• phil cantor/@osgphil

Congress May Force the NCAA to Deal With Athletes and Marketing Money


Is a Reckoning Near??

The beginning of the end is near for the NCAA's monopoly on profiting from the names of College Athletes....


Last month, the state of California passed legislation that would kick in beginning in 2023, allowing athletes the ability to profit from their names or likenesses. The NCAA and multiple coaches expressed their concern over the bill by stating a variety of concerns--most of which are not applicable to the actual legislation.


It's not "Pay to Play" for the players. It never has been. The bill just gives the athletes the ability to say....make money on their YouTube channel or Social Media page or get a small percentage of sales from their jersey's. They'd be allowed to be mentioned in ads or shown in promotions. (they can't now)


Yeah, sure--it means they'd need someone to help managethat, probably an accountant or legal representative because it is a lot to deal with, but we're also only talking about a relatively small percentage of the actual College Athletes.


Now comes word that Congress is interested in getting into the fray. Utah Representative and former Vice President Mitt Romney chimed in this week at a Sports Marketing conference in North Carolina with this:


Interpret that as you will---but the implication is pretty obvious....change is afoot.


North Carolina Congressman Mark Walker has already introduced a federal statute which would apply to every state---forcing the NCAA to either capitulate....or if one is to believe their threats....no longer do business, in, well, every state. They've already gone on record saying they'd have to consider making California athletes ineligible under their recently passed law.


Potentially, this boxes the NCAA in. To their credit--they have said they will consider and evaluate whether this should be something to accept. My guess is they'll come up with a more moderate version of "Fair Pay to Play".


It's aggravating to see the confusion this has generated because really, it does not impact a majority of college athletes. A back-up defensive player on a Group of 5 Soccer team is not going to have much to worry about as their school is not likely marketing souvenirs with their likeness or name on them.


But when it comes to the big-boy's, yeah, it's definitely a concern. Nothing proposed here says the schools will pay players to come to their respective schools. It has nothing to do with scholarships or anything of the sort.


It's ALL about the marketing money. The schools make ungodly amounts of money as eager alumni buy up jersey's and other paraphernalia with players names on them. I can't sit here and tell you how much money Alabama is making off Tua Tagaliavoa's jersey, but look at the stands and fans filing into Bryant-Denny stadium during a game broadcast.


That $75 Tua jersey, 'Bama probably makes $50 or more off of it. A percentage goes to the NCAA and the rest is purchase cost. Now imagine Alabama selling say, 5,000 of those jersey's this season. That's $250,000 folks. All from marketing Tua's name. And that's just ONE player.


Right now--he makes $0 off of those sales. And yes, I get it, there are a percentage of you who'll say--they pay for his classes/he gets a scholarship. And I'll tell you---no, they don't. The cost of that comes from the Athletic Department/Association and boosters/fundraising. It's money pushed from one budget to another. It doesn't cost the school anything.


The players should be allowed to make some money off this. Look at it this way---if you were famous and someone was selling memorabilia of you and taking all the profits---how upset would you be?

I rest my case.....

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