California Could Force NCAA Hand About Paying Players for Their Likeness
For those who follow the business of College Athletics it seem like the discussion about how to compensate players for their likeness has gone on for decades. And if you don't know what I'm talking about---essentially, it's paying the a rights fee for jersey's sold with their names on them or if they show up as a useable player in a video game--or other similar marketing based things.
Professional Athletes have profited from this well, since forever or when it became an issue.
Simply put: When you buy your jersey with a players name on the back, there are multiple people who get a cut of the sale. Not including the place you made the purchase or the manufacturer, there are marketing fees galore. The NBA, NFL, MLB, MLS and even the NCAA along with their member schools get a percentage of the sale or a flat negotiated fee.
In the case of the pros---that money filters back to them. In College, um, that does not happen. Because of the archaic rules prohibiting College Athletes from making money for such things, the school, the conference and more specifically the NCAA, they make a ton of money from an athletes jersey sale. When you add it up, the money is easily in the millions per year.
There have been lawsuits and claims filed against the NCAA for this over the past 10-years or so, none of which have made much of a dent in the NCAA's armor. They'll never admit it, but the NCAA appears--at least on the surface--to be thoroughly enjoying the fruits of the athletes labor.
This week (last week in June): Something came up which may finally be the one way to get the NCAA, who has been hemming and hawing they'd do something for a while now, to get up off their collective assets.
The State of California is inching ever-so-close to passing a law requiring...or allowing Collegiate Athletes to profit off of their names. The bill with said language has wound its way through the legislature with little opposition. Until the NCAA got wind of it.
The reason this issue has made it to the public eye: NCAA President Mark Emmert sending a "Letter" to legislators asking them to hold off passing the law. It wasn't necessarily a "Polite" request as it also contained a threat stating California Collegiate Athletes and schools could "Lose" their eligibility to compete in NCAA sanctioned competition.
Yes really, the threat could in effect eliminate all California based NCAA institutions from competing for playoffs or National Titles.
The Golden State hasn't responded yet to the letter but the NCAA may want to be careful in just how hard they push here. North Carolina and other states are considering similar legislation as is the U.S Congress, though considering how inept, out of touch and polticially/financially motivated Congress is, they won't do anything).
If more pass this kind of legislation---it boxes the NCAA in. It would force them to make the commitment they said would be considered now several years ago and act on it. Because if they don't---they'll be made to look like the utterly useless and out of touch group that they appear to be. It could also be the final straw to get the "Power 5" Conferences to say "Bye Felicia" to the NCAA and go it on their own.
All of this is a lot for the older folks to digest. There are still a frightening amount of people who don't see how or why Collegiate Athletes should get paid for anything because they get a "Free Ride" to school. Most of them unfortunately are in my age demographic.
College Sports over the past 10-15 years has become an absolute license to print money for big schools. Ans as for the athletes, there is no legitimate reason they can't get paid. They are the ones who are generating the money for these schools, they are the bread and butter--even at the lower levels. Honestly, for most--the money wouldn't make them rich, heck it won't likely make the majority "Middle Class". But most athletes have to scrounge for money to spend on--well, anything. Most come from families who can't drop spending money outside of a scholarship for their kids. So the kids have to scrounge and come up with creative (and sometimes against the NCAA rules) ways to make a buck so they can go to Zaxby's on a Sunday and get some chicken fingers.
That alone should be enough for this to happen, but the NCAA like most legislative authorities is run and helmed by 50-60 year olds who are out of touch or can't relate to what, well, anyone who isn't rich has to go through.
Good on California and any other state that moves to allow Collegiate athletes to make a few bucks. If enough of you join and do it, it will force the NCAA's hand and while monoliths like them can be very slow to do anything---if they could potentially lose a ton of schools who they'd rule ineligible, it would get done.
You and I both know it would....