pay for play
I just got served an ad that links to: https://www.dreamfearlessly.com/get-2-the-game/ - a site sponsored by American Family Insurance. This intrigued me, because the video in the ad was discussing Nick Bosa, OSU commit, KJ Costello (Stanford commit) - as well as Caleb Kelly, whom we all know.
What I found interesting about this is: it's a branded site, designed to tell these kids' stories (hosted by JJ Watt). It's exposure, and in a way, it feels like an endorsement deal. Now, I'm sure these kids and their families aren't allowed to benefit in any way from this, but this is a pretty fine line that I haven't really seen before.
To me, the players should be allowed to benefit from this, because they're attaching their name to a brand. I'm sure MaxPreps is benefitting. JJ Watt is definitely getting paid. So, I guess what I'm asking is, what the hell?
If I'm reading this correctly, a lower court must have issued an injunction requiring the NCAA to lift its ban of paying collegiate athletes. This was appealed, obviously. And the Circuit Court stayed (paused, put on hold) the injunction pending further proceedings.
"The Ninth Circuit agreed Friday to pause an injunction requiring the the National Collegiate Athletic Association to lift its ban on universities compensating male football and basketball players until the court rules on the merits of the antitrust challenge to the policy.
In a brief order the three-judge panel that reviewed the case said it would stay the district court's order, which is set to take effect Aug. 1, to maintain the status quo until it decides the case."
College football and basketball players have finalized a $40 million settlement with a video game manufacturer and the NCAA's licensing arm for improperly using the likenesses of athletes, leaving the NCAA alone to defend itself in the upcoming Ed O'Bannon antitrust trial.
In the end, according to the agreement, 77 percent of the funds that are due to players (after lawyer fees) will go to the class of players represented by Berman, who sued the NCAA on behalf of former Arizona quarterback Sam Keller. Just over 12 percent will go to players in the class represented by O'Bannon, the former UCLA basketball star. The final 10 percent will go to the class represented by former Rutgers football player Ryan Hart and former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston.
Additionally, O'Bannon, Keller, Hart and the other named plaintiffs would receive payments of $2,500 to $15,000 for their time and efforts in representing the classes.
If the settlement is approved by U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken, the lawyers will receive up to one-third of the settlement funds, or $13.2 million, plus a maximum of $2.5 million in legal fees that they argue is "particularly reasonable in light of the advanced stage of this case." They state that the collective lodestar, or total amount of legal services expended, by the various plaintiffs' firms that have worked on the Keller, O'Bannon and Hart-Alston cases exceeds $30 million, plus expenses of $4 million.
Michigan Related BOMBSHELL:
In June 2013, former University of Michigan president James Duderstadt wrote that "(in) a sense, the NCAA's objective is to preserve the brand so that it provides revenue primarily for a small number of people who get very, very rich on the exploitation of young students who really lose opportunities for their futures. ... And that's what's corrupt about it. The regulations are designed to protect the brand, to protect the playing level and keep it exciting, not to protect the student athletes."
I have what I think is a super-awesome-ncaa-fixing idea which I have mentioned to a few friends in conversation and most seem to think it is a pretty good one. I'd be curious if y'all have any thoughts on it:
The obvious problem is that many NCAA athletes contribute way more to a school than they are compensated by way of an athletic scholarship. Of course, any NCAA commercial will tell you that the value of the student athlete's education is beyond measure. Meanwhile, for every Denard Robinson that seems to squeeze every ounce of value out of his college experience, there are 12 [insert one and done from Kentucky here]'s who have no interest in what a college education has to offer.
A degree from USC, or even a year of free education from USC, had no value at all to OJ Mayo, I'm sure. At Michigan, I remember knowing of several classes which were specifically known to be 'football classes,' (at risk of pissing someone off from the Ojibwe department, I won't mention that Ojibwa was definitely one such class). So here's the thing: let's not force athletes to rack up 120 credits in Ojibwe to complete their degree. It's a joke, and it does no one any good. Another issue with the degree is some kids come from such worthless high school backgrounds, that they are completely unprepared for college level courses, so they don't get as much out of the free education as they should.
Let's make the Michigan football experience what it actually is: a serious education in multi-million dollar industry which has just as many career opportunities as linguistics, history, medicine, or engineering (ok, maybe not engineering/medicine). Make athletics a major. Film study and off-season workouts? Make them classes. Are they not learning how to be players or coaches or fitness experts or nutritionists? Is there any less opportunity in these fields than there are in traditional college majors? Also, it's a cool way for coaches to enforce attendance rules on what used to be 'optional' workouts. If the kid doesn't do summer workouts, they fail the class, and then their grades are not good enough to participate in the sport.
