Category Archives: Political Wankery

Bipartisanship at work

One (championship) ring to rule them all, one (championship) ring to find them, One (championship) ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them… at least there’s still something that unites.

33 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Political Wankery

I love Georgia Tech. How ’bout you?

Striking omission here.

And, no, he doesn’t follow up with similar congratulations for the Tech salute.  Well played, Governor.

35 Comments

Filed under Georgia State Football, Georgia Tech Football, Political Wankery

Back in the (legislative) saddle again

Hello, California.

California’s legislature is raring to upset the college sports apple cart once more.

While federal authorities contemplate how and whether to address the unruliness of NIL—three years after the the Golden State passed the nation’s first name, image and likeness bill—a powerful California legislator wants to move the athlete-rights goal posts with a new law that would create a pathway for direct compensation from schools to players.

The proposed legislation by Assemblymember Chris Holden revives an effort he previously pursued and follows two other California pay-for-play bills that failed to make it to the floor for a vote. The most recent of those bills, which was introduced last February by state Sen. Steven Bradford, passed both the state Senate education and judiciary committees before getting snagged in appropriations amid aggressive lobbying from schools such as USC and UCLA.

Conceivably, Holden, a former basketball player at San Diego State, would have a leg up politically, given that he now serves as chair of the appropriations committee in the California state assembly.

Holden’s new bill (Assembly Bill 252), christened the College Athlete Protection Act, requires that each Division I institution in the state establish a “degree completion fund” as a means of paying their head-count scholarship athletes their “fair market value,” which the bill defines as an equal share of half their team’s annual revenue, minus the cost of the athlete’s grant-in-aid. Holden planned to publicly unveil his legislation Thursday afternoon during a press conference at the Rose Bowl, UCLA’s home football stadium.

A few interesting tidbits from the legislation:

  • Holden’s bill, however, attempts to sidestep the labor question entirely, stipulating that its provisions do not, one way or the other, “serve as evidence of an employment relationship.”
  • Athletes whose sports report spending less than half their earned revenue on athletic scholarships would therefore not be eligible for this compensation, even if their schools wanted to provide it.
  • If a school chooses this revenue-sharing approach, it would be required to distribute the aggregate sum of these distributions, though it would have discretion in how it divides it up.
  • For schools unwilling to split their pies in this manner, AB 252 offers them a far cheaper alternative: They can instead agree to split whatever surplus revenue their athletic department earns in a given year with each of their athletes earning below their fair market value.

I have no idea how far this goes.  For one thing, despite the disclaimers, as the article puts it, “(w)hether the bill would comply with federal law is likely to spark heated debate and potential court challenges.”  No shit.  Title IX and employer/employee consequences come to mind quickly.  So does this:

Beyond Title IX, Holden’s bill could impact how athletic departments qualify for federal tax exemptions. Universities rely on education requirements found in the Internal Revenue Code to avoid classifying revenue as taxable income. Paying athletes to play sports could pose questions about the practice.

This bill, or at least earlier versions of it, have been shot down.  Third time’s a charm? Who knows?  One thing seems certain — if Cali does manage to pass something, between the history of NIL and Justice Kavanaugh’s cold, live arm, I would expect the next phase of player compensation to follow a similar path.

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Filed under Political Wankery

“The fact that something is beloved does not make it permanent.”

Baylor president Linda Livingstone, who chairs the NCAA Board of Governors, the organization’s highest governing body:

“We face a choice in this moment in time. Either we can oversee college sports’ modernization ourselves, or others will modernize and transform it for us.”

Also Baylor president Linda Livingstone:

“Congress is really the only entity that can affirm student-athletes’ unique status. We have to ensure that Congress understands what’s at stake and motivate them to act. Second, we need a safe harbor for a certain degree of antitrust complaints. We’re not looking for nor do we actually need broad antitrust exemption; we do need the ability to make common-sense rules without limitless threats of litigation.”

I don’t think “oversee” means what she thinks it means.

18 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

Hello, guv’nor.

I don’t always see eye to eye with Brian Kemp, but as far as I’m concerned, he’s walking with the angels on this.

A ban on tailgating outside SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles for the college football national championship has drawn the wrath of the state’s most powerful Georgia Bulldog fan: Gov. Brian Kemp.

“While California may not know this, in the South a tailgate with friends & family is the only way to prepare for a big game,” the Republican tweeted of the restriction ahead of Monday’s title game between Georgia and TCU.

“When Georgia hosts the 2025 #NationalChampionship,” Kemp added, “we’ll make sure fans are able to tailgate! Even if it’s at the state Capitol!!”

Not that it’ll make a damned bit of difference Monday.  Still…

Who’s ready to tailgate at the state Capitol in 2025?

78 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Political Wankery

“It’s kind of the way it’s always been, and there is nothing you can do about that.”

All I can do is laugh about this:

That the only thing the NCAA can come up with to address the problems schools face as a result of NIL is to keep begging for an antitrust exemption from an institution that can’t even get its shit together to elect a House Speaker is about as NCAA as it gets.

8 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

“Overboard”

I hesitate to presume I understand the mind of Tommy Tuberville, but if I read this article correctly, there’s no antitrust exemption soup for you, NCAA.

Former college football coach and current U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) told Sportico Monday that he does not foresee a federal bill passing the next Congress that would include an antitrust exemption for the NCAA.

Tuberville and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) have been working since the summer on crafting narrow legislation that would try to create and regulate a national standard for college athlete NIL rights.

“We’ve got to take care of all these recruiting possibilities first, and once we get through this we would like to stay out of it,” Tuberville said in a telephone interview. “If you get (Congress) involved, it is not a rule, it is a law. We don’t want to jump in this with all four feet and say this is how it is going to be with every situation.”

“All four feet”?  Eh, forget it.

Part of me wonders if the former head coach realizes that if schools are granted an antitrust exemption, it would have the potential to impact his former colleagues as much as college athletes.

29 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA, Tommy Tuberville - Mythical National Champ

Coming soon to a legislature near you…

The next phase of player compensation is about to commence.

Yes, to answer your question, that would be on top of the COA and Alston payments they’re already receiving.  Also, this.

But don’t call them employees!

19 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery

Sticking to sports

This gives new meaning to “We Run This State”:

Kickoff for the work of next year’s Georgia General Assembly may have to wait until after the kickoff of the College Football National Championship if the University of Georgia Bulldogs continue their ferocious winning streak.

Earlier this year, the Republican-led Georgia Legislature went on temporary hiatus as Bulldog-loving legislators bolted shortly after the opening gavel to travel to Indianapolis and to watch UGA’s national football championship win.

As the Bulldogs make another title run, the championship game once again falls on the first day of the planned legislative session: Jan. 9, 2023. That’s why state officials are quietly making plans to rearrange the schedule; that is, if UGA first defeats Ohio State in the Dec. 31 Peach Bowl.

If that’s the case, we’re told to expect another abbreviated Monday session (Jan. 9) and a light schedule on Tuesday to give legislators, state officials and perhaps a reporter or two time to return from Los Angeles.

And Gov. Brian Kemp — a diehard fan himself — has given himself a cushion in case he travels to the game, too. His inauguration is set for Thursday, Jan. 12 — three days after the possible championship.

Ain’t nothing bigger in this state than Georgia football, peeps.

29 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Political Wankery

Today, in the free market is a beyotch

Ladies and gentlemen, behold great minds at work:

For some reason, Tuberville professes to be shocked to learn about the existence of bag men in college football.  Considering where he came from, that’s pretty fucking rich.

60 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery, Tommy Tuberville - Mythical National Champ