NCAA prepared to sue CA over “unconstitutional” name, likeness bill

soxhop411

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The NCAA responded to the California State Assembly's passage of a bill that would allow college athletes to more easily make money off their own name, image and likeness starting Jan. 1, 2023, by sending a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Wednesday that says if the bill becomes law, it "would result in (schools) being unable to compete in NCAA competitions" and would be "unconstitutional."
Reference to the bill's legality signals the NCAA's potential willingness to sue California under the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution, which says that only Congress has the power to regulate commerce among states.

The letter is signed by every member of the NCAA Board of Governors, the association's top policy- and rules-making group.

In an interview with USA TODAY Sports, Ohio State President Michael Drake, who chairs the board of governors, confirmed that the association would consider legal action if the bill becomes law.
“We’ve looked at this very, very carefully and it does raise constitutional challenges," Drake said, "so that’s something that would be looked at … yes.”


The letter said: "If the bill becomes law and California’s 58 NCAA schools are compelled to allow an unrestricted name, image and likeness scheme, it would erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletics and, because it gives those schools an unfair recruiting advantage, would result in them eventually being unable to compete in NCAA competitions."

This is a bunch of hogwash. The NCAA since its founding has been profiting off its athletes. and now that these players might get a chance at a share of the pie they claim it’s unconstitutional? Be better NCAA. You wouldn’t exist without these players
 

axx

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I don't know about constutionality, but the bill would wreck the NCAA as a non-profit entity.
 

berniecarbo1

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Isn't this what Ed O'Bannon's case was all about?


If this become's law, is there any need for the NCAA? The P5 and power basketball schools will peel off and become their own entity. The existence of the NCAA is at stake here. Can't say I feel sorry for them. Too many people are profiting off of college athletes and making really handsome incomes as a result. It is a case of readjusting the income distribution of the product on the field/court/ice. All for this bill. Let's see the NCAA win this fight in the 9th Circuit. Good Luck.
 

Humphrey

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So would that mean 54 out 58 California schools would be against this legislation... because there are only 4 P5 schools in California? It's fair to those elite athletes for sure but does anyone else benefit?
 

Average Reds

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So would that mean 54 out 58 California schools would be against this legislation... because there are only 4 P5 schools in California? It's fair to those elite athletes for sure but does anyone else benefit?
Given that the law doesn't take effect until 1/1/23, I'd say that those 54 schools are mostly indifferent. Because the reality is that this will all shake out well before the law actually goes into effect.

One possible outcome is that the NCAA - if it is to survive at all - will actually be forced to reclaim it's original mission and work to promote the well-being of student-athletes outside of the P5 conferences. Of course, there's not a lot of $$$ in that, so they're going to fight like hell to avoid that fate.

The ironic humor of the NCAA taking to the fainting couch to decry legislation that may "erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletics" is off the charts.
 

BJBossman

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I don't have an issue with players making money off their likeness in the instances of guys like the UCF kicker who had to quit football because he was making too much money off his youtube channel.

But when you get into boosters being able to pay them....yeah...you might as well disband the NCAA if this goes through. Because all it's going to do is essentially legalize what we just saw Arizona, Kansas etc. get findings for.
 

BJBossman

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"disband" the NCAA? What do you think its purpose should be?
It really doesn't have one with this.

Guys are going to be paid above board to come to schools (with the enticement via these endorsements).

You don't think the conferences can't negotiate their own deals for TV? For the bowls and the ncaa tournament?

what do you want them to do?
 

InstaFace

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I'll give you a hint: there are 19 NCAA men's sports and 21 NCAA women's sports* . Only 2 of the 40 make non-negligible amounts of money, although women's basketball and men's baseball aren't that far off, but even those only in Division 1 which is < 1/3 of the entire collection of programs. The ~100,000 of annual players of all the other sports in all of the divisions all want to compete, generally for recreation and a competitive outlet, not because they're going to make money on it. And someone needs to set up ground rules, coordinate schedules and arrange championship events, and that's a function done more efficiently when centralized rather than individual ADs calling each other (which is done for football but not much else).

It's not about TV deals and bowls**. It's about coordinating intercollegiate competition in sports. Somehow the NFHS survives, and clearly has a function, without having benefit of massive revenues from revenue sports.

* Beach Volleyball is a women's-only sport, because that way we can have hot college girls appearing in bikinis, which is obviously the only justification for having it at all, Karch Kiraly be damned.
** As you might well know, the NCAA makes no money off of college football, bowls or otherwise; almost their whole operating revenue is from the basketball tournament(s), which is why they're having heart attacks over this law because the most obvious recipients will be glamor-program men's basketball players.
 

