California to force NCAA to pay athletes

This seems like a pathway for schools with heavy sports traditions to build onto their legacy by continuing to attract one-and-done’s with the promise of selling jerseys, including UCLA, USC, Stanford, Berkeley, and, yes, perhaps, too, Long Beach State and SDSU. California schools can pave the way for Texas A&M, Texas, Michigan, Alabama, Louiseville, Kentucky, Penn State, Ohio State, Florida State, Michigan State, and so forth. All of these wonderful institutions with money-making sports programs can add another recruitment tool to their belts. The right for student athletes to share in the profits would motivate those schools to sell their players even further. NCAA has already caved and allowed the offering of the limited cash stipend for student athletes, but at least there is a measure of parity in it. Were they not to support this development, they would risk losing their Power 5 schools to a more competitive start-up athletic association.

Not getting paid to work sounds a lot like the communism that Americans are so scared of. What a curious state of affairs.

It’s not communism because the workers in this case are never fed the lie that they are building a system where everyone is equal. What the NCAA practices is serfdom - they own the players, who have no rights at all except the right to be punished if they violate the rules that say they aren’t allowed to make any kind of income off the destruction of their bodies.

This is nothing but smoke and mirrors. The bigwigs who run the NCAA and the schools will figure some way to ensure they keep getting rich off the players. They’ll probably start hitting the players with all kinds of “laboratory fees” and other costs for the classes they’re supposedly taking, to pull back any money that finds its way into the players’ hands. That’s why the measure doesn’t take effect until 2023, to give them time to work out how to continue to get those sweet alumni donations.

And that is the real source of the problem. College sports are profitable because too many people are pigs who don’t care about education. Alumni and people who never went to college alike - they are willing to pony up money for college sports because they get a vicarious thrill out of it. It makes them feel better about themselves because by identifying with college teams they somehow feel like they’re better, that they are winners somehow. So they’ll donate big to the football program but they won’t cough up one penny to fix the leaking roof on the chemistry building or buy more books for the physics department. That kind of refusal to support things that really matter is especially evident with local schools. People who spend $500 to pay for parking and beer and gadgets to have tailgate parties on game day will vote down school bond issues because they feel they’re being cheated if their property taxes go up $50 a year to pay for a better school. I don’t know how many time I’ve heard some jackass brag about how he spent $100 for tickets and beer and hot dogs to go to a basketball game, and that same jackass bitches about being asked to donate money to upgrade the school library. Ask him that and he grumbles about how he shouldn’t have to pay more because he’s been taxed for it already.

This measure won’t actually change anything. This is nothing but virtue signalling. It’s a fan dance so some lawmakers can brag about how wonderful they are. They know damn good and well the same old games will go on, just with different money laundering schemes.

This is a shot across the NCAA’s bow. While it doesn’t directly require them to pay athletes, it is carefully worded to allow NCAA schools to capture an athlete’s output by signing their own compensation contract with the athlete. Much like CA emissions standards, once the NCAA makes room in the regulations for California schools to proceed, they will have to open it up to all the rest of the schools, nation-wide.

Long-term, I think this will be a good thing. When you look at most of the scandals related to paying players of revenue sports teams, we’re talking about relatively paltry sums compared to what the universities are making on those sports. You could cut out a lot of the shenanigans where a booster or assistant coach or agent pays a kid $5000 here or there, or or someone associated with the program pays for a plane ticket for the kid’s grandmother to go see him play, and the whole program gets penalized while the kid gets declared ineligible; just pay revenue sports athletes ~$50k a year and that all goes away.

Here’s a good article on the topic from Jay Bilas, a former NCAA Div 1 basketball player and lawyer.

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