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NCAA switches course on athletes benefiting from their names

Tuesday, Oct 29, 2019

* As we discussed yesterday, Gov. JB Pritzker said he supported legislation allowing Illinois college athletes to be compensated for their likenesses.

AP

The NCAA Board of Governors has taken the first step toward allowing athletes to cash in on their fame. The board voted unanimously on Tuesday to clear the way for the amateur athletes to “benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness.”

The vote came during a meeting at Emory University in Atlanta.

In a news release, board chair Michael V. Drake said the board realized that it “must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes.”

…Adding… Earlier today…


Nevermind.

…Adding… No hard plan as of yet…


- Posted by Rich Miller        

52 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 1:09 pm:

    The NCAA…

    The NCAA, the governing body, got it right.


  2. - Randomly Selected - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 1:13 pm:

    “Let other people pay them so we don’t have to”
    -the NCAA


  3. - Downstate - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 1:15 pm:

    the NCAA just blinked. Big time.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 1:16 pm:

    === “Let other people pay them so we don’t have to”
    -the NCAA===

    Still a privilege to play college athletics.

    Privilege.

    Now athletes, not thru governments, but the NCAA governing body, can make money off their likeness, well within NCAA guidelines.

    The NCAA got it right.


  5. - Anon - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 1:16 pm:

    Federal legislation may still be needed. California has only one limit (no conflict with a school sponsorship). Other states seem poised to enact some limitation. The NCAA would have a hard time with inconsistent state laws.


  6. - Anon - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 1:18 pm:

    They still need to impose some fair market requirement and possibly a reporting requirement to avoid turning the endorsements into simple payment for attending.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 1:19 pm:

    === Federal legislation may still be needed. California has only one limit (no conflict with a school sponsorship). Other states seem poised to enact some limitation. The NCAA would have a hard time with inconsistent state laws.===

    This is also why overzealous pols failed to grasp that “legislating” policy that the NCAA can rectify internally…

    Oh… “Well, if it wasn’t for California… “

    The leverage existed, now confusing legislative effects to a policy of a governing body remains.

    Not everything needs “a law”…


  8. - Randomly Selected - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 1:21 pm:

    == Still a privilege to play college athletics.

    Privilege.

    Now athletes, not thru governments, but the NCAA governing body, can make money off their likeness, well within NCAA guidelines.

    The NCAA got it right.==

    That’s your opinion. We get it. You’re anti-labor when the revenue generating population is predominately minorities. Or maybe just anti-labor in general. Whatever.


  9. - Pick a Name - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 1:22 pm:

    Now, if the NCAA would not arbitrarily issue waivers for some transfers to play right away and others are required to sit for a year, that would be progress. What’s the old joke, some blue blood school gets in trouble and a directional university in Wyoming gets punished.


  10. - Perrid - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 1:22 pm:

    Did no one at the universities think waiting would be a good idea? We knew the governors were “thinking” about the issue yesterday:

    https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/ncaa-working-group-to-deliver-preliminary-suggestions-for-name-image-and-likeness-rule-changes/


  11. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 1:23 pm:

    === You’re anti-labor when===

    I’m going to stop reading.

    Right there. Right. There.

    I’m anti-labor… further, I’m anti-labor… because…

    You best stop that right now.


  12. - Randomly Selected - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 1:27 pm:

    == I’m going to stop reading.

    Right there. Right. There.

    I’m anti-labor… further, I’m anti-labor… because…

    You best stop that right now.==

    “The NCAA got it right”
    - Oswego “anti-labor” Willy

    That’s the story.


  13. - Downstate - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 1:30 pm:

    Here’s the risk I see.

    Joe is a standout quarterback. Lou’s Bail Co. pays him $200,0000 to endorse the company. Lou, who’s affiliated with bad people, approached Joe and says, “Listen, if you could make sure your team doesn’t beat the spread, we can likely add a bonus to your endorsement dollars.”

    It’s going to be tough to police.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 1:30 pm:

    === Oswego “anti-labor” Willy===

    Student athletes are not employees. They are students, who have a privilege to play sports and are awarded scholarships.

    My labor positions here are well documented. They speak for themselves.


  15. - Hamlet's Ghost - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 1:31 pm:

    Both the California law and the Illinois proposal have a 2023 effective date. Plenty of time to haggle out the details and amend or repeal state laws as needed after the NCAA comes up with an actual policy on this.

