“… colleges are essentially incompetent commercial actors…”

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.

36 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, The NCAA

36 responses to ““… colleges are essentially incompetent commercial actors…”

  1. spur21

    Politicians always looking for complicated solutions to simple issues.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Down Island Way

      Didn’t read the article, always thought the entity entering into a contract using the likeness was responsible for payment to the student athlete, not the institution…is the institution responsible for likeness on game day tickets, programs, etc., don’t see that as profit to the institution…this seems a bit confusing for my one good brain cell, when it should be simple..

      Like

    • J.R. Clark

      That sounds like a typical ignorant conservative’s response. It’s a very complicated issue and will require an army of good lawyers to nail down the details in each state (and federal) law regarding athlete compensation. It may be a trite expression, but the devil is indeed in the details.

      Like

    • PTC DAWG

      That’s what they do. ALL of them.

      Like

  2. Bulldawg Bill

    Why do it the easy way when you can make it hard?????

    Liked by 2 people

  3. SoCalDawg

    50/50

    Like

  4. Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

    Only the idiots who’ve run California into the ground would think it would be better that NO ONE in California make any money from college sports than everyone make any money from college sports. That’s it’s better to wreck yet another aspect of California’s economy than to allow coaches to make millions of dollars and players tens of thousands or in some cases hundreds of thousand of dollars.

    Great work, Commiefornia!

    Like

    • Cali has something like the fifth largest economy in the world, so please explain how it’s been run into the ground.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

        Look at the egress vs. the ingress. They are losing more businesses than are starting, as they flee the state’s punitive bureaucracy. Also look at the rate of small business failure.

        Look at aspects like property value, property tax, cost of rent. Look at the explosion of poverty in the state over the last 20 years.

        People who always defend California’s insane one-party rule always talk about their “fifth” largest economy without going any deeper.

        This bill is proof of that. They would rather wreck the corner of their economy where college sports thrives because even if players get NIL rights and make some money, it still won’t be “enough” money compared to coaches and the athletic departments. So that means NO ONE gets to make any money.

        You know what Churchill said about socialism, right?

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        • The idea that you’re criticizing California for socialism in the context of regulating college sports is beyond ironic.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

            I’m not criticizing them for “socialism.”

            I’m criticizing them for not only ruining their state’s economy and creating poverty where there once was wealth, I’m criticizing the fact that this bill would again, wreck part of their economy to ensure all the individuals participating, players, coaches, and admin, are equally poor instead of having all participate in a system where they all get to be relatively wealthy even as some make more than others.

            Oh wait. You’re exactly right. I AM criticizing Commiefornia for its insane socialist policies that have ruined their state.

            Why aren’t you? 😂

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          • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

            Also, it should be noted, I’m criticizing THIS policy because it’s insane.

            I’m not criticizing any other NIL about to go live.

            I’m not against NIL, I’m against insanity.

            Like

      • spur21

        California may have the fifth largest economy in the world but California is insolvent. They have enormous pension fund problems because of mismanagement. California’s liabilities vastly exceed its assets.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Gosh, I wonder where else that’s the case…

          Liked by 1 person

          • spur21

            A list is available with a simple search. The bottom line California is run for the benefit of the very rich and the very poor – the folks in the middle are being screwed – resulting in more folks leaving. Regulations are choking new business start ups. The mass influx of illegals is crippling social services. Homeless camps are turning a once beautiful state into a cesspool.

            California has the highest tax rates in the country and wants to raise them higher to pay for the idiotic left leaning policies.

            Liked by 1 person

      • PTC DAWG

        For the eighth year in a row, more people moved out of California than moved in, according to a new report.

        A new 2020 U.S. migration report from North American Moving Services shows people are leaving places with cold weather and high costs of living

        Liked by 1 person

  5. whybotherdude

    “The question of whether California’s elite educational institutions should be part of the upper tier of the college sports industry” some would argue they haven’t been part of the upper tier college sports in a while.

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  6. Derek

    I would have liked to have seen some defense of the idea that college sports was an economic, commercial enterprise from its inception. My supposition has always been that the trajectory is this:

    1) Sports as an extension of the academic mission that was worth the costs.
    2) Commercial interest occurs organically over time and the colleges say: sure we’ll pick that money up. We’ve earned it and can do some good with it.
    3) The colleges then generate obscene amounts money, act too incompetently and selfishly, compromise morality in exchange, and demands for sharing the revenue results therefrom.

    I do think there is a rational to trend back towards step 1. Colleges shouldn’t be running professional football and basketball teams. And they shouldn’t want to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Munsoning

      During Charles William Eliot’s tenure as president of Harvard (1869-1909) he poured money into intercollegiate sports. The funding was heavily weighted toward team sports, chief among them football. Tickets were sold, professional coaches were hired, and the interest of gamblers was aroused. Dudley Sargent, professor of physical training, noted the hypocrisy of professionalizing amateur athletics and correctly predicted that the “fighting impulse” of athletes would be nurtured to the detriment of their education and moral development. For more, see Kim Townsend’s book “Manhood at Harvard.”

      Like

  7. HirsuteDawg

    Seems like the more the schools earn the less they control how they spend it. Many Head Coaches and Coordinators are making obscene amounts of money (ill spent baed on results in many cases). Why not go back to a simpler system with less cash, more regional play, lower expenses. With the obscene amounts of money generated – the schools aren’t benefiting from new classrooms, labs, transportation; the athletes (other than future pro football players) aren’t benefiting; the money is all going to coaches, football facilities and support staff. The athlete are making ESPN and their coaches rich – are they compensated for using their likeness? Are they covered by insurance for future treatment of injuries suffered? The Ivy League model sounds reasonable to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. CB

    “If we can’t have all the money we don’t want any of it”

    Californian ATH Departments… apparently

    Like