Envy and jealousy, love edition

Sally Jenkins is still spitting fire.

A fundamental fact has been vividly on display for the past month of tournament play: The NCAA sells kids commercially without their consent for more than $1 billion per year. Athletes, in challenging this peonage debt-servitude system like never before in lawsuits and campaigns such as #NotNCAAProperty, have raised the question of whether the NCAA should continue to exist in its current power configuration. The answer is no, for the simple reason that the governing body has utterly perverted the definition of “amateur.”

The term amateur doesn’t mean “for free.” It never did. It comes from the French “amateur,” which in turn comes from the Latin word “amator.” Lover.

For the love of. That’s what it means.

Where is it written that to play a game for love, collegians must be strip-mined by universities of their worth and economic rights, and forced to fulfill commercial agreements that they aren’t even entitled to read — for free? Suggs and McDonald have never signed a deal with AT&T, yet they just spent a month of their ephemeral and perhaps fleeting athletic lives peddling 5G cellphone plans for which they will not see a cent. Why? Because “amateurism.”

Ain’t it grand?


Filed under Envy and Jealousy

6 responses to “Envy and jealousy, love edition

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    She has a point, but something in her tone rubs me the wrong way. Probably my customary ‘journalists have it both ways, without any reckoning’ complaint. Those players sell ads on sports pages and put money in her back pocket, so she’s gaining off their labors too.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Derek

    When she says “peddling” does she really mean someone took photos, videos of live game action and incorporated them into a commercial?

    No one was asked or required to read ad script were they?


  3. I’m assuming her logic is because AT&T bought advertising space on the championship game that means the athletes are selling wireless plans. That’s garbage for logic. If AT&T is using live game film from the NCAA, then that’s a no go if I understand the EA Sports case right. I watched about 5 total minutes of the tournament, so I have no idea about the content of the commercials.

    I get that the student-athletes don’t get a cut of the revenues from conference and NCAA media packages or ticket sales beyond the value of their education. This isn’t the way to get to the right answer.

    If I understand Judge Wilken’s ruling in Alston, she has said there can be no caps on education-related benefits. She (and likely the SCOTUS) has not written that the athletes are entitled to compensation from their college (no pay-for-play).

    The states are going to solve this problem with their own NLI reform.


    • Russ

      I did notice at least one commercial that had some live footage of a player. I remember wondering at the time if that player got compensated for it.


  4. TN Dawg

    “News conferences will be conducted on the day before each game (see the schedule of events) and also immediately after each game. The host media coordinator will have the authority to designate and require any student-athlete to attend any news conference, but should work with the participating institution’s head coach and SID, as well as a designated member of the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) to select postgame press conference participants. Each participating institution shall make student-athletes available at all scheduled news conferences. All interviews at the facility shall occur in the media interview room or the locker room area.”

    All unpaid media spots are equal, but some are more equal than others.


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