The hypocrites at the NCAA have hung the white flag of surrender. The sham of amateurism is on life support.
The NCAA announced today that it will permit college athletes to profit from the use of their name, image and likeness (NIL). The organization directed its three competition divisions to make the necessary changes to the rules governing NIL benefits no later than January 2021.
This announcement represents a seismic shift for the NCAA, which for years has issued
hollow threats, dire predictions, and sanctimonious sermons about what would happen if “student-athletes” had the opportunity to be compensated.
It was all hogwash designed to protect the phony “purity” of college athletics.
As we’ve written many times, the insanity of allowing the NCAA, its conferences, schools and coaches to reap billions of dollars from the labors of 18-22 year old athletes--who essentially work full time for their schools, attract the fans and TV audiences, and put their bodies on the line every day, but whose only compensation is a scholarship--had to end.
Nick Saban is a great coach. But the fans turn on the TV and come to see Tua Tagovailoa. Saban makes about $9 million per year. Tua gets tuition, fees, room and board. Enough said.
Credit must be given to California legislator Nancy Skinner, who wrote the bill authorizing payments to her state’s athletes for their NIL, and Governor Gavin Newsom, who signed the bill despite intense pressure from the NCAA and its conferences. Their action stimulated over a dozen other states to consider similar legislation.
After passage of the California law, it took the NCAA only a month to back away from its absurd threats of banning California schools from participating in national championship competition, threats which initially were echoed by mindless conference commissioners and athletic directors. (I’ll spare them the embarrassment of listing their names).
So a new day has dawned. One that was long overdue. More changes ahead.
Bad Dream: We wrote last month about the venerable Sun Bowl getting a new sponsor and changing its name to (brace yourself) the “Tony the Tiger Bowl.” We thought that was about as low as things could get for the post-season bowl industry.
We were wrong.
Last week, the New Mexico Bowl and ESPN announced that it was cancelling a three-week old deal with something called “DreamHouse” to be the title sponsor of the game.
Apparently no one at ESPN or the bowl took the time to make sure the company actually was doing business in the state of New Mexico. Turns out DreamHouse’s address is non-existent and its founder has more unpaid debts than the Trump 2020 campaign.
The partnership was touted by the bowl, ESPN, Albuquerque and DreamHouse as a partnership that would bring national exposure to the city, the state’s film industry, the game itself and the company.
But all it brought was embarrassment to all the parties involved.