Breaking News: NCAA Clears Way to Allow Athletes to Be Compensated

The Wall Street Journal article is behind a paywall, so here’s an excerpt:

  • The NCAA cleared the way for college athletes to begin profiting from their name, image and likeness on Tuesday, a landmark decision that will dramatically alter the economics of college sports.

  • The NCAA’s governing board directed its three competition divisions to immediately consider changing the rules governing such benefits for athletes, and to make all such changes no later than January 2021. “We must embrace change,” said Michael Drake, chair of the board and president of Ohio State University.

  • The decision represents a stark shift, following years of NCAA opposition, and comes amid growing pressure from legislators, a month after California passed a law requiring schools in the state to allow college athletes to earn endorsement money.

I think this is a huge mistake.

1 Like

Gotta start thinking bigger, Rocker. Just imagine Cam Rising as the pitchman for your business!

Every high-level recruit is going to get paid to commit to a specific school.

I would guess that every significant school will have a private booster club start putting together a boosters’ war chest to be used in recruiting. These groups will pool money from boosters and then tell a school’s coaching staff how much the staff has to pass along to recruits, and the coaches will tell the boosters how much should be allocated to various recruits in order to land them based on how badly the coaches want that recruit and how they want to deploy their recruiting war chest. And then that recruit’s picture will go on some booster’s wall somewhere.

Phil Knight is worth $38 Billion. How much do you think it’s worth to Phil Knight for Oregon to have the best recruiting class every year? $10 Million? Probably more than that; that’s just a drop in the bucket for Phil. What if he slices off $500 million and essentially sets up a recruiting endowment at Nike to pay recruits every year? A mere 5% return on that would mean $25 million per year to spend on recruits.

This is going to just usher in a much more extreme stratification in college sports.

Oh, and what happens when a G5 or lower-level P5 finds a diamond in the rough? With the new transfer rules you can be guaranteed that that kid will essentially become a free agent very quickly.

4 Likes

Yup - this is the beginning of the slow death of Utah sports folks. I mean, I know Scratch is good for $1M a year, but who else is going to step up. Time to disband the NCAA.

1 Like

The NCAA said some good things about their goals here and how they want to implement it, but we’ll see how it really plays out.

This is limited to payment for name, image and likeness. I hope there’s a thoughtful effort to develop some guidelines that are fair to the athletes and don’t destroy college football and basketball – because face it, those are the sports that will be primarily affected.

Schools in large TV markets (L.A., the Bay Area, Texas cities, Florida) will have an advantage because a star player’s name, image and likeness can command bigger advertising dollars than Salt Lake, Pullman, Tucson, or Corvallis. How can the NCAA level that playing field?

The even bigger problem, IMO. is that we will now have lots of money flowing, lawfully, to athletes from outside their schools. Who will keep track of that money? Will it be fair market value? And so forth.
That will be a nightmare to regulate.

our Beehive Bail Bond windfall should get us a quality long snapper.

Sigh.

2 Likes

I don’t like it either.

And then there’s this:

“Utah’s boosters are puny compared to BYU’s. BYU’s boosters will make up any
Difference in conference payments double over.
I know this for a fact.”

2 Likes

There’s been a constant, annoying assumption in the media that college sports are bulletproof. They aren’t. Someday, we will kill the golden goose.

3 Likes

BYU coach to recruit: “Some of our biggest boosters own big companies. NuSkin, for example. I guarantee you that they’ll ask you to show up at their meetings and appear on their ads. You’ll get paid generously. You won’t have to worry about spending money or a summer job.”

2 Likes

Will the players be allowed to get agents to help them find name, likeness and personal appearance gigs?

I didn’t read the WSJ article. Are there any actual details on what this entails? Or is the sky falling?

ETA: how many players are mad they didn’t redshirt this season so they could’ve been able to make some money come 2021?

Sounds like it is primarily for video game licensing. There won’t be that many even on the biggest teams in the biggest markets that get endorsement deals. Look at the NBA and other pro sports, where there are already basically no limits.

The athletes will still have to perform well and be stars to the fans in order to get endorsement money, so they will be competing with each other within their own teams in their own markets.

If u$c or byu or whoever’s boosters decide to give a bunch of money to a bunch of recruits for signing in pursuit of a championship team, who cares. It won’t be sustainable and will wind up being an arms race for a while and it will turn off a whole bunch of fans who prefer college to NFL.

I’m not worried about it, but my interest level may drop more in the years to come. We’ll see.

On the bright side, ticket prices may fall at RES as a result so everyone worried about that could have cause to rejoice :wink:

Leave us alone. We’re trying to hold the sky up.

I fear the Hollywood money. Imagine John Wick 4 using football players and gymnasts as extras and stunt doubles…UCLA will become a recruiting juggernaut!

ETA This is sarcasm. i think it will all work out differently than the parade of horribles that will be marched through Twitter in the next few days.

