Category Archives: The NCAA

Getting the player compensation band back together

If you’re the NCAA, the hits just keep on coming.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the NCAA and the nation’s top college conferences that challenges the association’s remaining rules regarding athletes’ ability to make money from their names, images and likenesses reiterated in a filing Friday night that athletes are entitled to a share of the billions of dollars in college sports TV revenue not only now, but also reaching back to 2016.

The filing seeks to have the suit certified as a class action, meaning it would be applicable to thousands of athletes rather than only the named plaintiffs…

And if you’re the NCAA, prepare to welcome back some familiar faces.

The case follows the legal trail carved by the O’Bannon and Alston cases, the latter of which ended with the NCAA losing a unanimous verdict before the Supreme Court. The plaintiffs’ lawyers in this suit are among those who were involved in either or both of the earlier cases, led by Steve Berman and Jeff Kessler. (Kessler argued for the Alston plaintiffs before the Supreme Court.) And this case currently is pending before U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken, who presided over the early phases of the O’Bannon and Alston proceedings.

In the filing, they claim that more than 7,000 college athletes are entitled to damages.

I have the feeling this isn’t going to end well for the schools.

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Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Nice tournament you got here. Shame if anything were to happen to it.

These people

Last month, the professional organization representing FBS athletic directors issued what amounted to a veiled ultimatum. The “overwhelming majority” of those ADs at a Lead1 Association meeting in Washington D.C. had a “strong preference” the NCAA continue running major-college football if the association “can be more streamlined and less bureaucratic.”

Or else … what?

The answer has opened the door to perhaps not a breakaway of major college football and basketball but at least a forming picture of what a new structure would look like. A growing number of those ADs believe they have a unique and powerful hammer as leverage if the NCAA doesn’t clean up its act.

“If not,” a Lead1 executive said. “We would explore other options.”

Among those implied options, CBS Sports has learned, is leveraging schools’ participation in the NCAA Tournament. While a separate basketball tournament operated outside of the NCAA isn’t likely anytime soon, the ADs’ realization they could create such an event provides a picture as to how the NCAA’s two biggest sports will be run in the future.

I wouldn’t put it past them to try.  Not because it’s a guaranteed slam dunk… quite the opposite, in fact.  Can you imagine the same people who can’t get their shit together hiring and firing coaches thinking they’re just the folks to remake one of the most popular events in American sports?  Maybe you and I can’t, but I bet they do.

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Of all the NCAA presidents in the world…

Mark Emmert is certainly one of them ($$).

Asked about Emmert’s comments this week, Sankey pointedly demurred.

“Mark is responsible for explaining himself, not me,” Sankey said.

And, no, when you’re going all “new phone, who dis?” on the man, it really doesn’t matter what those comments were.

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Filed under The NCAA

An exercise in futility

Look, mom!  A US Senator is trying to stuff the genie back in the bottle!

One of the most powerful Republicans in the U.S. Senate is reintroducing a bill to govern name, image and likeness (NIL) that would “preserve the unique amateur nature of college sports,” he says.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R., Miss.), the ranking member of the committee believed to hold jurisdiction over any NIL legislation, is proposing a similar bill to the one he introduced in December 2020. His legislation would legalize college athlete NIL by using a national standard of rules that prohibits boosters and schools from utilizing NIL in recruiting.

Rog, I hate to break it to you, but that “unique amateur nature of college sports” horse is already two counties over from the barn it escaped from.  Although I give you credit for giving the NCAA everything it had on its congressional shopping list.

The bill gives antitrust protection to the NCAA, schools and conferences in two ways. It prohibits former athletes from suing for retroactive NIL, and it explicitly notes college athletes should not be considered employees. The NCAA is fighting two ongoing court cases based on both of these elements.

Yeah, that’s going to be embraced by everyone.  Needless to say, this baby’s as DOA as his previous bill was.

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Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

TFW you realize you still need a scapegoat

Now, here’s a surprise.

An overwhelming majority of Division I athletic directors at the annual fall LEAD1 meeting on Wednesday expressed a “strong preference” to keep FBS football under the NCAA if it can be more streamlined and less bureaucratic.

Tom McMillen, the CEO and president of the organization representing the 131 athletic directors in the FBS, said there were a total of 105 ADs who participated in the closed-door discussions (about 80 in-person and the rest virtually), and that by a show of hands in the room, it was clear they prefer the NCAA continues its oversight of the most popular sport in college athletics.

Okay, I was joking.  I was always skeptical about all the ditch the NCAA talk, because the reality is that the organization, for all its crapitude, is basically the schools’ useful idiot.  McMillen provides a little of that when he says,

At the meeting on Wednesday, though, McMillen said outgoing NCAA chief financial officer Kathleen McNeely gave a presentation to the group that revealed the NCAA spends $65 million on various expenses such as catastrophic insurance, and administrative expenses.

