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Brutus
07-22-2009, 02:00 AM
I stumbled across (what I believe) to be a very important story this evening. This could have a major impact on the NCAA and the structure of its so-called amateurism.

Apparently, former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon is leading a class-action lawsuit on behalf of NCAA basketball and football players against the NCAA for using their likeness and images in games, DVD's, apparel, pictures and other materials.

He alleges the NCAA forces athletes to sign over their rights as their likenesses are exploited for profit by institutions, athletic departments and the NCAA. I can't say I disagree with him.

If this is successful, it could open the floodgates.

Former Bruin O'Bannon Sues NCAA (http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=4346470)

Hoosier Red
07-22-2009, 09:29 AM
I have to say, I like the system as its currently set up but I recognize the inherent unfairness in it.
On the one hand...
I always think its too simplistic to say the players get a scholarship and nothing else. Even for players who don't make the league, there's a notoriety gained that helps in whatever post graduate work they do.
Jared Odle may be a fine insurance salesman on his own, but the fact that he played for IU gets him into a lot of doors that may otherwise not be open.

On the other hand...
Even taking that into account, dollar for dollar, the top players are giving up a lot of money.

The real problem is there's no way to fairly compensate the top players and also provide scholarship opportunities for everyone else much less the 1000's of athletes in non revenue sports. Really, it's not like the NCAA makes profit anyways, all the money is redistributed to the member athletic departments, many of which run in the red. If Tim Tebow wants to look at whose "taking" his money, he should look at his coach first, than at the rest of the athletes in sports that don't make any money.

durl
07-22-2009, 10:36 AM
Meanwhile, most top high school players pick a university for which to play based upon the level of national exposure the school will provide them.

Brutus
07-22-2009, 03:40 PM
Meanwhile, most top high school players pick a university for which to play based upon the level of national exposure the school will provide them.

Kind of like the chicken or the egg though.

They pick schools to maximize their exposure. But the good players, when they get there, also increase the school's exposure the better they are - thereby creating more profit for the institution.

Kind of cuts both ways, I think.

freestyle55
07-22-2009, 04:37 PM
I always think its too simplistic to say the players get a scholarship and nothing else. Even for players who don't make the league, there's a notoriety gained that helps in whatever post graduate work they do.
Jared Odle may be a fine insurance salesman on his own, but the fact that he played for IU gets him into a lot of doors that may otherwise not be open.

Assuming they stay where they played...I have no idea who Jared Odle is, I'm assuming IU folks do, but if he leaves the state of Indiana, how many people know him? Top level guys will go on to play pro ball most likely, but even the mid level guys probably aren't that known outside of their area.

one example, Cole Magner, set numerous BGSU receiving records, but is playing Arena football now, most people probably wouldn't be able to pick him out of a lineup outside of Alaska (hometown) or NW Ohio...

Boston Red
07-22-2009, 04:48 PM
Assuming they stay where they played...I have no idea who Jared Odle is, I'm assuming IU folks do, but if he leaves the state of Indiana, how many people know him? Top level guys will go on to play pro ball most likely, but even the mid level guys probably aren't that known outside of their area.

one example, Cole Magner, set numerous BGSU receiving records, but is playing Arena football now, most people probably wouldn't be able to pick him out of a lineup outside of Alaska (hometown) or NW Ohio...

Then again, what exactly did Cole Magner provide to BGSU? Did BGSU make a bunch of money off of his abilities? That's not quite the same as a Tim Tebow, who has made millions for Florida but who would be set for life in Florida even if he blew out both ACLs tomorrow and could never play again.

Hoosier Red
07-22-2009, 04:49 PM
That's a fair point Freestyle, yes Jared Odle played at IU on the 2002 team. He's used that noteriety to his advantage here in Indianapolis.
Admittedly it's only advantageous in Indy or in the state, but that still puts him ahead of roughly 7,500 other seniors from his class and every class behind him.

Hoosier Red
07-22-2009, 04:53 PM
One other point, it would be interesting to try and tell the difference between what Florida has made with Tebow vs hypothetically without him.

