Category Archives: The NCAA

“We need to pass new rules.”

Now Mark Emmert wants to take action on NIL compensation.

So, the man himself’s gonna take the bull by the horns if the membership doesn’t get off its collective ass and pass something.  Wonder how that’s going over.

Talk about a bunch that deserves each other…

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NCAA delenda est.

If you want to know how badly the NCAA has screwed the pooch on player compensation, well…

Yep.  There apparently is a Congressional consensus to give them a limited antitrust exemption in the context of coming up with a global solution on treatment of college athletes and the NCAA is either too stubborn or too stupid to take the outreached hand and work something out in the name of future stability.

The NCAA deserves to have itself burned to the ground and the earth salted in its absence.

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Say you’re not a college athletics fan without saying you’re not a college athletics fan.

This exchange is from today’s Senate hearing on NIL compensation.

Tester’s from Montana.  Just sayin’, Mandel.

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UPDATE:  Oy.

Dude’s on a real roll.

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Forget it, Mark. It’s Washington.

Let’s see… the NCAA’s got two weeks to get Congress to pass a bill for the POTUS to sign into law overriding the states’ intrusion into college athletes’ NIL compensation.  How’s that going, anyway?

Er…

The faint hope that Congress would pass a bill by July 1 to govern athlete compensation died long ago. Now, the hope that such legislation will get passed by the end of the calendar year is dwindling, too.

Notable Republican senators are not expected to participate in the latest Senate hearing Thursday over athlete compensation, a strong signal of the growing divide between the two sides over an issue that has sparked a sweeping, nationwide movement of state laws threatening the equitability of NCAA sports.

The Senate Commerce Committee, the group with jurisdiction over the topic, is scheduled to hold a hearing on athletes’ rights eight days after the last hearing ended without marked progress toward federal legislation. Thursday’s hearing is different, for two reasons, from the other six held on Capitol Hill over the last 16 months: College athletes will serve as witnesses and the top Republicans will not be in attendance.

The hearing, led by the Senate’s majority party, the Democrats, is expected to be absent of many of the Commerce Committee’s minority members, legislative aides tell Sports Illustrated. Those include, most notably, senators Roger Wicker (R., Miss.) and Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.), the two Conservative members of a five-person, bipartisan working group exploring a compromise on a federal bill to govern how college athletes earn money from their name, image and likeness (NIL).

Wicker wants to conduct a survey of athletes, which is nice, but hardly a path to getting action before month’s end.  And then there’s this bigger holdup:

At the center of the delay, sources say, is a request from Republicans to grant the NCAA antitrust protection from retroactive and future lawsuits over NIL—something deeply opposed by Booker and Blumenthal.

Yeah, that’s gonna happen quickly.  Good job on the lobbying, Mr. Emmert.

All that’s left between now and July 1 are two things:  (1) the Supreme Court’s ruling in Alston, which could happen any day now and is likely the only realistic last gasp possibility for an antitrust exemption and (2) the NCAA’s passage of its own “amateurism is what we say it is at any given moment” change to NIL compensation eligibility rules.  The latter is likely to be more restrictive than what the states have passed (although remember that it would have the effect of voiding Georgia’s law), but at least it will provide a level national floor, for what that’s worth.

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UPDATE:  In case you had any doubt…

The suspense was killing me.

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Never do today what you shouldn’t do tomorrow.

Swear to Gawd, you can’t make this shit up.

Shoot, why would a cartel choosing an entity to regulate — okay, limit — how much college athletes could be paid by third parties have legal concerns?  I mean, it’s not like that kind of thinking has stopped them before.

Unless they’re finally getting tired of paying all those legal bills…

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“We are determined to get this done.”

Shot.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Power 5 issued a statement reading in part: “Only Congress can pass a national solution for student-athlete NIL rights. The patchwork of state laws that begins on July 1 will disadvantage student-athletes in some states and create an unworkable system for others. As leaders in college athletics, we support extending NIL rights in a way that supports the educational opportunities of all student-athletes, including collegians in Olympic sports who comprised 80% of Team USA at the Rio games. We continue to work with Congress to develop a solution for NIL and expand opportunities.”

Chaser.

Several congressional aides told ESPN last month that it was very unlikely that Congress will pass any type of college sports legislation before July. The debate appeared to be no closer to the finish line during Wednesday’s hearing.

Why is that?  Because Emmert’s gonna Emmert and Congress is gonna Congress.

During the hearing, Emmert declined to reveal whether the organization would file injunctions against states to delay their implementation of NIL law, saying the organization has taken no position but it has been “widely discussed.” Emmert acknowledged that it would be “very challenging” for a school to file suit against its state.

