Andy Schwarz wrote a thought provoking opinion piece about AB609, the radical bill that would require California universities to pay royalty fees directly to athletes in exchange for the use of their name, image and likeness. Essentially, he argues that for some, the effect of the bill would be to force schools (at least some, anyway) to disengage from their entanglement with athletics.
In contrast, AB609 is a great example of the other reformist tradition, one which thinks the problem is that college sports are overly embedded into the American economic system.
This viewpoint advocates for pulling back on the throttle. Mandating that California schools essentially opt out of the coaching and facilities markets won’t, by itself, help athletes earn more, but it will work to make sure that coaches, and likely California schools, earn less.
This is a view that colleges are essentially incompetent commercial actors and so athletes can only get justice if the schools are reined in, rather than pushing for the athletes to be let loose.
The question of whether California’s elite educational institutions should be part of the upper tier of the college sports industry is a policy question. Many smart people think the answer is no, and it seems AB609 would go a long way towards ensuring that California schools become more like the University of Chicago or the Ivy League in their approach to sports.
It seems to me that’s an argument that’s right up some of y’all’s alley. I’d be curious to hear what you think about this.