California Goes To Bat For Student Athletes, NCAA Threatens Temper-Tantrum

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Sam Wilkinson

According to a faithful reader, I'm Ordinary Times's "least thoughtful writer." So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

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  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon
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    says:

    I always love it when entrenched interests try to defend their entrenchment by claiming that it’s in the best interests of those the entrenched get to nakedly exploit. I mean, the NCAA is even worse that a sweatshop, sweatshop workers at least get paid something.Report

    • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Oscar Gordon
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      says:

      With every advancement in the debate, the NCAA looks more and more like it is everything its critics have rightly said about it. Eventually, things will surely reach the case where it finally decides that being honest about everything makes more sense than its horseshit, “We’re doing this FOR the kids!” argument.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Sam Wilkinson
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        says:

        I’m surprised I don’t hear more about how racist that policy is, considering how many college athletes are POC.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Oscar Gordon
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          says:

          The law flagrantly tosses aside the natural order. There’s a reason student athletes aren’t paid while the staffers are well compensated and the coaches get millions for overseeing. It may seem peculiar to some outsiders, but the institution has worked remarkably well for over a century. College sports not only generates a lot of revenue for education, it keeps a lot of at-risk kids off the streets and keeps strong and energetic young men out of mischief. We also need to recognize that there are two distinct classes of people, pros and amateurs, and they should never be allowed to mix together, except perhaps on the golf course.Report

          • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to George Turner
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            says:

            “the natural order” is a whole bunch of bullshit. The reason student-athletes aren’t paid is so that coaches/administrators can be. And the institution hasn’t worked “remarkably well” for its athletes.

            But, of course, you know that.Report

          • Avatar Michael Siegel in reply to George Turner
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            says:

            No, it’s horseshit. Athletes have gotten in trouble for things like giving jerseys to charities for auction. They’re often scrounging for money for basic necessities. MOST athletes benefit from the education; they tend to have higher GPAs than the general student body. I’m at a big athletic school and most of the athletes I’ve had as students have been good students. But in the big money sports, the schools are just milking them. That’s nonsense.Report

          • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to George Turner
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            says:

            Coaches can earn millions in contracts with shoe companies.

            Try taking kickbacks from Xerox to make them your office’s copier supply company, and let me know how that goes.Report

  2. Avatar Richard Hershberger
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    says:

    The ideological line between amateur and professional athletes is not so straightforward as the NCAA likes to pretend.
    When athletic scholarships first became a thing, there was hand-wringing over it, as this was blatant compensation for playing. They got over it, and today the standard line is that it is somehow not compensation, except when it is cited to show that the athletes already are compensation, so what’s the problem?

    Simply as a matter of power politics, I am fascinated by how this will play out. Yes, the NCAA can exclude California schools from national championships. If, however, the law becomes an effective recruiting tool, the result could be that the California schools have clearly better teams, which would discredit the national championship. If other states jump on the bandwagon, the NCAA will have to concede the point or risk schism and irrelevance.Report

    • In smaller sports, excluding California schools will already raise the argument the NCAA championship isn’t really a championship. National Division I team championships, top five schools all time: Stanford, 122; UCLA, 118; USC, 107; Oklahoma State, 52; Penn State, 51.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to Michael Cain
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        says:

        It may come down to dominance. Adolf Rupp pulled Kentucky out of the NIT and had them start playing in the NCAA’s basketball tournament, so other teams followed suit and the NCAA became the college championship tournament, because everyone wants to challenge the dominant team with the best record.

        If California schools start attracting the top athletes because of they can win endorsements, other states might follow. If prospective athletes instead decide to go the traditional route because they’re focused on the multi-million dollar offers they’ll get after playing for Auburn or Alabama, while California schools are locked out and start failing to place athletes in the NFL and NBA, the move will collapse.

        But what companies like Nike do might be even more important If they can put some California players in TV ads to targeting teens, where some standout freshman or sophomore is a winning brand, while nobody ever sees any ads for non-California athletes, recruitment will shift to California while resentment of the NCAA’s policy builds among top athletes outside California. But ads featuring college players might night have legs outside of a particular university’s alumni, students, and tailgaters, so the revenue and thus the compensation might be pretty small for even most college standouts, especially if the universities take a big hunk to redistribute to the entire program – because fairness.Report

  3. Avatar Michael Cain
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    says:

    It’s not just the big money sports. I follow women’s volleyball somewhat because my undergraduate school (Nebraska) has become a national power of late. Four national titles and two second-place finishes from 2000. They average over 8,000 people per home game (SRO for the facility). Omaha is the site for the NCAA final four as often as not recently because they put people in the seats even when Nebraska’s not playing. Every year there is at least one player who could make modest money endorsing local businesses.

    I’m not sure that allowing players to earn money in California will result in more good players going there overall. Will there be resentment that player A is getting paid, but player B is not, even though in player B’s mind there’s no question they are as good or better than player A? Probably varies by sport. In football, everyone knows that the QB is going to get more attention. Might be an issue in a sport like volleyball where everyone gets to/has to take their turn serving.Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    Huh.

    I kinda expected the judges to take the side of the University here.Report

  5. Avatar Michael Cain
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    says:

    A couple of Colorado Democrats announced today that they will introduce similar legislation here during the session that starts in January.Report

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