Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/11/12/the-potential-number-one-nba-a.html
Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/11/12/the-potential-number-one-nba-a.html
I’m not super hip to the politics of college sports, so can someone spell out the editorial subtext for me here? Is it that “California is obviously onto something with allowing students to monetize their athlete roles, check out these people in other states who just lost eligibility because they got financial help from an unauthorized source (also irony, bc they came from critics of California)”?
I think the difference is individual players vs. whole teams. If all Californian athletes/athletic teams took advantage of the legislation to a greater or lesser extent, they’d all be virtually excluded from NCAA athletics.
For me, the issue is a labour rights one. Colleges make large amounts of money off the backs of these athletes, and their NCAA basketball or football teams are a huge part of their brand. The players provide the most value, but earn very little in return.
Yes, many of the players may get full-ride scholarships to top schools, but the truth is that if you are committed to athletics that leaves little time for your studies - many college athletes are cycled through courses that are light on content, or allowed to stay in school despite dismal grades. Of course only a small percentage go on to play professionally - what happens when they leave school with a useless degree and zero prospect of playing pro?
The NCAA and the pro leagues have inter-locking cultures of exploitation. California’s new law is a good first step toward breaking the former’s, and better regulations protecting a player’s long-term health (and long-term finances) need to be in place to break the latter’s.
I guess I’m decently familiar with those aspects of the college sports controversy. I just wasn’t quite sure exactly what message the author intended by juxtaposing the California law with these stories of non-California students losing eligibility due to boosting allegations.
In the case of Chase Young he borrowed $800 to buy a plane ticket for his girlfriend to fly out to the Rose Bowl which OSU was playing in. He then paid the $800 back this summer. So the issue is it is technically against the rules wherein NCAA athletes cannot accept any monies for anything other than the funds given to them by student aid or loans.
The point here is to prevent wealthy boosters (alumni of the schools) from paying for the best athletes to attend XYZ school. Which makes sense. The issue is OFC it is a zero tolerance one size fits all rule and is not applied with reason or common sense.
The California ruling will simply make it so college athletes are allowed to earn money on the one thing they own…their likeness. So when the school advertises Chase Young in its media, he needs to be compensated for it by the school. This OFC makes complete sense, and the NCAA will fight it tooth and nail, because they have zero desire to share any of their money with the athletes they are making said money off of.
I get the distinct sense that a lot of college athletics departments self-justify exploiting young men as cash cows not only by absolving them of their out-of-control tuition bills (and sometimes housing), but by the Hunger Games style opportunity for fewer than a tenth of them to make it to the pro leagues and rake in comparatively large contracts for the few years their bodies can survive the punishment before being used up. I’m sure the calculus for women’s athletics is not entirely dissimilar, but of course the lottery pool is less lucrative since sports is a reflection so much of society writ large, including exaggerated pay gaps.
Don’t get me wrong, I think California’s reform is an improvement and they might have the clout to drag the rest of the country along if they stick to it, but it’s a band-aid on a deeply effed-up culture.
Not relevant to the NCAA story, but a funny graphic design anecdote:
When Blue Chips came out on VHS I was managing a video store. The box looked like this.
It was strangely popular and the few copies we had were regularly rented and requested. Unfortunately the box design, and a typical level of customer focus/intelligence had multiple customers ask us if we had the movie “Nolte Shaq” available.
The NCAA only gets away with what it gets away with because the NFL and NBA have no reason to invest in a minor league.
The NCAA is beginning to mess up their end of the bargain and it will not end well.
One thing that really hit home this year (my youngest kid is applying to college) is how colleges and universities recruit athletes FIRST, and only after they’re all signed do the institutions open their application process for, you know, students who want to study there.
If you look at the budgets of these schools, male sports are the focus, and scholarship (especially non-STEM) are an afterthought.
Im not sure I understand the upside to the CA law.
Maybe its cynicism, but allowing for more commercial influence upon kids who, legal or not, are already in lopsided economic relationships seems like solving one fire by starting another, but i guess the arsonists are competitive against one another.