It's not like they've sold more seats with him,(I assume Florida sells out every game anyway.)
Sure they've sold a lot of 15 jerseys but they'd sell jerseys for whatever player came through the pipeline. My memory is hazy, but I vaguely remember schools can't put the athlete's name on the jerseys, it just has to be a "15 Florida" jersey.

It will be interesting as evidence is presented how much the schools financially benefit from the top athletes, how much from the mid level athletes and so on.

GIDP
07-22-2009, 06:10 PM
Great lets just allow college kids to join a union...

dougdirt
07-22-2009, 06:32 PM
Great lets just allow college kids to join a union...

We should. College athletes in major sports are exploited. Until the NFL or NBA allows players to be drafted out of high school, they are forced to go to college. Top athletes don't stay to graduate. They don't need a degree to pursue their careers but are forced to go to college. They aren't there for an education. They are there because they are forced to go there in order to play in the NBA or NFL. These schools are profiting majorly off of some of these kids.

15fan
07-24-2009, 10:21 PM
We should. College athletes in major sports are exploited. Until the NFL or NBA allows players to be drafted out of high school, they are forced to go to college. Top athletes don't stay to graduate. They don't need a degree to pursue their careers but are forced to go to college. They aren't there for an education. They are there because they are forced to go there in order to play in the NBA or NFL. These schools are profiting majorly off of some of these kids.

And those "profits" from mens basketball & football go to subsidize the scholarships & operations of all of the other non-revenue sports in a given school's athletic program, including about 99% of all womens' athletic programs.

So if the school "profits", the dividend recipients aren't some investors sitting on a beach. Instead, the beneficiaries are hundreds of other kids who work just as hard in more obscure sports with the knowledge that going pro isn't a viable financial option & thus work towards the all-important degree.

dougdirt
07-25-2009, 02:28 AM
And those "profits" from mens basketball & football go to subsidize the scholarships & operations of all of the other non-revenue sports in a given school's athletic program, including about 99% of all womens' athletic programs.

So if the school "profits", the dividend recipients aren't some investors sitting on a beach. Instead, the beneficiaries are hundreds of other kids who work just as hard in more obscure sports with the knowledge that going pro isn't a viable financial option & thus work towards the all-important degree.

Maybe sports that are hemorrhaging shouldn't exist at that university then? I have friends who participated in non traditional power sports in college. They certainly weren't making money for the school and certainly other sports were supporting them. With that said, those friends could have participated in those sports just as well outside of the University.

IslandRed
07-25-2009, 10:44 AM
Maybe sports that are hemorrhaging shouldn't exist at that university then? I have friends who participated in non traditional power sports in college. They certainly weren't making money for the school and certainly other sports were supporting them. With that said, those friends could have participated in those sports just as well outside of the University.

As a huge fan of college football and basketball, I'm speaking out of both sides of my mouth here, but college athletic programs were not created to be a profit center for the university. If the non-revenue programs shouldn't exist because they're unprofitable, then maybe the football and basketball teams shouldn't exist because they have little to do with higher education these days. That is what the university's supposed to be about...

Sea Ray
07-25-2009, 11:26 AM
The issue is where does it all stop. They really can't start down this road. You can't treat athletes differently depending on whether they make money or not. Title IX saw to that. You can't give Tim Tebow a benefit that the synchronized swimmer doesn't get.

Let's hope the NCAA wins this and I think they will.

westofyou
07-25-2009, 12:27 PM
Maybe sports that are hemorrhaging shouldn't exist at that university then? I have friends who participated in non traditional power sports in college. They certainly weren't making money for the school and certainly other sports were supporting them. With that said, those friends could have participated in those sports just as well outside of the University.

So revenues are the most important factor in inter collegiate sports eh?

Maybe the folks that don't get the internet can kick back with the folks on the cross country team in your world right Doug?

Scrap Irony
07-25-2009, 01:05 PM
Let's hope the NCAA wins this and I think they will.

Let's not. The NCAA takes advantage of its athletes. Ridiculously so, in fact. UofL claimed, two years ago, they were the most profitable program in the NCAA, making $55 million. That did not take into account jersey and merchandise sales (a multi-million dollar enterprise based almost exclusively off the backs-- pardon the pun-- of athletes who get no pay, but are expected to work (60 hours a week), travel, and keep up their studies, and never get in trouble.