BJBossman

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I'll give you a hint: there are 19 NCAA men's sports and 21 NCAA women's sports* . Only 2 of the 40 make non-negligible amounts of money, although women's basketball and men's baseball aren't that far off, but even those only in Division 1 which is < 1/3 of the entire collection of programs. The ~100,000 of annual players of all the other sports in all of the divisions all want to compete, generally for recreation and a competitive outlet, not because they're going to make money on it. And someone needs to set up ground rules, coordinate schedules and arrange championship events, and that's a function done more efficiently when centralized rather than individual ADs calling each other (which is done for football but not much else).

It's not about TV deals and bowls**. It's about coordinating intercollegiate competition in sports. Somehow the NFHS survives, and clearly has a function, without having benefit of massive revenues from revenue sports.

* Beach Volleyball is a women's-only sport, because that way we can have hot college girls appearing in bikinis, which is obviously the only justification for having it at all, Karch Kiraly be damned.
** As you might well know, the NCAA makes no money off of college football, bowls or otherwise; almost their whole operating revenue is from the basketball tournament(s), which is why they're having heart attacks over this law because the most obvious recipients will be glamor-program men's basketball players.
so are you just going to have them handle the non-revenue sports?

good luck with that without that basketball tournament money.
 

InstaFace

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How do you think the NFHS funds themselves?

How do you think other nonprofit sports-coordinating bodies, such as the various national and international federations of each sport, fund themselves?

You act like one can't have a sports organizing group without a billion-dollar TV contract. I'd say most of us here would argue that the reverse is true: the unique circumstances of March Madness turning into a billion-dollar contract gave the NCAA both the money and the power to run roughshod over schools and athletes alike and become dictatorial to a degree that would be comical if it wasn't so tragic. The only other places you see something like that happening are with FIFA, and the IOC itself, and it took them nearly 100 years to figure out how to steal all that money. Meanwhile, the 99.9% of sports that isn't big-money continues on unabated. However could such a miracle happen, right?

edit: And that's not to say they couldn't continue the service role of the revenue sports without benefit of bloated TV deals and the staff to match, which is the real point that I keep glossing over because I assume it's obvious and clearly it's not. Suppose men's D1 college basketball becomes a de-facto minor professional league, with players being paid from various sources and there being a market for their services. Let's play out that scenario:
- the NBA Draft-level talent gravitates towards the top 20-30 programs and especially the top 5, with gems continuing to appear sporadically everywhere else
- those with the prospect of a non-NBA professional career also populate those programs, but lesser programs as well, and place some value on other silly things like an education
- transfer rules may remain in place
- you can get rid of 99% of "enforcement" staff, and school-level "compliance" staff, because other than ensuring that athletes actually attend the school I'm not sure what you need to care about at that point (yeah yeah anti-doping at semipro-level programs, but that's still a tiny fraction overall).
- schools now face the need to treat the revenue sports like a business with a P&L, rather than a cash cow. They will face marginal decisions like "do we hire that assistant associate director of conditioning, or save that salary and put it towards attracting slightly better talent?".
- meanwhile, the NCAA continues operating march madness (probably profitably) because there's no impact to them running championship events, they continue supporting the scheduling process, and they continue setting rules for athletes, just with less intensity and fewer lawyers involved

I'm really not seeing how the college sports world-as-we-know-it ends there.
 
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axx

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I'll give you a hint: there are 19 NCAA men's sports and 21 NCAA women's sports* . Only 2 of the 40 make non-negligible amounts of money, although women's basketball and men's baseball aren't that far off, but even those only in Division 1 which is < 1/3 of the entire collection of programs. The ~100,000 of annual players of all the other sports in all of the divisions all want to compete, generally for recreation and a competitive outlet, not because they're going to make money on it. And someone needs to set up ground rules, coordinate schedules and arrange championship events, and that's a function done more efficiently when centralized rather than individual ADs calling each other (which is done for football but not much else).
You have rather substantial travel costs, plus the coaches salaries, not to mention the value of the scholarships. Not going to be worth it to the schools.

You could just run rec level non-scholarship leagues for non-revenue sports, but you don't need the NCAA for that.
 

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It really doesn't have one with this.

Guys are going to be paid above board to come to schools (with the enticement via these endorsements).

You don't think the conferences can't negotiate their own deals for TV? For the bowls and the ncaa tournament?

what do you want them to do?
It’s almost funny how perversely the NCAA has twisted things around to the point where people can’t contemplate what the NCAA stands for outside of big-time college athletics.

Frankly, if this bill means that the NCAA as we now know it dies, that’s a positive outcome.
 

IdiotKicker

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If the NCAA were smart; and I’m not saying that they are, the right move is not to outright fight this. The horse is out of the barn. For them, the right move should be to become the facilitator of these payments so they can control the licensing and legality of them and take a cut. I’m not saying that’s what I want to happen, because nothing would make me happier than seeing the NCAA fight a losing battle against 18-year-olds that takes many years and robs the institution of all of its power. But if they want to remain in the catbird seat as far as revenue generation and control, the answer to me would be to set up some kind of approval process for endorsement deals for athletes, where they get either a percentage or up-front fee, and potentially even some kind of “salary cap”, if you will, to maintain parity.

