Schwartz: 10 Sentences: The NCAA Does Something Right Edition

May 19, 2019

Written by David Schwartz

There’s too much happening. Way too much. Let’s get right to this week’s Ten Sentences:

1. Nothing probably will come of this, but let’s take good news where we can get it: the NCAA is at least, finally, at long last, going to have a conversation about college athletes being able to capitalize financially on their own likeness.

2. This is different from the NCAA paying college athletes, which under the NCAA’s current financial structure would be next to impossible since they continue to insist that athletes from non-revenue sports deserve athletic scholarships despite them A) Bringing in little to no revenue, B) Spending way more money than they make, C) Drawing almost no national interest, aka television revenue, and D) Generating less than .000000000000001 percent of the social value that their scholarship would generate if it was instead awarded to an education, engineering or biology major (and yes, I’m aware that a non-revenue athlete could actually be that education major, but that doesn’t mean it makes sense for Big Ten teams to pay the money it costs to fly across the country to play tennis in front of 107 people).

3. What the NCAA is considering – likely without much movement in the near future because NCAA – is to let college athletes trade on their own name, meaning, make money off of their standing as college athletes, like getting paid $500 or show up and sign autographs at a store opening or, who knows, $100,000 to appear in a commercial.

4. I’ve been harping on this point for a long time, because there is no good argument that exists in the mind of anyone on earth or elsewhere for why athletes shouldn’t be allowed to earn money off of their own names, talent, and social standing.

5. There’s not much else to say at this point; that the NCAA is at least putting together data and other research to discuss the matter is a step forward, although the cynic on my shoulder keeps whispering in my ear, “They’re just doing this for show, they’re not gonna actually do anything – this is just to placate the sensible masses for another 10 years while we reaffirm the status quo.”

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6. Let’s ungracefully pivot to another topic, because so much Hawkeye-peripheral news happened this week that we don’t have time for graceful transitions: Hey look, the state of Iowa legalized sports betting – woo hoo!!!

7. This may have been the first time I’ve actively cheered for lobbyists, because unless someone is a compulsive gambler – a very real disease about which one can find more information and begin a path toward treatment here – it’s always amazed me how even a small $5 wager can make games so much more interesting from start to finish.

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8. Except for when the Hawkeyes are playing, in which case the emotional investment is more than enough to inject my heart with nitrous.

9. Hey look (part 2): It’s Isaiah Moss in an Arkansas Razorbacks uniform (*sigh*).

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10. Lastly, usually I promote articles, but this Mike Hlas column on Tyler Cook’s pursuit of his NBA dream is a worthwhile read (if you don’t subscribe, all you have to do to read it is answer 83 survey questions about whether you consume your favorite fabric softener at home or at bar/lounge/pub – please subscribe to The Gazette); you can just tell that Cook wants it so badly, yet his attitude remains so positive that you can’t help but hope that he hears his name called at the June 20 NBA Draft.

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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