    But without the California legislation, and the threat of it spreading nationwide, I highly doubt the NCAA would be taking these preliminary steps.


  16. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 1:32 pm:

    ===Did no one at the universities think waiting would be a good idea?===

    Lol. Did you not think reading the letter the universities sent before commenting on it would be a good idea?


  17. - Hamlet's Ghost - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 1:44 pm:

    IMHI, Illinois should follow the California example. Pass the law with an effective date the same as California and if an acceptable NCAA policy is enacted, repeal before it takes effect.


  18. - Amalia - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 2:02 pm:

    think there will be some restrictions on the way this works. but it’s just more male athletes in the media cause that will be the overwhelming percentage of those who benefit. better to change the rules on what they can do work wise for money.


  19. - Randomly Selected - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 2:05 pm:

    == Student athletes are not employees. They are students, who have a privilege to play sports and are awarded scholarships.==

    Student athletes practice 30-40 hours a week and are compensated with a scholarship. Labor for compensation equals employment. We get it. You don’t want to play the players. The years of polling on the issue probably tells us why.


  20. - foster brooks - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 2:07 pm:

    they the states just want the tax revenue from the income they generate


  21. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 2:09 pm:

    === Student athletes practice 30-40 hours a week and are compensated with a scholarship.===

    Yep.

    === Labor for compensation equals employment.===

    It’s an award, not wages.

    === The years of polling on the issue probably tells us why.===

    Use your words.

    It’s a privilege, they are rewarded with a scholarship.

    They say it, they are awarded a scholarship.


  22. - R A T - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 2:23 pm:

    Did winning the Heisman just become meaningful?


  23. - Randomly Selected - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 2:24 pm:

    == Use your words.==
    I rather use NPRs (from weekend edition: Out of Bounds: New research on race and paying college athletes)

    == It’s a privilege, they are rewarded with a scholarship.

    They say it, they are awarded a scholarship.==

    A scholarship carries a dollar value. The dollar value of a scholarship can easily be calculated. They are receiving payment for a service. They are recruited (or hired, stepping away from sports terminology). They can be dismissed (or fired) from the team and have that scholarship rescinded. Change the names of things all you want. The equation is still the same. Labor for compensation equals employment.


  24. - Thomas Paine - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 2:31 pm:

    OW -

    Someone does not have to be compensated with wages to be an employee. Any type of compensation, whether wage, salary, fee or payment for work fits the bill.

    The scholarship is not an “award” in the sense of a “gift” if it is contingent upon performance of work.

    The term “student athlete” is helpful because it reminds us how akin they are to “student teachers.” It’s not that long ago that universities were arguing their graduate staff weren’t really employees either. Student athletes are effectively employees of the Athletic Department, subordinate to the coaching staff.

    All this is really an aside here, because no one is talking about paying athletes what they are worth on the court. It’s about whether the NCAA and the universities ought to be able to prohibit athletes from making money off the court.

    The NCAA got it right, but they are being dragged kicking and screaming into the future, and I think they will need to be dragged all the way across the finish line.

    That said, OW busted Rauner’s chops for four years for his anti-union tirades. It’s disparaging to accuse him of being anti-Labor. New issues rarely emerge with complete consensus on either side of the debate, and we have four years to find that consensus under the timeline set by California.

    Disagree w/o being disagreeable.


  25. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 2:31 pm:

    === A scholarship carries a dollar value. The dollar value of a scholarship can easily be calculated. They are receiving payment for a service.===

    No.

    They are being rewarded for a skill, no different than scholarships for music, rewarding a talent and welcoming to a university, academics, to strengthen the university’s standing in a field… they are being rewarded and then awarded a privilege to play D-1 athletics.

    === They are recruited. They can be dismissed and have that scholarship rescinded.===

    … just like any student receiving a scholarship.

    Like. Every. One.

    === Change the names of things all you want. The equation is still the same.===

    A scholarship for Engineering, Music, Football…all awarded for achievement and the students are awarded an education.

    === Labor for compensation equals employment.===

    They are awarded a scholarship. That’s the award they choose to have the privilege to play D-1 sports.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 2:36 pm:

    === The scholarship is not an “award”===

    … and yet, it’s announced by both the student athlete and the university… “awarded a basketball scholarship”

    Sounds like they are awarded. They say so.

    === are effectively===

    … but their not.

    They are no different than those awarded scholarships in academia or arts.

    I do, personally, appreciate the remembrance of my labor beliefs, which are still the same today as they were then.