That being said, I hope they don’t realize this and spend billions on attorneys fees. When you’re rooting for lawyers to win, it says it all about who you’re dealing with.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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You have rather substantial travel costs, plus the coaches salaries, not to mention the value of the scholarships. Not going to be worth it to the schools.
Then how are you explaining all of the D3 sports programs? None of those generate any money, but the schools still deem their costs to be worth it.
 

BJBossman

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It’s almost funny how perversely the NCAA has twisted things around to the point where people can’t contemplate what the NCAA stands for outside of big-time college athletics.

Frankly, if this bill means that the NCAA as we now know it dies, that’s a positive outcome.
your last line i agree with.

But let's not pretend this is a chance to put pay for play above board.

just because it's not coming from the school, doesn't mean that isn't EXACTLY what will happen.
 

InstaFace

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Do you think we presently live in a world where pay-to-play in revenue sports is merely an unheard-of rumor?

Edit: oh, you mean that the schools will end up bidding each other up for glamour athletes' services? Well, even in the 1% of situations where an athlete makes them money... Why are we so worried about what amounts to the athletes receiving a share of the value they create?
 
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axx

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Then how are you explaining all of the D3 sports programs? None of those generate any money, but the schools still deem their costs to be worth it.
Do D3 schools travel across the country for games? (I don't know the answer to that.)

Edit: oh, you mean that the schools will end up bidding each other up for glamour athletes' services? Well, even in the 1% of situations where an athlete makes them money... Why are we so worried about what amounts to the athletes receiving a share of the value they create?
For one, the NCAA/schools I guess wouldn't be allowed to call it "non-profit" and would have to pay taxes. That's probably what California is after.
 

The Needler

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Do you think we presently live in a world where pay-to-play in revenue sports is merely an unheard-of rumor?

Edit: oh, you mean that the schools will end up bidding each other up for glamour athletes' services? Well, even in the 1% of situations where an athlete makes them money... Why are we so worried about what amounts to the athletes receiving a share of the value they create?
You must realize it will largely not be the schools that will be paying the players, but rather their wealthy alumni. I suppose some people might find it exciting watching the Phil Knight Ducks play the Steven Ross Wolverines. And those schools committed to bigtime college sports but lacking in wealthy sports fan alumni can always jack up tuition on the hoi polloi student body. Everybody wins?
 

The Needler

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Sure. How is that any different than today, other than being more honest?
Yeah, definitely the same thing.

I look forward to the day when students begin berating their classmates for dropping passes and their salaries being a waste of tuition money. Until Liz Warren forgives all the loans, thus subsidizing Minnesota football. Because if college football players don't deserve a bigger slice of the pie for the value they're providing U.S. taxpayers, what are we even doing here?
 

The Needler

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The tl;dr answer here is that in this game of chicken, California will blink first. The NCAA will file its lawsuit, give it a go, and if it doesn’t succeed in obtaining redress from the courts, it will tell USC, UCLA, and Cal, too bad, so sad, we did what we could, we’ll miss you in NCAA competition. And the schools will lobby the legislature to do something.
 

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The tl;dr answer here is that in this game of chicken, California will blink first. The NCAA will file its lawsuit, give it a go, and if it doesn’t succeed in obtaining redress from the courts, it will tell USC, UCLA, and Cal, too bad, so sad, we did what we could, we’ll miss you in NCAA competition. And the schools will lobby the legislature to do something.
Even entities as powerful as the auto makers have capitulated to the power and influence of California.

We’ll see if the NCAA succeeds.
 

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Yeah, definitely the same thing.

I look forward to the day when students begin berating their classmates for dropping passes and their salaries being a waste of tuition money. Until Liz Warren forgives all the loans, thus subsidizing Minnesota football. Because if college football players don't deserve a bigger slice of the pie for the value they're providing U.S. taxpayers, what are we even doing here?
I’ve read it five times and I still don’t understand this post.

Little help? What’s the concern here?
 

The Needler

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The concern is, as a parent, I don’t want have the cost of higher education inflated across the board so that the tradition of college football can continue. And I see that as a likely outcome.
 

The Needler

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Even entities as powerful as the auto makers have capitulated to the power and influence of California.

We’ll see if the NCAA succeeds.
Sure, and California’s Clean Air Act waiver remains tenuous. Likewise, a Congress concerned about an existential threat to the NCAA could also pre-empt this California law in the event a federal court doesn’t find it problematic in the first instance.
 

