Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Game Is About To Change...Continued

On the ESPN spin off editorial blog “Grantland”, CharlesPierce penned a really good entry along the lines of a train of thought that Ihad been thinking about for a while.  If you don’t have time to read it, I can summarize it here:

If you are on the side that everything is “FAIR” in college athletics and the money that student athletes receive in the form of scholarship money is fair compensation for the product they put on the field for the 3 or 4 years that they play…Than what about the time and activity post graduation where the NCAA and the associated Universities use that athlete’s image and likeness in order to promote the NCAA or the University’s agenda?

You know…Denard Robinson’s image on 110,000 tickets for the home opener?  What about Nick Stauskas all over the season opening program?
Yeah…that stuff.  Not to mention the video games and whatever else the NCAA or University can license, sell or make a buck off of. 

This is where Wilkensen is really digging in…Which is her area of expertise:
…Whether NCAA athletes like the plaintiff, former UCLA All-American Ed O’Bannon, have signed away the rights to their names, images, and likenesses to the NCAA based on its purported code of amateurism, and whether, by enforcing that purported code — even after athletes’ eligibility has ended — the NCAA has been acting in restraint of trade and in violation of antitrust laws. Wilken was curious about one point.

“Are you saying,” she asked Heckman, skepticism edging every word like a razor, “that being paid for your name, image, and likeness is the same as being paid for the activity itself?”

If Wilken believes that payment for an athlete’s name, image, and likeness is something different from being paid simply for playing the game — that it constitutes something not in violation of the rules regarding amateurism, but rather something outside of them — then that’s the ballgame.

In short, you can’t take a person or their image for the “Rest of their life” if they’ve given you 3-4 years in the athletic arena.  Not only that, but if Wilkensen rules that the individual owns their own likeness….That person should be able to take that image and make money on it whatever way they can – period. 

Which, if you’ve been paying attention to the MMQ:
THAT’S WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING!!!  LET THE KIDS MAKE MONEY WHERE EVER OR HOWEVER THEY CAN!!!  Whether they are playing or long after they leave....

In fact, I think the NCAA and the Universities simply haven’t thought it through, which is really sad.  What I mean is, if you let the athlete use the “Image” he created at your university (jersey) and he makes a Nike shoe ad, the University will be getting a lot of free advertising from that student athlete.  And per DB, who doesn’t want free advertising?  This could be the easiest "Win-Win" no brainer out there.....
This ruling is going to dramatically change the way athletes are dealt with in Division 1 College athletics, especially Football and Basketball.  And the Universities better start figuring out a way to get on board with it.  The NCAA may already be gone and they might not know it yet. 
It’s going to be an interesting summer….

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