“That does not include any extraordinary costs for legal,” McMillen said. “As you know, the NCAA is the legal shield. It’s a substantial number. I don’t think everybody knew that.”

I bet they did.  But I digress.  The real purpose the organization serves is to deflect attention from the schools when they take positions that are unpopular with the public.  There’s a certain value to that, and as long as the NCAA isn’t so inept as to make that too expensive, there remains a role for it to play.

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At least they mean well

I guess the NCAA’s decided football officials aren’t being challenged enough grappling with targeting calls.

Holy crap.  “In the act of”“With focus downfield”?  That is going to be a nightmare to enforce.  The howling will be deafening.  And rightfully so.

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NCAA to schools: help us to help you

Everybody talks about what’s wrong with NIL, but does anybody want to do anything about it?

NCAA officials sent a letter to its membership Thursday noting its enforcement staff’s pursuit of “potential violations” of the name, image and likeness compensation policy and emphasizing the need for schools to help investigations.

… The NCAA has yet to issue a notice of allegations related to potential NIL violations to a school. The letter stressed the importance of schools “self-regulating.”

“To achieve success and protect fair competition from abuses, member cooperation and communication with the NCAA enforcement staff is imperative when self-regulating requirements fail,” the letter said.

The letter said “our focus is not on targeting student-athletes, but rather the actors who pose a threat to the integrity of college sports.”

The letter concluded with a plea to its 1,100 member schools with nearly 500,000 athletes to report improprieties.

“Investigations can be challenging and the enforcement staff needs help from member schools. Specific information about contacts or transactions will expedite investigations and help us secure truthful accounts,” the letter read. “We understand why coaches and student-athletes are reluctant to provide documentary evidence and details on the record, but it’s critically important in our effort to protect compliant programs.”

Yeah, I’m guessing this will have zero impact.  When you’ve been operating as an illegal cartel for decades, “snitches get stiches” is part of the lifestyle that’s hard to break.

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“Now I just hope I’m not penalized for doing the right thing.”

I always love it when the NCAA plays the classics.

Drew Singleton was watching the TV show “Power” at his grandmother’s house last December when his phone rang with an opportunity he never saw coming. Rutgers had received a late invitation to play in the Gator Bowl just days after the linebacker had decided to enter the NFL Draft, and as a result, Singleton had a decision to make.

Should he skip the bowl and focus on his pro career?

Or should he rush back to Piscataway and grab his helmet?

Most players in his position understandably choose to sit out the postseason game to avoid injuries. But for Singleton, the pull to play was strong. He grew up in Newark and wanted to represent New Jersey on the big stage. He knew the Scarlet Knights faced long odds playing a talented Wake Forest team on short notice, and that as a defensive leader, he could help.

… Singleton is pursuing a waiver to return to Rutgers for his fifth year of eligibility. The NCAA denied the former Paramus Catholic star’s initial application for reinstatement because he had accepted money for training expenses from an agent after he began preparing for the NFL Draft — money that he has since repaid.

You can probably already guess the punchline.

Singleton not only did what he believed was right for Rutgers. He was injured while doing it. He said he badly sprained his ankle on a special teams play in the Gator Bowl, requiring him to wear a boot for three weeks.

He believes that injury held him back during the critical pre-draft workouts and may have contributed to him not becoming a late-round selection. Two of his Rutgers teammates who sat out the bowl — receiver Bo Melton and running back Isaih Pacheco — heard their names called at the draft.

“A lot of the guys decided to sit out, which I totally understand and respect,” Singleton said. “But me being a Jersey kid, a Rutgers guy, I just wanted to represent my school the right way. I’m just praying that wasn’t my downfall, that me doing what I thought was right wasn’t my downfall.”

Dude, do you know how long it’s been since the NCAA has had a clean shot at behaving dickishly about amateurism?  Don’t hold your breath on them doing the right thing.

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What once was shunned is now embraced.

Nothing wrong with that, except when I see it and think about what happened to AJ Green and Todd Gurley, it really manages to piss me off.

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Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Eliminating the middle (bag) man

Shot.

Chaser.

Pruitt issued a response to ESPN about the allegations later Friday, saying: “A lot of this information in the NCAA’s report, I’m seeing for the first time and still reading through it. I’d rather not comment a whole lot past that, other than to say that I’m looking forward to telling my side of the story somewhere down the road.”

Now there’s a fierce denial if I’ve ever heard one.

The irony here, of course, is the timing.  UT getting in trouble for this almost seems quaint in the new era of NIL compensation.  Not that I’m complaining…

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