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.


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

9 responses to “The Student-Athlete Equity Act of 2020

  1. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    P5: Here’s a draft proposal, what do you think?
    Player: What kind of player do you think I am?
    P5: We have established what kind of player you are; now we’re just haggling over the price.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. junkyardawg41

    “In the first, NIL deals are delayed until an athlete’s second semester in college.” This solves a lot of my concerns with NIL… and then they have this statement “help ‘prevent athletes from acting without sufficient information’ while also ensuring that deals are not recruiting inducements.” — the not recruiting inducements…. good grief… back to the Basketball scandal and bagmen…


    • Morris Day

      Pssst, hey kid, your second semester rolls around? How’s this $$$ figure sound? Yeah? Sign with Whatsammatta U and done deal.

      Naw naw kid. Sign with Screw U and your second semester rolls around? How’s this $$$$ sound?


  3. For lack of some place to put it “ESPN analyst says conference-only schedules could lead to 2020 College Football Playoff expansion” That’s what I was speculating a few weeks ago


  4. FlyingPeakDawg

    The transparency requirement is interesting. The information will likely be used by many to push agendas. Some examples I can think of:

    If Bama has a specific booster who consistently offers above market deals, will the NCAA/P5 impose caps?

    If white QB’s get better deals than others, will anti discrimination rules be imposed?

    If male SA’s in sports that have female teams (tennis, soccer) have better NIL deals, will Title 9 be amended?

    If there is a violation, what’s the penalty and who bears it…the SA, school, booster?

    Any answer to these issues will result in Auburn working to circumvent them, so there will be a rule book as big as the Tax Code before this is over. So stupid..the NCAA could have gotten out in front of this, shared the $$$$, and maintained control. Now at least 2 of the 3 branches of government in Washington will ultimately be deciding.


    • Gaskilldawg

      A star player’s commercial value is a unique asset. There is a reason why advertisers pay more for one celebrity’s endorsement than another’s. The universities aren’t setting the market value of the players’ NIL. Therefore, player A cannot blame the university if Delta Airlines wants Player B instead of Player A. No “discrimination ” issue or Title 9 issue.


    • The wrath of unintended consequences will blow through with typhoon force, and the cap wont go back on the bottle.