Meanwhile, the NCAA is expected to pass its own legislation by the month’s end, Emmert says, after the Supreme Court rules in the Alston case. The NCAA’s legislation will differ from state laws and it could trigger a wave of litigation—two reasons that the organization is encouraging Congress to create a uniform standard.

That’s where the five-member Senate working group comes in. Cantwell, Booker, Blumenthal, Wicker and Blackburn are attempting to find a middle ground between two noteworthy and diametrically opposing college athlete bills already introduced in Congress: (1) Booker and Blumenthal’s College Athletes Bill of Rights, a somewhat radical and sweeping legislation that includes revenue sharing, long-term medical care, lifetime scholarships and unrestricted endorsements; and (2) Wicker’s narrow bill focused only on NIL and featuring NCAA protections and athlete restrictions.

A compromise bill would be more broad than Wicker’s but not quite as expansive as Booker and Blumenthal’s, all while providing athletes with enough freedoms to satisfy both sides.

So how close are the five lawmakers to agreeing on a proposal?

Now there’s a question.

The hearings on Capitol Hill related to this issue aren’t over. Cantwell suggested that there will be more and that the next hearing’s witness list will include current college athletes—a key group that’s been missing from these discussions.

To summarize, the NCAA is paralyzed until it finds out if the Supreme Court is going to give it an antitrust exemption and Congress isn’t anywhere near being able to reach a consensus by month’s end.  Business as usual, in other words.

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Mark Emmert… and a pony

Shot.

Chaser.

Doin’ it for the kids, for the win!

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UPDATE:  More here.  Emmert is all in on the impending apocalypse.

According to his testimony, Emmert is expected to again encourage lawmakers to create a federal bill to universally govern NIL while also expressing concern over a hodgepodge of differing state NIL laws that, he writes, “threaten the NCAA’s ability to provide uniform NIL opportunities as well as fair, national competition.” Ongoing litigation against the NCAA, coupled with the varying state laws and some Democrat-backed proposed Congressional legislation, endanger the very nature of college athletics, he says.

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“So, you can blow me again!”

I figure if Greg McGarity were still AD, upon learning the news that Johnny Manziel admitted to receiving more than thirty grand for signing autographs while at Texas A&M, Georgia would retroactively forfeit every game Todd Gurley ever suited up for and played in.

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One more thing about HB 617

Steve Berkowitz wrote a handy summary of the various state NIL compensation laws due to come into effect in the near future.  Here’s what he wrote about Georgia’s:

The law has a provision under which schools can require athletes who have NIL deals to put some of that money into a pool that would be distributed to all athletes. The money from the pool would be distributed to athletes after they graduate or after they have been out of school for at least a year, with the amount to each athlete being based on the number of months in which they were an athlete for the school. Athletics department officials at Georgia and Georgia Tech say they do not intend to have such a pool, and it is possible this would conflict with the NCAA’s prohibitions on pay for play, since any athlete would be getting money.

Under another provision, no “officer, director, employee, or agent” of a booster club can provide an athlete with NIL compensation. The NCAA’s proposals do not squarely address this, but in a statement that addresses the rationale and intent of one proposal, the NCAA notes that “boosters may be the most likely sources of opportunities” for athletes to engage in NIL activities.

However, Georgia’s law also says it will be “rendered null and without effect” upon the effective date of “any policy, rule or regulation” that lets college athletes be compensated for NIL use. So if the NCAA passes a new set of permissive rules that take effect July 1, this law could get wiped off the books.

As much focus as has been paid to the part referenced in the first paragraph, not as much attention has been paid to what he mentions in his last.  Here’s the relevant language from HB 617:

In other words, if the NCAA enacts anything that could be considered a rule allowing college athletes to receive some form of compensation for their NIL rights, no matter how much more restrictive than Georgia’s law permits, the statute is immediately a dead letter.  Berkowitz doesn’t mention a similar provision in any other state’s legislation referenced in his article, so I presume it’s just another unique feature that could come back to bite UGA’s recruiting in the ass.

I’m beginning to wonder if anyone in the Georgia legislature ever reads what they pass.  I’m also beginning to wonder if the best outcome for protecting UGA’s recruiting from schools in other states with better drafted NIL laws is a federal preemption.  Sheesh.

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The threat is inside the house.

You, an extremely well-connected and insightful anonymous blog commenter, fretting about NIL legislation:  bag men, bag men everywhere!

Greg McGarity, a long-time, money-chasing P5 athletic director (h/t):

That’s what happens when all that “it’s what’s on the front of the jersey that counts” bullshit collides with the free market.

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