Is it rose colored glasses to see the law benefiting athletes across the board? Wont it mainly benefit selective athletes already cherry picked as front runners who will largely eclipse others that much further?
Having strong likeness rights is good, but take in school advertising. There is 0 chance of a school paying to compensate their own student in internal advertising. They will have signed that away in some form upon enrollment. Tshirts, more expansive merchandising, thats a stronger case and area for it as an upside but still likely the schools entry sequence will incorporate sufficient waivers to be in the program.
If the law is narrow to give basic self image and name rights to the athletes, more power to them. But if its just a free for all invitation to bring a different type of shark into the tank, its still ending in lopsided, predatory relationships that favors unsavory competition between athletes for the gold rush $s.
Well, you might have a useless degree, but you don’t have a crippling load of student debt. Probably in a better place than the people with the philosophy degree due to the lack of student loans at least.
But yeah, the current situation is ridiculous. They build a billion dollar empire out of people who aren’t allowed to see a dime of it. It’s outright exploitation.
The US does have precedent for this…
… and many of the kids are from families who would know about that. Just saying.
It honestly really pisses me off that the only people not making bank on these kids are… these kids.
OSU happens to be the hometown team, so like it or not I hear a lot about how things are happening. Several years ago they “lost” a championship because some of their students traded signatures for tattoos. Ink for ink. The NCAA treated this “scandal” almost exactly the same as when they found out that the Pen State administration and coaching staff had been molesting children institutionally for decades.
Which is one of those “what in the everloving $&!@*#” moments.
This is wrong. The kids need to be able to make money. The school is making a mint off their backs; they should have to pay their athletes. I mean, I would support reasonable salary caps, but… it’s just ridiculous.
Edited to add: Yes, I am explicitly pointing out that college institutions that 60 years ago wouldn’t admit minority students are now exploiting students including minority students for immense monetary gain without paying them for their labors.
I would support reasonable salary caps for the coaches. Any leftover funds get pumped back into the school’s academia departments which is what college is supposed to be for.
Sports are like a side-dish that has overgrown the entree in importance.
Honestly, some kind of licensing deal where the professional sports team pays to license the name from the university would be nice…
I would agree that the sports teams have overshadowed the education and that needs to change.
Hey, its almost like when you inflate throwing a ball around into a multi-billion-dollar industry, corruption and victimization are inevitable. Huh.
Contrast that with my new life north of the 49th. The colleges and universities here are mostly like if you can make a b+ in these classes and a in these other classes you are qualified. You still may not get in due to numbers.
The sprog will be going to college/community college as the university proper has 11th and 12th grade requirements and since the offspring is only in 12th grade here that makes it a pain. Besides the colleges have 4 year degrees he would be interested in and are much cheaper than the already cheap university tuition. Well cheap compared to the US but actually affordable if one was wanting to take some extra years and lighter class loads to work through it.
There has been a lot of controversy around NCAA control of players, how they hand down sanctions for violations to both schools and individual student-athletes, and how much freakin’ money schools and the NCAA make on players who never see a dime of it.
Ed O’Bannon went so far as to sue the NCAA over the use of his likeness used in a video game that made the NCAA and it’s members schools many millions of dollars, while he saw exactly zero.
I suggest looking at some of the articles by Jay Bilas, himself a former NCAA Div. I basketball player, attorney, and sports commentator.
California, to some extent, dodged the issues of the school paying the players directly but opened up 3rd party sources of pay. The irony is that both Ohio State and Memphis have been caught and penalized for either directly paying student-athletes or having boosters pay athletes.
The goal of the California law (and others proposed like folks such as Bilas) is to eliminate the incentive of the school cheating to draw high-level players by creating an above-the-board way for players to get some reasonable reimbursement. If you’re getting $50k/yr either from 3rd party deals or directly from the school, why would you take $5k illegally from some sketchy AAU coach and risk being made inelligible?
But the high-demand athletes are already the ones who are getting the $ that the NCAA deems improper. It’s the ones who are likely to be 1st-round draft picks who are already getting the under-the-table money. The goal of the Cal law is to bring that money above board and eliminate the corrupt sources.