Reverend

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The concern is, as a parent, I don’t want have the cost of higher education inflated across the board so that the tradition of college football can continue. And I see that as a likely outcome.
So, you mean you think the schools will start paying the athletes directly?

If so, how much do you expect the schools to pay out in athlete salaries? Ball park figure, though I get it’s complicated by the fact that we don’t know what kind of market would develop and what kind of pressure on these salaries would be, which is obviously one of the keys to this.
 

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Sure, and California’s Clean Air Act waiver remains tenuous. Likewise, a Congress concerned about an existential threat to the NCAA could also pre-empt this California law in the event a federal court doesn’t find it problematic in the first instance.
Another serious question: Why would Congress care about the death of the NCAA as we know it?

Besides campaign contributions, I mean. Although that would be relevant too.
 

The Needler

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Another serious question: Why would Congress care about the death of the NCAA as we know it?

Besides campaign contributions, I mean. Although that would be relevant too.
Why do they care about anything they care about? If the residents of Kentucky are led to believe that the dissolution of the NCAA is going to hurt UK’s ability to compete nationally, how does that impact what Mitch McConnell will do? Congress has had forever to pass legislation curtailing the influence of the NCAA. Haven’t done anything yet, but who knows what the future holds?
 

The Needler

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FWIW, a bill modeled on the California law was proposed in the Kentucky legislature this week.

The senator representing Louisville too, I believe.
Yes, I saw that. And I suspect Louisville and UK will urge the legislature not to pass it, as the major universities in Washington state have likewise done.
 

Cellar-Door

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For one, the NCAA/schools I guess wouldn't be allowed to call it "non-profit" and would have to pay taxes. That's probably what California is after.
Non-profits all over the country pay their employees money, the idea that letting college athletes profit off their likeness (or even get paid to play) would cost the schools non-profit status, but paying coaches, ADs, etc. 10s of millions of dollars a year doesn't is just silly.
 

axx

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Non-profits all over the country pay their employees money, the idea that letting college athletes profit off their likeness (or even get paid to play) would cost the schools non-profit status, but paying coaches, ADs, etc. 10s of millions of dollars a year doesn't is just silly.
The amateurism is what allows the NCAA/college sports to stay non-profit. Technically schools are supposed to pay taxes if it's not educational related or related to operations of the school.
 

Average Reds

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The amateurism is what allows the NCAA/college sports to stay non-profit. Technically schools are supposed to pay taxes if it's not educational related or related to operations of the school.
This is completely backwards. "Amateurism" as you have defined it is about the participants not receiving any payment. Paradoxically, that is what allows the non-profit entity to make more profit.

Ending the practice of indentured servitude and allowing schools and other entities to pay athletes has exactly nothing to do with the non-profit status of colleges and universities.
 

axx

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has exactly nothing to do with the non-profit status of colleges and universities.
But it does with the NCAA/college sports, which is the problem. Being forced to go for-profit wrecks the business model. I think most schools would say it's not worth it to have college athletics, esp non-revenue or if they aren't making much in revenue sports.
 

Average Reds

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But it does with the NCAA/college sports, which is the problem. Being forced to go for-profit wrecks the business model. I think most schools would say it's not worth it to have college athletics, esp non-revenue or if they aren't making much in revenue sports.
You keep asserting this, but have never explained how, exactly, athletes receiving compensation for their likeness triggers “for profit?”

Edit: you do realize that the NCAA is not the arbiter of what constitutes a “for profit” entity, right?
 

BJBossman

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This is completely backwards. "Amateurism" as you have defined it is about the participants not receiving any payment. Paradoxically, that is what allows the non-profit entity to make more profit.

Ending the practice of indentured servitude and allowing schools and other entities to pay athletes has exactly nothing to do with the non-profit status of colleges and universities.
Much better idea: Do something that doesn't let the NBA and NFL arbitrarily keep players out of the NFL.
 

Average Reds

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Pretty obvious, it makes them no longer amateurs.
And it's also pretty obvious that the fact that the athletes are not amateurs as defined by the NCAA does not change the non-profit status of the colleges and universities in the eyes of the IRS.

Colleges and universities pay students for work they do on campus all the time. Much of that work has nothing to do with the academic mission of the school in question. And yet, the non-profit status of the university is unaffected.

You are simply incorrect here.

Edit: Clarity.
 
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axx

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And it's also pretty obvious that the fact that the athletes are not amateurs as defined by the NCAA does not make college athletics a non-profit endeavour in the eyes of the IRS for the colleges and universities.
I don't know how it could be otherwise. You're paying players to do a sport, that doesn't sound very non-profit.
 

Average Reds

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I don't know how it could be otherwise. You're paying players to do a sport, that doesn't sound very non-profit.
I garbled the sentence you quoted before, it's fixed now. The point remains the same.

The ability of students to make money in any activity or employment they seek has nothing to do with the non-profit status of the overall institution.