Category Archives: The NCAA

College men, from LSU

So, after a two-year investigation into numerous violations, LSU is going the self-imposed penalty route, docking itself eight football scholarships over a two-year period and reducing recruiting visits, evaluations and communication, in the hopes that the NCAA won’t do more.

Most are focusing on the incredibly stupid public display after the national championship game by Odell Beckham Jr.,  who handed out celebration cash to some of the LSU players, but the much bigger problem the school faces is this:

The father of former offensive lineman Vadal Alexander received $180,000 in stolen money from LSU booster John Paul Funes, who admitted in 2019 that he embezzled more than half a million dollars from Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge. The money was payment from 2012 to 2017 for what the NCAA characterized as a “no-show job.”

What is it with fathers of SEC players and $180,000?  Is that like an unwritten rule of the official going rate?

But I digress.

That’s some seriously bad shit there.  Funes is serving time for his actions and I have a feeling that’s going to play into whatever the NCAA decides.  What I can’t figure out is why LSU didn’t go ahead and throw a postseason ban into the pot.  If ever there’s a time to serve that, it’s 2020.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, SEC Football, The NCAA

The NCAA, making changes

The NCAA’s Division I Council has been a busy beaver this week.  Here’s what the members voted on:

  • All winter athletes in NCAA Division I sports will be given an additional year of eligibility.
  • All football programs will be allowed to compete in bowl games — regardless of their records.
  • “The council intends to propose new rules that would dictate how athletes can make money from their names, images and likenesses and a new rule that would allow all athletes to transfer one time without having to sit out a season.”

That’s an ambitious agenda.  Some of that has fairly significant lasting impact on college athletics.  For an outfit that has trouble walking and chewing gum at times, you can’t help but wonder how smooth the sailing for all that will be.

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Filed under The NCAA

How the rich get richer

Shorter Knight Commission surveyI mean, say what you want about the tenets of P5 schools’ greed, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

The NAIA and NIL

I don’t know if you saw this announcement from earlier in the week:

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) passed the first legislation of its kind in college sports to allow its student-athletes the opportunity to be compensated for use of their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL). The legislation approved today by NAIA membership follows a year-long discussion on the topic and extends previous legislation relaxing NAIA rules related to amateurism and NIL.

The legislation, which is an amendment to existing language under the NAIA Amateur Code, allows a student-athlete to receive compensation for promoting any commercial product, enterprise, or for any public or media appearance. Additionally, it is now permissible for a student-athlete to reference their intercollegiate athletic participation in such promotions or appearances.

“This is a landmark day for the NAIA, and we are happy to lead the way in providing additional opportunities for our student-athletes,” said NAIA President and CEO Jim Carr. “The time was right for the NAIA to ensure our student-athletes can use their name, image and likeness in the same ways as all other college students.”

What’s driving the decision?  This.

Where is this all coming from?

The Fair Pay to Play Act was passed into California law on Sept. 30, 2019 and will allow student-athletes at California colleges to promote products and earn money from endorsement deals (and can hire agents to help them do so) beginning in 2023. Under the law, schools, conferences and athletic associations (like the NAIA) are forced to allow students in California to take advantage of these opportunities.

Why is this a big deal?

California’s Fair Pay to Play Act supersedes NCAA and NAIA rules that a student-athlete can’t receive endorsement deals or accept payment for the use of NIL. Therefore, while a student-athlete will be able to legally earn money related to his/her athletic ability, it still currently violates NCAA and NAIA bylaws. The NAIA’s stance is to find common ground so that our California institutions can remain members of our association.While California is the only state to pass an NIL bill into law so far, similar legislation is being considered in at least 20 other states. There is also some discussion at the federal level.

Apparently, and unlike the NCAA, the NAIA can walk and chew gum at the same time.  Not to mention read the writing on the wall.

Screenshot_2020-10-08 NAIA

The most amusing aspect of this decision is that now, in addition to everything else, the NCAA is going to have to come up with a rationale to explain why it can’t follow the same course of action the NAIA has adopted.  I’m sure Mark Emmert is ready to dazzle Congress with his logic.

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Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

Today, in they know what they are, they’re just haggling over the fee.

They’re still in the process of interpreting what Alston means financially to college athletes.

Anyone want to bet which way this goes?  Or after it does, which school goes off to the races first?  (After the inevitable lip service about how this is going to ruin schools financially, of course.)

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Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Another day, another Congressional NIL bill

This one is bi-partisan and tries to split the baby down the middle, which likely means it’ll be attacked on both sides.  Summarized as follows:

The bill, obtained by Sports Illustrated, is more player-friendly than the legislation introduced earlier this summer by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). However, the Gonzalez legislation satisfies several NCAA requests, the most noteworthy of which are preemption and restriction. The bill preempts all state NIL laws and restricts athletes from entering endorsement deals with several companies, including those associated with alcohol, tobacco or vaping, marijuana or drug dispensaries and sellers, and casinos/gambling facilities.

