Category Archives: The NCAA

Sorry Charlie

In case you were operating under some notion that new NCAA President Charlie Baker was prepared to deliver a fresh approach to resolving NIL concerns in at least a somewhat reasonable manner, allow him to set the record straight.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.  Except I don’t think I ever heard Mark Emmert propose something as stupid as “I would love to create some transparency and accountability around that, so that families actually know what they’re getting into, and I would really like to see some sort of uniform standard contract, so that when somebody signs it, they know they’re signing the same kind of agreement everybody else is signing,”

I’m sure you would, dude.  Except the courts would toss out your uniform standard contract if you tried to do it on your own and there’s no way Congress is going to wade in and do it for you.

The schools really don’t have anything more to offer.  And the longer term problem they’ve got is that as this goes on, NIL payments become more and more normalized in the eyes of the public.  It’s too late for the NCAA to stop now, I guess.



Filed under The NCAA

Charlie Baker speaks.

The name on the door has changed, but the gobbledygook remains the same.

Asked whether he is opposed to the notion of college athletes becoming employees of their schools, Baker said:

“I guess it depends a bit on what the frame looks like and how it’s organized. I certainly think things need to change, but I worry a lot when I hear athletes constantly say to me they want to be student-athletes, which is what I’ve heard from most of them.”

So, that’s far from endorsing the concept, but in discussing the issue alongside his view on what  is appropriate compensation for athletes, he said: “I think the question about additional benefits is certainly one of the conversations, and it’s part of what I would describe as the change (in college sports). I’ve actually had a lot of student-athletes tell me they would rather be student-athletes than be employees for a whole bunch of reasons. I think that will be, in fact, a big part of the dialogue going forward.

“But from my point of view, the goal here should be to figure out how to deal with this issue in a way that actually addresses some of the concerns people have about the very successful and financially successful programs, recognizing that there are literally hundreds of thousands of student-athletes who don’t play in those programs and for whom the idea of being an employee is really not an attractive one. And I think people need to keep that in mind.”

One day on the job, and he’s already nailed doing it for the kids!  Impressive.

He’s got a sense of humor, though.

Recognizing that the NCAA and its membership have concerns about facing legal action if they act on their own regarding NIL activities he said: “Well, I think the goal has been to do something where we don’t get sued…”

Oh, wait… he’s serious about that?  Well, I have to admit that’s a small step away from Mark Emmert.


Filed under The NCAA

All good things must come to an end.

As much as I might like to, I really can’t top Mandel’s final tribute to Mark Emmert.

At least he was well compensated for his efforts.


Filed under The NCAA

The Urnge shoe starts to drop.

Actions, meet consequences.

Four former Tennessee staff members are expected to receive multiyear show-cause penalties from the NCAA stemming from their roles in recruiting violations committed under former coach Jeremy Pruitt, sources tell Sports Illustrated.

Inside linebackers coach Brian Niedermeyer, outside linebackers coach Shelton Felton, director of player personnel Drew Hughes and student assistant Michael Magness are set to receive show-cause penalties of three-to-five years in negotiated resolutions they struck with the association.

None of the four are currently coaching on the college level, for what it’s worth.  Also,

Pruitt, as well as assistant Derrick Ansley, were not involved in the resolutions.

Also not involved is the school itself. The university and NCAA have not come to an agreement on a resolution despite months of negotiations. However, the association is bifurcating the case, a new method of bringing closure to some parties in an investigation while other elements of a case remain contested. Bifurcation was one of the recommendations made last summer by the NCAA transformation committee to speed up the association’s dawdling infractions process.

The association can now zero in on those outstanding parties who are disputing findings or contesting potential resolutions, which are expected to include Pruitt, Ansley and Tennessee.

More shoes to come, in other words.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, The NCAA

The NCAA and NIL: this time we **really** mean it.

The NCAA’s Division I Committee on Infractions announced its first decision, regarding Miami’s women’s basketball program, in the wake of the new NIL rules established July, 2021.  The gist ($$):

  • The decision, a negotiated resolution between the school, the coach and the NCAA enforcement staff, included one year of probation and recruiting sanctions.
  • It did not require Miami booster John Ruiz to disassociate from the school nor did it punish the two athletes at the center of the case.
  • The school self-imposed a three-game suspension on the coach.
  • There’s a one-year probationary period, a fine and some recruiting restrictions.

That’s it.  Now maybe you’re not seeing a discouraging message being sent to schools about reining in their boosters, but, brother, the NCAA wants you to know you’re all wet about that.  No, really ($$).

The panel was troubled by the limited nature and severity of institutional penalties agreed-upon by Miami and the enforcement staff namely, the absence of a disassociation of the involved booster. Further, this case was processed prior to the adoption of NCAA Bylaw 19.7.3, which went into effect on January 1, 2023, and presumes that a violation occurred in cases involving name, image and likeness offers, agreements and/or activities. Based on legislation in effect at the time of submission, the panel cannot presume that activities around name, image and likeness resulted in NCAA violations.