    === Disagree w/o being disagreeable.===

    100%. Be well.


  27. - Randomly Selected - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 2:49 pm:

    == All this is really an aside here, because no one is talking about paying athletes what they are worth on the court. It’s about whether the NCAA and the universities ought to be able to prohibit athletes from making money off the court.==

    I disagree here. This is directly related to paying athletes what they are worth on the court. The NCAA is looking for any way not to compensate athletes from their coffers. Why do athletes need other revenue streams when the NCAA generates more annually off of them than the NBA or NHL does? Side note, maybe they will bring The ea sports video games ncaa college football and basketball back now bc of this. That was an interesting case on player likenesses.

    == That said, OW busted Rauner’s chops for four years for his anti-union tirades. It’s disparaging to accuse him of being anti-Labor.==

    I apologize for breaking the decorum of the chat room. I will graciously bow to the CapFax fame of Oswego Willy and the pro labor stances he took against Bruce Rauner for years. /s


  28. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 2:55 pm:

    OW, you are arguing semantics. Check out what a district court ruled in re: national athletic association athletic grant-in-aid cap antitrust litigation. I believe the ruling was earlier this year.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 3:02 pm:

    === I disagree here.===

    That’s your opinion. The argument the NCAA addressed is not of your total liking.

    === Why do athletes need other revenue streams when the NCAA generates more annually off of them than the NBA or NHL does?===

    In both Hockey and Basketball athletes can choose professional leagues like the Minors in the NHL, or in Basketball, Europe, “Russia”, Israel, China.

    It’s a privilege to play D-1 basketball or hockey (hockey programs that award scholarships). It’s not a right and no different in scholarship than the academics getting the same awards.

    === the pro labor stances he took against Bruce Rauner for years. /s===

    This is how Labor turns away from allies.

    Whew.

    - Henry Francis -

    You have that link? Thanks. OW


  30. - Bigtwich - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 3:10 pm:

    “Here’s the risk I see.”

    Say it ain’t so Downstate.


  31. - SpfdNewb - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 3:36 pm:

    === Student athletes practice 30-40 hours a week and are compensated with a scholarship.===

    Double that time. Also, division 3 NCAA has zero athletic scholarships available. Source: I was a student athlete in college until my Junior year (career ending injury).


  32. - Thomas Paine - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 4:25 pm:

    You can “award” someone a contract or compensation, just because you call it an “award” does not mean it is not compensation.

    A 2017 memo from the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board found that athletes at private universities are “employees” covered by the act and have the right to unionize. That case stemmed from Northwestern.

    Also, athletic scholarships are taxable as income.

    @Randomly Selected: something can be an “aside” and “directly related.” We do not have to answer the question of whether athletes ought to be paid for performing on the field today, because it is not part of the bill. Set it aside, you are arguing Willy’s slippery slope for him.


  33. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 4:30 pm:

    === A 2017 memo from the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board found that athletes at private universities are “employees” covered by the act and have the right to unionize. That case stemmed from Northwestern.===

    Has a private university done so?

    Why or why not?

    === You can “award” someone a contract or compensation, just because you call it an “award” does not mean it is not compensation.===

    They are not employees, it’s not compensation, as a scholarship it’s an awarding of tuition to pursue passions; academics, arts, athletics, and the students excel in ways that recognition is the option to accept a scholarship.

    It’s a privileged. No one has a right to be awarded a scholarship.


  34. - phenom_Anon - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 4:39 pm:

    =It’s a privileged. No one has a right to be awarded a scholarship. =

    I think I’m agreeing with your overall idea. This is better done through the NCAA, and they need to be careful. It’s one thing to pay a star QB to put his name on jerseys and shirts, it’s another to create a legal channel to do what schools did for years, which was to just pay players to come there, regardless of the fair market value of their “likeness”. It’s not hard to imagine a situation where anyone who signs with a certain school knows that there’s a business or person in place to buy 1,000 autographs for $10 a pop.


  35. - CapnCrunch - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 5:03 pm:

    Are there any players in the NFL or NBA that play for fun instead of money?
    Will college football and basketball players continue to play for fun while some of their teammates are receiving money as an indirect result of their participation?


  36. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 6:05 pm:

    OW

    ==You have that link? Thanks. OW==

    As I’ve read many times on this message board, google is your friend. I gave you the name of the case.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 6:09 pm:

    === As I’ve read many times on this message board, google is your friend. I gave you the name of the case.===

    As is pointed out many times, you want the cite, you find it.

    I didn’t ask for the case until you brought it up.

    Thanks.


  38. - Thomas Paine - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 6:42 pm:

    The fact that no football or basketball team has unionized yet does not change the fact that the NLRB’s top lawyer has said they are employees and may do so, Oswego Willy.

    The IRS has said it is income, and it meets the definition of “compensation.” Coaches are in a supervisory position to direct their work, and failure to do the work is grounds for the retroactive revocation of their compensation. You argue that the basketball court is a workplace for the coaches, the trainers, the referees, the administrators, the universities, everyone except the people doing the most obvious work.

    As I said before, and I believe Governor Pritzker and Rep. Zalewski agree, a system where a relative handful of mostly white men make millions while mostly black men are banned from earning anything, not even as players, but from their own likeness and endorsements is not sustainable socially, politically or morally.


  39. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 6:51 pm:

    === The fact that no football or basketball team has unionized yet does not change the fact that the NLRB’s top lawyer has said they are employees and may do so===

    Why do you think they haven’t?

    I find that incredibly odd…

    === As I said before, and I believe Governor Pritzker and Rep. Zalewski agree===

    So? It’s the NCAA and the courts. You’d think if the NLRB says it was ok, someone would do it. Why haven’t they? It’s odd.

    === The IRS has said it is income===

    Cite this. Thanks.

    I saw this today…

    https://www.newsweek.com/north-carolina-republican-senator-vows-tax-scholarships-athletes-who-profit-their-likeness-1468555

    From the cite…

    === A North Carolina Republican Senator said Tuesday he will introduce legislation to tax scholarships of student athletes who profit off their likeness to make extra money. Sen. Richard Burr said athletes who “cash in” off their likeness while on scholarship will have an income tax on their scholarships.

    “If college athletes are going to make money off their likenesses while in school, their scholarships should be treated like income,” Burr wrote. “I’ll be introducing legislation that subjects scholarships given to athletes who ===

    Maybe you can clear all that up.


  40. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 6:55 pm:

    I’ll take this alone…

    === system where a relative handful of mostly white men make millions while mostly black men are banned from earning anything, not even as players, but from their own likeness and endorsements is not sustainable socially, politically or morally.===

    It’s a racial thing? Is that the bottom line?

    I made my case, it was not racial. Now you are reaching for something to change the story… “well then, it’s racial”.

    This is… telling.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 6:57 pm:

    I found this to your income tax on a scholarship..,

    === Degree Candidate

    For any of the scholarship to be tax-free, the athlete has to be a degree candidate. To the Internal Revenue Service, that means several criteria are met. The athlete must be pursuing a degree (though they don’t have to finish). The school has to be legally authorized to offer classes that can be used toward a college degree or learning a trade. Yes, that even includes the one-and-done basketball star who isn’t sticking around after his freshman year.===

    Who doesn’t qualify?

    I’ll wait for your cite.


  42. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 7:03 pm:

    Are ya talking about the stipend?

    === On January 17th 2015, the five power conferences (SEC, BIG 10, ACC, BIG 12, PAC 12), autonomously from the NCAA, voted to allow “full cost of attendance” to be paid to college athletes. The revolutionary vote allows schools from the power five conferences to pay an additional stipend between 2,000 – 4,000 dollars per athlete. Those payments would cover “cost of attendance” that is not currently covered by a player’s athletic scholarship.===

    Further…

    === If stipend payments increased too much, it is foreseeable that the relationship between a college athlete and the university could lose its “student” status under the tax code and be transformed into an employer–employee relationship. If that happened, then those universities would also likely lose their tax-exempt statuses because “The exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals.” (emphasis added)===


  43. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 7:13 pm:

    From the IRS…

    IRS.gov

    === Tax-Free

    If you receive a scholarship, a fellowship grant, or other grant, all or part of the amounts you receive may be tax-free. Scholarships, fellowship grants, and other grants are tax-free if you meet the following conditions:

    You’re a candidate for a degree at an educational institution that maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly enrolled body of students in attendance at the place where it carries on its educational activities; and

    The amounts you receive are used to pay for tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance at the educational institution, or for fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses at the educational institution.===


  44. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 7:24 pm:

    === but from their own likeness and endorsements===

    That changed today.

    I also applauded… The NCAA… the governing body… for changing it.


  45. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 7:49 pm:

    - Thomas Paine -

    === The fact that no football or basketball team has unionized yet does not change the fact that the NLRB’s top lawyer has said they are employees and may do so===

    Huh…

    === A memo issued by the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Tuesday states that college football players at private universities are employees and entitled to the protections of that distinction, including efforts to form unions.

    The memo, written by Richard Griffin and sent to NLRB regional directors, represents a blow to the NCAA’s amateurism model and calls for scholarship athletes at private schools such as Northwestern, Notre Dame and Stanford to be protected by law if they attempt to seek better employment conditions.

    However, the impact of the Griffin’s memo could be muted. According to the New York Times, the memo doesn’t “carry the force of law like a full board finding.” The NLRB’s 2015 decision, in which it declined to assert jurisdiction over the Northwestern’s football team’s efforts to unionize, remains intact.===

    Oh… this might be why they haven’t done it yet… same cite.

    ===“The general counsel’s memo and personal opinion do not reflect a binding position of the NLRB,” Donald Remy, chief legal officer for the NCAA, told the Times. “As we have stated before and he was obligated to acknowledge, the NLRB previously decided that it would not exercise jurisdiction regarding the employment context of student-athletes and their schools. The general counsel’s memo does not change that decision and does not allow student-athletes to unionize.”===

    https://www.athleticbusiness.com/college/nlrb-memo-calls-some-ncaa-athletes-employees.html


  46. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 8:50 pm:

    OW, I didn’t see you address the case I cited. In it the court held that the plaintiff student athletes had a right (not a privilege) to additional compensation from the schools.


  47. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 8:52 pm:

    === I didn’t see you address the case I cited.===

    You didn’t cite it, you said it was.

    If you’d like to cite it…


  48. - Pundent - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 9:23 pm:

    Michael McCann wrote an excellent article in SI on the grant-in-aid ruling back in March.


  49. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 9:31 pm:

    === Mia Jackson | Thursday, March 14, 2019

    For the second time in five years, the fate of NCAA’s amateurism model landed in the hands of Judge Claudia Wilken. Wilken, the senior district judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, ruled again in favor of the plaintiffs, consistent with her decision in the 2014 Ed O’Bannon case.

    The judge’s decision will allow student athletes who receive scholarships to complete undergraduate or graduate degrees at any school, among other benefits, in exchange for their athletic services but her ruling also prevents athletes from receiving unlimited benefits. The NCAA may limit compensation unrelated to education.

    In the 104-page decision issued March 8, 2019, in Re: National College Athlete Association Athletic Grant-in-Aid Cap Antitrust Litigation, the judge wrote “allowing each conference and its member schools to provide additional education-related benefits without NCAA caps and prohibitions, as well as academic awards, will help ameliorate their anti-competitive effects and may provide some of the compensation student-athletes would have received absent NCAA’s agreement to restrain trade.”

    Neither side is satisfied with the result.

    The case, which was filed in 2014 by West Virginia University running back Shawne Alston and former University of California Berkeley basketball player Justine Hartman with co-plaintiffs, stated the previous compensation model often left students hungry and ill-equipped to handle their student roles.===

    Here’s the crux;

    ===This decision effectively removes limits to the dollar amount colleges can offer to student athletes, but it does not pay students to play ball.

    Thus, the NCAA’s amateur structure remains intact.===

    What does it mean, exactly?

    ===In her decision, Wilken wrote any funds provided to the athletes must be specifically tied to education. Tethering dollars to school expenses could protect the ruling from being overturned if and when the NCAA mounts its appeal, as the language falls under the binding law of the Ninth Circuit.===

    So…

    “Wilken wrote any funds provided to the athletes must be specifically tied to education“

    Pretty narrow window there.

    The monies tethered to… you guessed it, education.


  50. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 9:32 pm:

    - Henry Francis -

    You couldn’t *find* it, or…


  51. - Pundent - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 10:08 pm:

    OW - Keep in mind those are scholarship funds. If the court found that prohibiting endorsement income was also a restraint of trade there’s no telling what limitations, if any, the court may place on it. The restraint of trade ruling could have implications beyond scholarships which may explain the quick about face by the NCAA.


  52. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 10:09 pm:

    - Prudent -

    Good point.

    === The restraint of trade ruling could have implications beyond scholarships which may explain the quick about face by the NCAA.===

    We’ll see if the NCAA decision curbs things for a bit.


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