The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2020.04.30

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

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Yesterday the NCAA decided to move forward with permitting athletes to earn income from their name, image, and likeness (this is oftentimes referred to as NIL):

The NCAA took a dramatic step Wednesday toward allowing college athletes to earn income for things like product endorsements and social media content when its Board of Governors approved a broad set of recommendations to address an issue that has put college sports leaders under significant political pressure over the last year.

With state legislatures across the country passing or looking into laws that would allow for college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness and members of Congress also sounding the alarm on the issue, what the NCAA announced Wednesday represents a significant change from prior NCAA policy.

“Allowing promotions and third-party endorsements is uncharted territory,” Ohio State president and Board of Governors chairman Michael Drake said in a release.

Still, it’s unclear whether the NCAA’s action to broaden name, image and likeness rights and allow college athletes to hire agents will be enough to get lawmakers to back down. Though the working group presented broad recommendations that would be seen as a significant win for college athletes’ rights, there are several details that remain unresolved on exactly how the new rules would be written and enforced.

This is a pretty complicated thing and one that I really haven’t had the time to wrap my head around it other than those that are worried about boosters paying athletes for things and that influencing where athletes end up attending is something that could happen, but the “have’s” will almost always be the “have’s” so I don’t know that this changes that. I’d also add that we’re not sure how all this will work just yet, there’s a lot to get done, so much of a reaction maybe isn’t worth the time just yet until we know more.

SI’s Michael McCann studies legal things and he takes a much deeper dive:

To that point, a working group retained by the NCAA recommends several important limitations. They include the adoption of so-called “guardrails” around activities that generate income for the players and the near-term rejection of group licensing. Group licensing involves individual athletes assigning their NIL to a trade association that would, in turn, negotiate on all of the athletes’ behalf. Group licensing would likely be a necessary ingredient for restoring the types of college sports video games published during the 2000s and early 2010s.

The prospective changes referenced in Wednesday’s statement only concern compensation from third parties. Examples of third parties include clothing makers, sneaker companies, social media platforms (meaning compensation for being an “influencer”), athletic camps and trading card shows that pay for autographs. These entities operate in different industries but share in the knowledge that college athletes’ identities can be commercially lucrative.

It’s important not to confuse third-party NIL compensation with other types of compensation. Most importantly, the NCAA is not contemplating changes that would allow colleges to pay college athletes. The Board of Governors remains fiercely opposed to “pay for play” and other forms of university-to-athlete compensation outside of the grant-in-aid (tuition, fees, room and board, required course-related books etc.). Third-party compensation for NIL is also not compensation for the underlying labor of playing a sport. No college will be allowed to pay their athletes for their NIL or their labor.

Likewise, the prospective changes do not mean that college athletes will become employees or gain the right to unionize. Those are separate topics involving different areas of law. Sometimes all of these subjects are lumped together under the moniker “paying college athletes,” but that leads to inaccurate conclusions. These are distinct topics and implicate different federal and state laws.

The NCAA is also asking for an antitrust exemption that would skirt some of the issues that the recommendations suggests and that’s a pretty big deal. We’re a long ways away from finalizing any of this and the politics involved will be a complete bore or fascinating, depending on your point of view.

Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta talked with defensive coordinator Keith Patterson adn the whole things is worth your time, but here’s a bit:

Patterson asked Brooks what his football goals were and Brooks said he wanted to be All-Big-12. He’d been honorable mention each of his first three college seasons.

“I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’ ” Patterson recalled in a phone interview this week. “That’s it?”

He told Brooks if he stayed they could do even more than that together. Maybe, Patterson said he told Brooks, he could be a first-round pick, saying he saw similarities in his game and stature to that of the likes of Devin Bush of Michigan, who had gone 10th overall in 2019.

“I basically just had a gut feeling that I saw something inside of him that maybe he didn’t really see within himself,’’ Patterson said.

As you know, yesterday, VCU forward Marcus Santos-Silva decided he would transfer to Texas Tech and Silva talked with Avalanche-Journal’s Carlos Silva, Jr. about why he chose Texas Tech:

“I just feel like we meshed, coach (Chris) Beard has that street dog mentality like me,” Santos-Silva said of what led him to his Texas Tech decision. “I built a really good connection with the coaching staff and the players with our meetings, calls and such.

“So on Wednesday, when we were talking, I just told them I’m coming and that I’m 100-percent committed. My parents were just as happy and excited as the coaches and said I looked as happy as I did when I committed to VCU. I just felt it was the right choice.”

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