resolve — anything they could think of to give fans reason to believe football would still happen.

College administrators were petrified of other prominent figures joining Herbstreit in deeming this year’s season a lost cause, fearful it could speak their worst-case scenario into existence. If no one thinks football will happen, they worried, why would anyone buy season tickets? Or donate money? With revenue streams already disrupted by COVID-19 and athletic departments facing potential financial ruin without football, there was no incentive to publicly project gloom and doom.

Even if they knew better.

“We all need to be positive and not negative at this time,” one AD said at the time. “Being negative like Kirk was (in his comments) is not helpful to anybody. A lot of people are really disappointed and surprised he would do that.”

Another athletic director described the early pessimism as a targeted PR campaign and warned against watching too much cable news COVID-19 coverage because “you can convince yourself things are far worse than they really are.” Athletic directors and football coaches with similar viewpoints felt the need to fight back against the early narratives football wouldn’t happen, banking on the situation markedly improving by July or August.

Gotta get those deposits in the door first, then we can worry about the pandemic later.

Step two:  faking common ground.

The Power 5 conference commissioners held daily conference calls during the pandemic and promised to stick together. On a May appearance on Finebaum’s show, Sankey said the notion that one of the Power 5 conferences would break off to do its own thing was “not attached to reality.” Yet, despite the talk of better connectivity than ever among college football’s top conferences, their leaders seemed to undermine each other almost daily with conflicting comments. Early on, no Power 5 commissioner was more candid than the Big 12′s Bob Bowlsby, delighting reporters and invoking grumbling from others in college athletics. With all the different approaches from college football’s power players, it became increasingly difficult to present an actually unified front.

NARRATOR’S VOICE:  There never was a united front.

“They want to put a happy, smiley face on everything in the public eye, but behind the scenes, make no mistake, the SEC is going to do what’s best for the SEC, the Big 12 is going to do what’s best for Big 12 and you can say that with every conference,” McMurphy said. “After that’s decided, if they can do something that’s good for college football they’ll do that without compromising their own conferences. I don’t think it’s selfish; it’s just how college football is.”

All that’s left now is to plead with the folks they’ve crapped on.

The SEC, Big 12 and ACC are all looking at the end of July to make a decision on the viability of the upcoming season. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have already made big moves but the Big Ten’s Warren recently warned the conference could still cancel the football season altogether. In theory, college football has two weeks to figure out whether it can start a fall season as planned.

During those two weeks, college athletics leaders will closely monitor the coronavirus case trends, testing capabilities, the capacity of local hospitals to handle infected patients and any new developments in treatment plans or vaccines. But the most important thing they’ll do is beg, plead and cajole the public to take the pandemic seriously if they want football this fall.

Yeah, if we want football this fall.

“I fully understand why athletic directors and conference commissioners have fought vigorously to get college football going,” Finebaum said. “You don’t need a Ph.D. in mathematics from M.I.T. to understand that. It is about the money.”

When they say it’s about the money…

16 Comments

Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple

Recruiting chops, the Portal Master™ edition

I want to mount this tweet on my wall and salute it every time I walk by.

17 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Recruiting