Dan Wolken, USA TODAY
Published 6: 33 p.m. ET July 22, 2020| Upgraded 6: 55 p.m. ET July 22, 2020
SportsPulse: While some football teams have actually said they will host no fans at all this fall others seem holding out some hope. We discuss the likely reality that football will be played this fall without any fans in attendance.
The most fascinating moment of Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on college sports came toward completion when Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a previous college football gamer at Stanford, ran through a series of factors that distinguish a school like Clemson from its competitors.
On the other end of the exchange was Clemson sports director Dan Radakovich, who was there to argue in favor of a nationwide set of standards governing college athletes’ rights to benefit off their name, image, and likeness. The essence of what Radakovich and other leaders like NCAA president Mark Emmert have actually been arguing for months now is this: Without Congress’ help, including a national law and an antitrust exemption that would protect the NCAA from particular types of lawsuits, various requirements created by each state legislature would produce an unequal and unfair environment for recruiting.
But if that’s the reasoning being applied to the requirement for Congress’ aid, Booker asked, what about the fact that Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney makes $9.3 million a year while other coaches in the very same department of the ACC make one-third or one-fourth as much? What about the state-of-the-art Clemson centers that are designed to blow away recruits? There’s no push to standardize and manage those advantages or suggest that the large differences in between Clemson and Wake Forest are harmful to college football.
” This argument applied to trainees is a double standard,” Booker said.
Two hours of back-and-forth between a handful of Senators and witnesses Wednesday, including NCAA president Mark Emmert, exposed little that we didn’t already understand about the present difficulty of the NCAA’s situation: Hardly anybody is purchasing what they’re selling.
While committee chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) put a Sept. 15 target on crafting a bipartisan proposition around name, image and likeness legislation, there are already a range of costs in the works in both houses of Congress and– plainly– a range of viewpoints on how far to flex towards the NCAA’s desires.
Sports Illustrated reported that a draft of a plan prepared by the Power 5 conferences and sent to the committee included principles like only permitting athletes to enter into marketing handle their 2nd term and putting in other limitations– or “guardrails,” as college sports authorities call them– on deals that would contravene the schools’ sponsorship agreements.
Booker blasted the strategy consistently, stating it was “too limiting,” while Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) often asked questions with a wider lens on whether the NCAA was generally doing enough on health and safety standards and protecting the scholarships of athletes who get injured and are unable to compete at the very same level.
” You’re asking us for an antitrust exemption and preemption and time is not on your side,” Blumenthal informed Emmert. “My recommendation is to up your game on other sort of protections before requesting that kind of resistance.”
On the other end of the argument was Graham, who consistently promoted how familiar he is with college football as a fan with connections to both Clemson and the University of South Carolina. Graham stated he has actually “pertained to accept that fundamental rights require to be enacted laws” but appeared caught up on the idea that an uncontrolled environment around name, image and similarity would cause “rabid alumni” entering into bidding wars for recruits that would “ruin college athletics as we know it.”
Eventually, where the NCAA comes out on its own plan of name, image and similarity guidelines and whether Congress can find an appropriate line to actually vote on a bill will figure out how rapidly this issue gets fixed. Based upon Congress’ interest in this issue on both sides of the aisle, it appears almost specific that a costs they eventually vote on would be less restrictive than what the NCAA creates itself.
However the NCAA isn’t going to get bailed out of this mess without taking its well-earned dosage of public humiliation by elected authorities. Booker berated Emmert for doing little to deal with athletes’ rights issues that were raised in a hearing 6 years earlier, while Blumenthal stated hammered the NCAA on clusters of COVID-19 emerging from football programs that brought players back to campus this summertime, calling it a “slow-motion prospective disaster.”
At one point, in truth, during an argument about whether some schools had actually made a practice of not restoring scholarships to gamers who had major injuries– something Emmert and Radakovich denied– Blumenthal released a caution that lying to Congress was punishable by law.
It was a minute that perfectly recorded the conceit of college sports: A denial of something that has clearly occurred and does occur, chipping away at the trustworthiness of the NCAA. Congress certainly has larger things to worry about right now in the middle of a pandemic than trying to save college sports from itself, however a minimum of someone is still ready to keep them sincere.