All sorts of majors have to satisfy basic requirements, so I am not suggesting they take no English or history or math. I am only asking that they be given course credit for the 40 hours a week they put into mastering their craft, just like a music performance major might. And for those kids I mentioned previously who come to college unprepared, let's allow the 'school of football/baseball/whatever' to offer some *truly* remedial courses. I am *not* suggesting watering down the degree. I am suggesting that we make players receive fantastic, personalized education that meets their needs. Some athletes are crazy smart and have a strong high school background. I am not suggesting that they have to get 120 credits of remedial reading, I can think of all sorts of cool/advanced courses. How sweet would it be to get to teach a game theory course, coaching 423-Expected Value and the Punt?
Also, since this 'school of athletics' (or whatever better name someone comes up with), is a bit of a special case, I would say that athletes should be allowed to dual enroll in another school if they choose. So, speaking of the crazy smart athletes above, (like Jordan Morgan and Devin Gardner) let's still let them enroll in social work, or engineering if they choose. Honestly, Jordan Morgan has been working his ass off for 4.5 years at basketball and school, he totally deserves to have 2 degrees. Or a volleyball player or a swimmer might wisely choose to dual enroll in athletics and education, for example, since she knows her field has a few less opportunities than football or basketball. But still, she is learning a lot of the same fitness/nutrition/competition/management skills the football players are, and she should receive a degree that reflects that.
I think it would be really cool if a few schools pioneered an idea like this. "Come to Michigan, the first University to ever have a school of football. Lloyd Carr teaches handling the media, and Mike Barwis teaches how to get paralyzed people to walk again."
Obviously, this does not address every issue with the amount of money that there is in NCAA sports. But at the same time, I feel most pay-for-play options being considered have a lot more drawbacks than my idea. Instead of rehash them all, I will simply say that to me the most compelling anti pay for play argument is in a quick comparison of attendance at college football games vs. attendance at arena football league games (or whatever your minor league system of choice is). People love cheering for these kids that lived in the same dorms, went to the same classes, dealt with the same ridiculous weather and long walks, etc. I love Michigan football because I had the best time of my life there. As soon as athletes are legit superstar millionaires walking around campus, those kids have *nothing* in common with me, and my love/association with Michigan football will definitely be diminished. There is a reason college sports are the only ones who approach the professional leagues in terms of popularity, let's try not to mess with that.
Sorry, this got really long, but I would love some feedback on why this idea won't work, as I feel it's pretty unique and the best way to deal with the problem that I have heard.
So, while I was stiting here earlier, a thought occured, and I wanted to get everyone's take on it. The problem with the current model, as I understand it, is as follows:
1 - Athletes in revenue sports, such as Football, would like to recieve a cut of the revenue, but that would violate amatureism.
2- Athletes in revenue sports would like to pursue licencing, but that would violate amatureism.
3 - Many schools claim they cannot really afford to pay athletes beyond their scholarships,
4 - Paying some athleties will almost certianly raise Title IX issues.
So, here's a new thought. Why not STOP offering scholarships for revenue sports. Instead, make them INTERNSHIPS. Anyone enrolled at teh school, especially recruited athleties (headhunting is common in business, therefore not shady), can apply for one of a limited number of internship opportunities with the sport of their choosing.
Should they recieve the internship, they will recieve top quality training and support in an attempt to prepare them for a career in that sport. Note that NO internshiip guarntees you'll be hired into that business, so this is no different than a journalism major interning with a newspaper only to be hired as a tech writer at an auto manufacturer instead.
Because they're hiring intern employees, and not amatures, schools can set whatever compensation level they think fair. Enough to cover part or all of a scholarship? Maybe some extra.
Instead of having a number of ridiculous rules about practice time, etc, the intern/athletes will instead be bounded by worksplace rules on hours, compensation, etc, which are legally enforcable.
Now players with the skill and potential to get paid can get paid. Those a little lower can still get their college paid for. Nobody is an amature (recieving a scholarship to join a team), so licencing is fine. Nobody is violating Title IX, and the students are STILL Student-Athletes. I mean, who DIDN'T have an internship in college?
The Slate "Hang Up and Listen" podcast interviewed Ramogi Huma, the President of the National College Players Association yesterday.
He discussed briefly the Association's goals, the "APU" slogan, and how they generally wanted to attain those goals. Notably, he said they weren't advocating for a full free market, but weren't against it either. It's probably 15 minutes in and worth a listen.
- Stipend for scholarship athletes to cost of attendance
- Lifetime health insurance coverage for sports-related injuries
- Commitment to allocate funds for concussion research, tracking, and treatment