1 Like

Here’s an excerpt from the Wall Street Journal story, with my snarky comments in brackets::

The details of the new policy are yet to be determined. The NCAA said it must be “in a manner consistent with the collegiate model,” making clear that compensation for performance or participation is still prohibited, among other conditions. [What does this even mean?] But the directive nonetheless paves the way for a scrambled financial landscape in college sports.

The NCAA’s decision is expected to create opportunities for financial gain large and small for a wide range of athletes. For a tennis star, it could lead to giving paid lessons to recreational players. For a gymnast with a crowd-pleasing floor exercise, it might mean monetizing a YouTube channel. For a football player, it could mean being featured in a video game.

The sponsor of the California bill, Democratic state Sen. Nancy Skinner of Berkeley, said Tuesday she saw the NCAA move as “great progress” but had no intention of accepting the matter as settled.

“The devil’s in the details,” she said. “If they mean that they want to provide our college athletes all the support that they need to succeed as students, hey, we’re totally in support. [What? Athletes aren’t getting the support they need to succeed as students? How long has this been going on? I thoujght a free ride, plus meals, was enough support to enable a 20 year-old to succeed in school.] But arbitrary limitations on a student athlete’s ability to generate income, that is not going to be acceptable.”

the NCAA could still find itself at odds with California and states seeking to follow it over key unresolved issues such as “masked bounties,” in which a school booster offers sponsorship to an athlete as part of the recruitment process. [Anyone who thinks this won’t happen hasn’t been paying attention to college athletics for oh, the last 80 years or so.]

Federal legislative efforts to expand the rights of college athletes are also likely to continue. Key lawmakers said they weren’t dropping a bill that would effectively force the NCAA to allow athletes to profit from the use of their name, image and likeness or forfeit its tax-exempt status.

The NCAA said any new rules must ensure that athletes are treated similarly to non-athletes in terms of their rights to profit from their name, image and likeness. It added that the rules must maintain a distinction between collegiate and professional opportunities and must “protect the recruiting environment,” though the effect is likely to impact recruiting. [Ya think?]

Personally I think the players should be able to benefit and make money in some form.

Collegiate sports is one of the biggest shams there is. Universities/coaches/boosters make BILLIONS off of the likeness and backs of these players. Yes, they get an education, sort of. And they have made a few improvements to make sure that the scholarship lasts even if they get injured and improved stipend to “true cost of college”. Less than 1% of college football players go pro and have a meaningful career yet their university makes big bucks exploiting them in their journey. Yes it is exploitation, they risk everything with no guarantee of reward.

Personally, I think collegiate sports should transition to a minor league like system. Especially for Football/basketball and specifically to the FBS level. If you want to go to college and play sports it should be at a lower level - FCS/DII/DIII or something like that. If you want a better shot at the NFL/NBA then you go to the minors and get paid.

Players getting money for their likeness is much different than players getting paid from university and boosters. Will some Universities/boosters work around this? Absolutely but in general the idea seems to be that a player can get paid if their likeness is used for a video game or poster/autograph signing or something like that. Players could also make money on YouTube promoting themselves or becoming “influencers”. Basically they can benefit from their moment of glory, as it may be their last chance. So far, the plan does not appear that they get recruited or sign contracts with money attached to them. Bigger universities will benefit as they have more exposure. Starting QB at Alabama will likely make more of their likeness compared to the starting QB at Utah. But if they brought back NCAA football video game all players could receive money to some degree for their likeness/name being used.

This isn’t a complete win for players. It will lead to taxes and other economic burdens that aren’t fully realized. This isn’t the end of collegiate sports and a lot of the details aren’t readily available but some change is needed.

just my 2c.

1 Like

I don’t have a problem with athletes making money either, but I do think that there needs to be some parity to not ravage the smaller schools without the vast booster network. If you don’t believe we as Utah fans need be concerned about that factor (not sure if there really is anyone) just look at the DESB fundraiser they are doing right now. We trail in school donations by a long shot to all other PAC-12 schools - USC is about 33% of their alumni donate to the school - we are about 3%. In the not too distant future it would be possible for college football to be the same 10-12 teams and the rest of us.

My thought all along on this has been to simply have the NCAA set aside a percentage of the profits that would be distributed equally among the athletes to enhance their way of living. You can argue that individual players have a larger draw, but they are part of a larger product that is the platform for that draw. Basically, let the athletes profit share.

It’ll be interesting to see how this ultimately shakes out but it is an interesting choice in the wake of declining viewership and declining athletic participation, particularly in sports like football. From our vantage point now, it is not hard to imagine collegiate sports not even really existing 50 years from now.

3 Likes

I’m fine with it as long as there are protections against corruption and something is done to make the playing field at least a little bit level.

Why do you think universities are making money off the athletes’ name and likeness? I think they make money off how the athletes play. Universities do get lots of PR off of athletics, but I don’t think the receipts from sports go to their bottom lines. USC would be financially sound without athletics. It would have to pay more attention to developing its academic profile.

I don’t like the professionalization of college sports. For example, I think “one and done” in basketball should be abolished. Treat basketball the way the NCA treats baseball. If some hoops prodigy wants to go straight to the NBA, let him go to the G League. It would be better for college basketball.

1 Like