It does not, however, prevent an athlete from endorsing a product that might conflict with a school’s own endorsement deals—something the NCAA includes in its own drafted legislation. It also does not grant the NCAA antitrust protections from lawsuits arising over NIL—another NCAA request.

While the bill doesn’t restrict player endorsements, it does it allow schools to prohibit athletes from wearing marks of companies during athletic activity and at any other university event.

The part I really don’t like relates to enforcement.

The bill also amends the Sports Agent Responsibility and Trust Act to include a definition of “boosters,” and details actions taken by boosters in the recruiting process that would be penalized through Federal Trade enforcement. “It is unlawful for a booster to directly or indirectly provide or offer to provide any funds or thing of value as an inducement for a student athlete to enroll or remain at a specific institution or group of institutions,” the bill reads.

I’ve got no issue with hammering boosters for abusing players’ NIL rights, but using government power to enforce NCAA rules shouldn’t be the way to go about doing so.

In any event, the most important takeaway is that the clock continues to run on the Florida law taking effect.

Many believe that a federal NIL bill won’t move through Capitol Hill until next year, when a new Congress takes control, one that could look different after the November elections.

“It most likely bleeds into next year,” Gonzalez says. “Right now, Congress is still just learning about this issue. We have a pandemic we’re working through.”

Gonzalez’s bill is only one of what could be a half-dozen versions of federal NIL legislation. Several lawmakers are in various stages of drafting their own law, which is expected to begin the legislative process in the Senate Commerce Committee.

I doubt that meets with the NCAA’s timetable.  That’s a shame.

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Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

Passing the buck on socialism

The NCAA has a few roadblocks to overcome in Congress if it wants passage of some sweet, sweet antitrust exemption.  If the Democrats are largely sympathetic to the players’ exercise of their NIL rights, Republicans are reluctant to have the government engage itself in what should be the schools’ business.

… Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said “it’s a terrible, rotten, no good idea to federalize college sports.”

“The worst thing would be for the Congress itself to write the rules,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which held the hearing. “If anybody has watched 15 or 20 senators try to agree on a press release, imagine what 535 members of Congress would be like trying to write detailed rules.”

… But the hearing, the third time in recent months Congress has taken up the issue, largely made clear how much opposition remains, particularly among some Republicans, to the idea of federal regulation.

“Be careful what you wish for,” Paul said. “The history of government regulation is not a benign one.”

… During the hearing, Alexander, who is not seeking reelection, noted that the Commerce Committee has jurisdiction over the issue but said the NCAA is best equipped to tackle it. “The alternatives are much worse,” Alexander said.

The NCAA’s problem is that it is so wrapped up in the righteousness of an unrighteous clause that it thinks it can get a major concession from Congress without offering any sort of a pot sweetener.  That ain’t how politics works.

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Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”

When did he become a communist?

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Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

Pants on fire

C’mon, now.

One of the nation’s most respected university presidents plans to tell Congressional lawmakers on Tuesday that college programs do not sponsor athletics with the purpose of generating revenue.

“The business model for college athletics is greatly misunderstood by the public,” Wisconsin chancellor Rebecca Blank says in written testimony. “We’re not running sports to primarily make money.”

Primarily is doing a shit-ton of heavy lifting there.  After all, when they say it’s not about the money…

************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Paging Jimmy Sexton!

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Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, Political Wankery, The NCAA

They’ll do it every time.

Lest we forget, the NCAA is still doing its damnedest to lock down NIL legislation in a way most favorable to itself and its member schools.  Part of the process involves a survey sent to Division I athletic departments last month by the NCAA Legislative Solutions Group, the faction charged with developing NIL legislation.  Ross Dellenger has the receipts.

No, there’s nothing particularly shocking in it if you’ve followed the process much.  But there are a few choice examples of hypocrisy worth sharing, starting with my favorite:

According to the survey, athletes will be prohibited from endorsing commercial products or services that conflict with NCAA legislation, citing examples as “sports wagering and banned substances.” This could receive stiff pushback. The college sports gambling industry is fast on the rise. In fact, the University of Colorado last week became the first school to strike a deal with a gambling outfit.

While they seem pretty consumed with preventing college athletes from cutting promotional deals that conflict with existing institutional sponsorship arrangements, they seem surprisingly sanguine about… boosters?

According to the survey, the NCAA still plans to allow boosters to strike NIL deals with athletes as long as they are not recruiting inducements, but the survey asks athletic directors if the term “booster” should be more narrowly defined because of its broadness.

Finally, here’s a funny concern from the same folks who insist college athletes are already handsomely compensated for their contributions to the money making machine.

Should an athlete’s NIL deal include a financial maximum or ceiling? It’s a topic that’s been bantered about this year. While the survey doesn’t specifically address that, it does ask administrators an interesting question about an athlete’s NIL financial details. “Should the membership establish a specified dollar amount of a transaction that would trigger enhanced scrutiny from involved institutions, the NCAA, or a third party administrator?” it says.

Makes me wonder which college athlete is shrewd enough to be the first one to hire Jimmy Sexton as his agent.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA