I recently read Inside O’Bannon Ruling and the Beginning of the End of NCAA Inc. by Paul Barret in the Bloomsburg Businessweek, and would love to start a discussion about what you think. See my thoughts below.
The purported demise of the NCAA will not occur in the near future, but the practices of the NCAA will have to change.
First, let me say, I am against the NCAA allowing individual schools to pay its athletes, because I think it is a slippery slope that cannot be properly regulated or funds equitably distributed among all – and I mean all athletes.
The argument will be to pay those athletes on the teams that generate the most money for the “university” – which means football and basketball players – male athletes. What can’t be quantified however, is prestige that a team may bring to a university. For example, I recently visited the Duke campus, and saw very prominently a banner that recognized the Duke Women’s golf team and Men’s lacrosse team for winning National Championships. I’m not sure how much money they made the university, but those national championships carry a lot of cache with most people. I can say I’ve seen plenty of trophies and awards in trophy cases, but I’ve never seen gate receipts displayed in a school’s stadium or arena.
The Bloomsberg article highlights a bigger problem that the NCAA has on its hands – allowing schools to use a players name and face in promoting its programs and not allowing those players to benefit from their likeness. I bet for the two years that Johnny Manziel played at Texas A&M, Texas A&M sold a lot of jerseys with Manziel’s name on it and whatever other merchandise they could put his name and face on. That issue is not the same as paying players, because the university is using the player to make money outside of ticket sales, and that is a different problem.
I would recommend that the NCAA allow schools to set up trust funds for athletes, and if it can be determined that a school made a certain amount of dollars from selling an athlete’s likeness, 50 percent of those profits should be given to the athlete upon his/her graduation or leaving school.
You know the other problem with NCAA, I’ve written this entire post and the word “student” was not mentioned once!
I would love to hear your thoughts! Please comment below.