Sure, the profitable programs take care of those that aren't so profitable, but why should that be? The university should take care of these "classes", as that is their stated purpose.

*BaseClogger*
07-25-2009, 02:01 PM
And those "profits" from mens basketball & football go to subsidize the scholarships & operations of all of the other non-revenue sports in a given school's athletic program, including about 99% of all womens' athletic programs.

So if the school "profits", the dividend recipients aren't some investors sitting on a beach. Instead, the beneficiaries are hundreds of other kids who work just as hard in more obscure sports with the knowledge that going pro isn't a viable financial option & thus work towards the all-important degree.

This ^.

In 2006, Ohio State brought in $104.7M in revenue. Almost all of it (except for $2.9M profit) was put back into the athletic program to finance their 36 varisty sports.

From the Sports Illustrated article, "The Program":


[Athletic Director Gene] Smith also believes that, far from being used by colleges, athletes benefit in extraordinary ways from their time in big-time sports. Having grown up in a poor Cleveland neighborhood and earned his way to Notre Dame on a football scholarship, Smith speaks with authenticity when he invokes the "teachable moments" and "character building" of athletes. "I'm a strong believer that sports participation and competition challenge you," he says. "You're the field goal kicker, and the score's 31-30 with a few seconds on the clock. There are 105,000 fans. That's pressure. Once that kicker graduates and interviews with IBM, and they say, 'Here's your territory and sales quota, can you handle it?' what's he going to say?"
My goal is to give as many kids as possible that experience. Not just the football and basketball players."

Hoosier Red
07-25-2009, 03:09 PM
I'm of two minds on this. I think I want the NCAA to win the suit, though I see no reason why they should.

Sort of like being a Reds fan.

AtomicDumpling
07-25-2009, 03:50 PM
I don't have a problem with the colleges keeping the money while the players get nothing. If the players don't like it they don't have to go to college.

In baseball, tennis, hockey and soccer the player can choose to go pro after high school or go to college and play for free. That is fair.

On the other hand, the NBA and NFL force players to go to college before they can enter the draft. That is what is unfair. The players don't have any control over their lives. The NBA and NFL get a free minor league system, the colleges make millions of dollars but the players do all the work and take all the risks.

So in my mind the blame lies with the pro leagues rather than with the NCAA.

The ironic aspect of all this is that baseball players are never ready to contribute at the major league level straight out of high school. They require years of practice and development before they are ready yet they have the option to go pro immediately. But many basketball players are good enough to play in the NBA straight out of high school yet they are the ones that are forced to go to college -- even though many of them have absolutely no academic skills and no academic interests.

Sea Ray
07-25-2009, 06:48 PM
Let's not. The NCAA takes advantage of its athletes. Ridiculously so, in fact.

Do you think Tim Tebow feels he's being taken advantage of?

If the NCAA loses it'll be a mess. How will they decide who gets what? Does Tim Tebow get a million and Miami's (OH) QB gets nothing? What does the female athlete get?

Once you blow up the whole amateur status then we're back to the days where boosters can pay athletes huge sums. For instance Jeff Wyler can pay UC athletes to "work" on his car lot. Then athletes aren't picking between schools, they're picking between off campus job offers. How does Wyler's offer compare to Ford's offer to play for Michigan?

I think the NCAA wins because their position is very clear. All our athletes are amateurs and we treat them all the same. This is a consistent policy. This means that everything goes into the same pot. The few stars finance the benefits for many, many athletes and in some cases they finance projects that benefit the entire University.

If Tim Tebow wants to make money off his name he can do it but he has to give up being QB for the Gators. He can't have both. The choice is his. He has no "right" to play for a college.

Sea Ray
07-25-2009, 07:01 PM
On the other hand, the NBA and NFL force players to go to college before they can enter the draft. That is what is unfair. The players don't have any control over their lives. The NBA and NFL get a free minor league system, the colleges make millions of dollars but the players do all the work and take all the risks.




