‘Compensation’ for Student-Athletes ‘Employees’
Many people spend their money and time vying for the privilege of signing high school stars. Recruitment of student-athletes requires constant contact with the athletes and their high school coaches as well as carefully planned campus visits. In addition, prize prospects often receive calls (and sometimes improper promises) from famous or wealthy alumni. The NCAA’s amateurism rules seek to restrain this competition among its member institutions. In essence, the NCAA acts as a classic cartel, eliminating virtually all price competition among its members. ‘Compensation’ for student-athletes ’employees’ is set by agreement and is limited to tuition and fees, room and board, and required course-related books. The NCAA also has an extensive set of rules to ensure that members do not increase athlete ‘compensation’ indirectly through awards, benefits or covered expenses. Like most effective cartels, the NCAA maintains an elaborate enforcement mechanism to monitor and punish non-complying members. (Goldman, 1990.)This insert shows the NCAA role in protecting current and future student-athletes from being promised compensations that may never come true but also against NCAA bylaws. Many will argue that paying student-athletes would be too difficult because of the different skill levels. When I think of athletes being paid I think of a monthly stipend for their season of play to compensate their dedication ‘.
Scholarship Athletes Turning to Workers’ Compensation
However, the student-athletes that work to achieve each school’s success on the playing field are rarely protected if injured while playing their sport. Athletes are often discarded after they have been seriously injured. As a result, many college scholarship athletes have turned to workers’ compensation statutes in an attempt to receive the protection they deserve for the costs of their injuries. (Gurdus, 2001.) This brings up a very interesting approach to the argument as student-athletes are providing a service for their expected universities and then dumped if they can no longer perform at their expected levels. The Arthur of this journal goes on to state the exact definition of worker’s compensation [A]ny worker whose services form a regular and continuing part of the cost of that product [or service], and whose method of operation is not such an independent business that it forms in itself a separate route through which his own cost of … accidents can be channeled, is within the presumptive area of intended protection. (Gurdus,2001.)I can understand where this definition can seem to cover the universities. However, I disagree it is the university’s responsibility to pay for student-athlete injuries. Although the student-athlete is playing for their respected schools their “service” is not a connection to the product/service of the university. I had the chance to speak with a Division I commissioner about this topic and he provided me with a new understanding of this issue. I first asked him if he thought that the NCAA would even consider such a thing as paying student-athletes? He replied “that as you and I know times are changing what has happened in the past may not be acceptable now. As administration and leaders in the sports industry, we must continue to make adjustments to new trends of the younger generations.’ (Generalli,2018.) We then discussed his own views on the situation and he stated that “If a college student can make money by maintaining a good image we shouldn’t penalize them.
For example, if a student such as Tim Tebow can gain a fan base and get national attention by the skills he puts on the field each and every Saturday and how he conducts himself then let him gain a portion of the sales that the university is collecting with his jersey sales and public appearance.” (Generalli,2018) After hearing this from a division I administrator I kind of agree with him. When you look out on any given day at any given college you see fans wearing jerseys of the “Stars” of the team. Although the jersey does not have the respected name of the player the corresponding number and the connection to that player is what drives jersey sales. The following insert shows the way the NCAA alters jersey sale policy to stop the use of student-athletes making money for the university. “Worried about the ramifications of selling the numbers tied to student-athletes, several schools have decided not to sell football jerseys with star players’ digits on them this upcoming season, sources tell ESPN. The Aggies sold thousands of No. 2 jerseys over the past two years thanks to Johnny Manziel, who wore the number, but sources say the only jersey available at retail this year will be the No. 12 — as in the ’12th Man,’ a jersey the school has sold for years, alongside other numbers. Northwestern will limit sales to No. 51, which was used by current head coach Pat Fitzgerald during his heralded playing career. Arizona, meanwhile, will only offer No. 14, as in 2014.” (Rovell, 2014)
Commercial Contracts with Players
Players are getting fed up with universities taking advantage of their athletic careers. “Northwestern might have been more encouraged to stop selling individual player jerseys, as its football players took a vote in April whether to unionize. The results of the vote, taken in the presence of the National Labor Relations Board, are not yet known.” (Rovell,2014.) After reviewing this source, I find it very encouraging that players are standing up for their rights. I think that for both sides student-athletes need to be included in the decision for or against. As this article goes on I discovered another shocking fact that links shoe deals to jersey sales which I did not know about. ‘As shoe companies started doing multimillion-dollar deals with schools in the mid-1990s, the college jersey market matured. Schools would tell licensees like Nike, and Reebok which players they expected to be their stars, and those companies would then produce jerseys with the numbers associated with those players. It may have been a fine line, but schools and licensees justified doing this by saying that the school, not the player, owned the number, and no official licensee printed the player’s name on the back of the jersey.” (Rovell,2014.) Another huge debating when coming to universities taking advantage of their student-athletes was the EA Sports video game collection of NCAA Basketball as well as NCAA Football which is no longer being made. Ed O’bannon a star at The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) filed a lawsuit that his exact information “likeliness” was being used in the video game and claimed he and fellow student-athletes should receive royalties from the game. The case was taken to the district court and the following was the result.’The district court held that the NCAA’s amateurism rules were an unlawful restraint of trade in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The district court permanently enjoined the NCAA from prohibiting its member schools from giving student-athletes scholarships up to the full cost of attendance at their respective schools and up to $5,000 per year in deferred compensation, to be held in trust for student-athletes after they leave college.’
This case was later taken to the supreme court where it was denied to be trialed. “The denial also leaves in place a 2015 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in favor of O’Bannon. A three-judge Ninth Circuit panel consisting of Judges Sidney Thomas, Jay Bybee, and Gordon Quist found that certain NCAA amateurism rules violate the federal antitrust law. Those rules, the court determined, constituted an anti-competitive conspiracy by the more than 1,200 member NCAA colleges, conferences, and affiliated organizations. The purpose of such a conspiracy was to deny men’s basketball and football players of the monetary value of their names, images, and likenesses when used for commercial purposes.’ (Mccann, 2016.) Luckily for the student-athletes who were used in the creation of these video games gained a settlement outside of court for their “likeliness.” In 2013, Electronic Arts reached a $40 million settlement to resolve the related name, image and likeness claims connected to the company’s college video games. (Mccann, 2016.) I personally grew up planning these games and still have them to this day. I always wondered what happened to this case as the NCAA did not talk about it much except when it was first brought to the public eye.
My Opinion on Student-Athletes Controversy
After reviewing the case and the connection it has when it comes to student-athletes being taken advantage of I feel like the NCAA failed to follow the anti-trust laws that companies are legally obligated to follow. My opinion on this topic I believe that sooner or later student-athletes will receive money for their time at their respected universities. However, after researching the topic and looking into the facts on this matter I think that it will cause more issues. I believe that paying student-athletes is going to change the arms race of facilities to a new race for payroll. Students are going to play schools against each other trying to figure out who can get the most money out of the school. This is already happening when schools offer scholarships to student-athletes but adding pay on top of scholarships is going to open up a can of worms. When it comes to O’bannon v NCAA I feel like this case can open the eyes to the understanding of the frustration that some student-athletes are faced with. I believe that if the NCAA is going to allow student-athletes to be paid they need to come up with a way to regulate the process. I am still optimistic on if this will truly work for the NCAA, student-athletes, and the membership but like stated above times are changing and I am open to change but in moderation.