Although the parties asserted that a disassociation penalty would be inappropriate based on an impermissible meal and an impermissible contact, today’s new NIL-related environment represents a new day. Boosters are involved with prospects and student-athletes in ways the NCAA membership has never seen or encountered. In that way, addressing impermissible booster conduct is critical, and the disassociation penalty presents an effective penalty available to the COI.

I’m sure that’s got schools quaking in their boots.

“We didn’t want to put a green light on (that behavior),” COI chair Dave Roberts, USC’s special assistant to the athletic director, told The Athletic.

You didn’t exactly put a red light on it, either.


UPDATE:  Yeah, this didn’t take long at all.

He seems to have gotten the message, alright.


Filed under The NCAA

Amateurs defending amateurism.

How it started:

The NCAA returns to a federal courtroom Wednesday to continue its fight against one of the many current challenges to its amateurism-based business model.

… Wednesday’s hearing in front of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia is the next step in the Johnson v. NCAA case, in which several former college athletes argue they should have been paid an hourly wage like other student workers on their campuses. The NCAA contends that its business is unique and that the normal rules that determine whether someone fits the definition of an employee don’t make sense for college athletes. The appellate judges will eventually decide whether the standard tests for employee status should be applied to college athletes and their schools.

How it’s going:

Damn, son, I don’t think I’da said that.

Sometimes, when I think about it, it’s amazing how much leeway the NCAA got from the courts for decades.


Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

“He’s got to restore that common touch to the NCAA.”

And nothing says that like the new president’s decision not to relocate to Indianapolis to work out of the association’s headquarters.

And why not?  Let’s face it, if Job One for Baker is kissing Congressional ass to get an antitrust exemption for schools, you can do that just as easily from Boston as you can from Indianapolis.  Probably easier, if you’re honest about it.

With Congress yet to act on the NCAA’s pleas for national legislation governing a host of issues including name, image and likeness, the presumption around the industry is that Baker will spend a significant portion of his time in front of lawmakers in Washington, D.C., which is viewed as far more important to the future of college sports than being a day-to-day presence in Indianapolis.

“I don’t think that’s a bad strategic decision to focus more attention and resources on Washington,” said Tom McMillen, a former congressman who now runs the LEAD1 Association that represents the 133 athletics directors in the Football Bowl Subdivision. “As long as you have a myriad of states passing conflicting legislation, I don’t think you have much choice other than to have an activist Washington presence. That was sort of a premise of the search.”

Essentially, the NCAA is making the transition from being an independent enforcement entity to a lobbying machine.  Will it make a difference?  As long as they’re doing it for the kids, probably not.


Filed under The NCAA

Does the NCAA have a death wish?

It’s hard to believe that an organization that does so poorly in court continues to engineer opportunities to maintain a losing streak.

Emmert may have left the NCAA, but dumb hasn’t left the building.


Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

A born salesman

Mark Emmert, as clueless going out as he was coming in:

Dude, the NCAA “going to continue to operate like they do now” is the NCAA’s whole problem.  Nobody, other than the schools themselves, wants that.  Should make for a great pitch when Baker goes to Washington for the first time.

Meanwhile, Emmert rides off into the sunset with a fat bank account, so I doubt he really cares.  His work is done!


Filed under The NCAA

Welcome to the new enforcement

Nicole Auerbach ($$) asks Jon Duncan, the NCAA’s vice president of enforcement, about what she calls the “NIL presumption”, and his answer… well, judge for yourself.

I have already heard someone posit that a fan could put a rumor on a message board, and the NCAA will assume it’s a violation. Like, someone could plant purposely false information. But when I see, in the bylaw, that it’s circumstantial evidence that could come from a news story, I think that must mean a booster talking about signing a deal with a recruit on the record, or something like that.

I wouldn’t say it’s limited to media stories or social media. We have information coming in from lots and lots of different sources. But we also know that sources have their own agendas. We’ve always got to ask why it is that somebody would put something on a message board. We know that there are folks out there who want to use the infractions process to advance their own agendas, and we work really hard to be discerning consumers of information and know that sources may have their own reasons for sharing information. We don’t want to fall prey to that. We don’t want to be a pawn in somebody else’s scheme. We work really hard to test information that comes in. We’re common-sense people.

The membership, I think, wants the NCAA office generally and enforcement specifically to be reasonable and exercise our common sense. We do and we will, when we invoke the presumption and then when a school responds, we’ll assign value to what they share. We’re not so cynical that we think everybody’s lying to us, but we’re also not so naive that we believe everything that every booster puts on a message board.

Hoo, boy.  The NCAA is going to scour social media for NIL compliance tips? Sounds like Pork Rind Jimmy could be making a comeback. What could possibly go wrong there?


Filed under Social Media Is The Devil's Playground, The NCAA