This has been tried in court and the ruling said that it is perfectly fair. There are all kinds of things you can't do before you're 21. The NBA and the NFL have decided that they want a certain amount of maturity and there's nothing wrong with that. You can run a business and say "I'm not hiring anyone who's less than 3 years removed from high school."

This country is not set up to allow 18 year olds total control and I think that's a good thing. Pushing kids towards college is something I encourage.

AtomicDumpling
07-25-2009, 10:02 PM
This has been tried in court and the ruling said that it is perfectly fair. There are all kinds of things you can't do before you're 21. The NBA and the NFL have decided that they want a certain amount of maturity and there's nothing wrong with that. You can run a business and say "I'm not hiring anyone who's less than 3 years removed from high school."

This country is not set up to allow 18 year olds total control and I think that's a good thing. Pushing kids towards college is something I encourage.

The courts don't decide what is fair.

The courts rule based on laws, precedents and technicalities -- not on fairness. Usually the side with the best lawyers wins. Who will have the best lawyers, a high school kid from the ghetto or the billionaire NFL owners?

If the issue ever gets taken up by a powerful legal entity then I am sure the players would win. It is pure age discrimination which is illegal in the USA.

If a player is good enough to contribute to a professional team then it is unethical to selfishly make a rule that prohibits him from earning a livelihood. The NBA and NFL do it purely because they don't want to pay players while they develop like they do in MLB and the NHL. The NCAA loves it too because they are making billions of dollars. The players are the ones that get screwed.

We love college sports so we are happy to maintain the status quo to protect our own interests.

There are lot of kids out there that have no business going to college. They are wasting their time and others' time when they could be doing something much more productive.

WMR
07-25-2009, 10:21 PM
nm

15fan
07-25-2009, 11:01 PM
Maybe sports that are hemorrhaging shouldn't exist at that university then?

Title IX says "hello".

Scrap Irony
07-25-2009, 11:17 PM
Do you think Tim Tebow feels he's being taken advantage of?

If Tim Tebow wants to make money off his name he can do it but he has to give up being QB for the Gators. He can't have both. The choice is his. He has no "right" to play for a college.

But he can't. Not really. Tebow jerseys are HUGE in Florida and across the country. How much of that does Tebow get? Nada. Instead, he has to go to school and work full-time (plus) while under an extreme microscope.

Tebow might not feel like he's being taken advantage of, but he is. Without a doubt.

*BaseClogger*
07-25-2009, 11:49 PM
There are lot of kids out there that have no business going to college. They are wasting their time and others' time when they could be doing something much more productive.

There are at least as many who are setting themselves up to fail...

Sea Ray
07-26-2009, 08:52 AM
But he can't. Not really. Tebow jerseys are HUGE in Florida and across the country. How much of that does Tebow get? Nada. Instead, he has to go to school and work full-time (plus) while under an extreme microscope.

Tebow might not feel like he's being taken advantage of, but he is. Without a doubt.

Talk to me a year from now and tell me if he was taken advantage of. My bet is he'll be set for life

Sea Ray
07-26-2009, 08:59 AM
If the issue ever gets taken up by a powerful legal entity then I am sure the players would win. It is pure age discrimination which is illegal in the USA.



Age discrimination happens all the time. It happens when they card you getting into a bar or casino. It happens when you get car insurance. Your rates will go down after you're 25. These practices are not illegal. Age discrimination is in our Constitution. Just look at the qualifications to be Senator, Congressman or President.

If it was "pure age discrimination", Maurice Clarett would have won his case. I'm sure his lawyers brought up that argument

Roy Tucker
07-28-2009, 03:55 PM
I just scratch my head at the notion that employees of institutions that can bring in $100M+ in revenues can be called amateurs.

Something like Div. III sports I could call amateurs.

But once you get to the Div I level where the NCAA gets $6B for mens hoops, the BCS schools get $80M a year for their games, etc etc. , we're talking some serious coin. The performers-student-athletes-employees or whatever you call them are the commodities that make all this money. The better they are, the more money the school will make.

I think its a laudable thing that these institutions plow this money back in to fund other sports, but that really has nothing to do with it. These institutions could easily throw that money in the bank for a rainy day. The fact is, these schools make a lot of money off their players. That sure seems like the job I have.