NCAA Football Is Now Openly Pro Football

As we had suspected early in this thread!

Shots fired no doubt!

Key line as follows:

The NCAA likes to say it is only enforcing rules as voted on by membership. As sports law attorney Mit Winter recently noted: That doesn’t matter when the rules themselves break federal law.

This goes for ANY private venture. You quite simply cannot set up certain rules that violate laws EVEN if you maintain that others have agreed to them, which of course 100% of athletes, coaches, and staff absolutely have never done so with the NCAA and never had any such say anyway.

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NLRB Proceedings In Los Angeles - USC versus the NCAA

There’s a break in these proceedings until the end of February. Here’s some of the latest.

Each piece of information on this record, though, serves as a tiny domino in the NLRB’s fight to prove USC and the NCAA’s level of control over USC football athletes – and reclassify student-athletes as employees. Those dominoes could ultimately fall toward systematic change in never-more-pressing issues of compensation for collegiate athletes.

“There’s an air of inevitability,” said Jodi Balsam, a professor of clinical law at NYU’s Brooklyn Law School and the NFL’s former counsel for litigation.

Longstanding, foundational pillars of the NCAA’s evolution are being riddled and pockmarked with a long line of antitrust suits being fired its way, most recently in a highly publicized pushback against an investigation into Tennessee. After Sports Illustrated broke news Tuesday that NCAA was targeting Vols athletic programs over name, image and likeness infractions – most notably, a Tennessee NIL collective flying out freshman quarterback Nico Iamaleava for a visit – Tennessee Chancellor Donde Plowman penned a strongly worded letter to NCAA President Charlie Baker, followed shortly by a lawsuit from Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti.

As Balsam described, USC is a private university. Employees at public universities are governed by state law, meaning if the USC decision set a precedent for athletes at public universities to assert employee status, there would have to be similar hearings held in all 49 other states.

Suffice it to say, change isn’t coming at the drop of a hat. The NLRB-USC hearing will reconvene in late February; it’ll take at least a few months for the judge to make a decision, and it’s likely whichever party loses will put up a lengthy fight with a series of appeals. Balsam estimated, in the overall scope of complete change to college-athlete compensation, that society was “5-10 years away from the dust settling.”

But here once again is an overlooked reality when for whatever reason the matter is not settled and as long as it’s not settled.

As Deion Sanders put it recently when interviewed about the retirement of Nick Saban as coach at the University of Alabama, when a coach is meeting with the parents of an athlete now, the coach is usually also meeting with their agent. This was of course the case on some occasions for the most recruited athletes of yore, such as Cam Newton of Auburn University famously in his time, but now it’s open season.

Again, this is PRO football and not “college” football that it never really was under the covers at the top level.

And so the athletes will simply shop accordingly for the best deals all the more than already, damn the NCAA and legal proceedings, and they will transfer every season for the best deal too with all the mayhem that comes from those transitions that has virtually ZERO to do with the academics at any given institution.

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Dartmouth versus the NCAA: Implications Now For All

On Monday, the National Labor Relations Board issued a landmark ruling that could shatter the NCAA’s amateurism model. Dartmouth men’s basketball players are considered university employees under U.S. labor law—and therefore are eligible to unionize.

“Because Dartmouth has the right to control the work performed by the Dartmouth men’s basketball team, and the players perform that work in exchange for compensation, I find that the petitioned-for basketball players are employees within the meaning of the [National Labor Relations] Act,” the 26-page decision, reviewed by Front Office Sports, read. “Additionally, I find that asserting jurisdiction would not create instability in labor relations. Accordingly, I shall direct an election in the petitioned-for unit.”

As proceedings continue in Los Angeles, here we are already in another case.

Start eating more crow for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner, NCAA and especially you too now, Charlie Baker.

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More on the subject here, same site, different writer, changes could come as soon as 2026, citing a linked article from Yahoo! Sports within the article:

Speaking to Yahoo Sports, both SEC commissioner Greg Sankey and Big Ten commissioner Tony Petitti expressed doubts concerning their respective leagues’ commitment to the CFP as its governance struggles to iron out details surrounding its future format.

Yep (we’re committed for now), but we’ve got a lot to get right," Sankey said. “The commitment is we want to see this get right. … We have the reality of meeting to deal with CFP governance with the 2026 season and beyond. That’s a highly important issue.”

The CFP’s current contract expires after the 2025 college football season, so conferences would theoretically be free to explore other postseason options if an extension is not reached.

Apparently there is some important meeting of the CFP near Dallas through Tuesday, but it’s not clear what comes out of that any time soon.

This much I do figure for now. As much as the SEC and the Big Ten called the shots before, I think they call ALL that shots for the CFP now.

As I had predicted months ago, the code for at least HALF of the 12 playoff slots for teams in those two conferences is in. Three losses in the season? Meh, said team will be ranked ahead of any 2-loss or 1-loss team that’s not in one of their conferences for that 10th, 11th, and 12th spot.

I would have stated that these two conferences also call close to all the shots for the NCAA, but it is clear they don’t now especially after the NCAA and the University of Tennessee were entangled last week in new litigation about NIL regulations.

Then over and above these discussions and that litigation are the developments already underway to designate athletes legally as employees, as they have passed at least the duck test in those regards ever since the likes of shoe deals and corporate sponsorships have been around, which will be the gamechanger for all concerned parties and the end of the NCAA’s role as the ultimate arbiter of “college” athletics for at least the two big revenue sports.

More now after the ruling in favour of the athletes at Dartmouth

On Monday, a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board issued a watershed ruling: Dartmouth men’s basketball players should be classified as university employees—and they can hold an election to form a union. The petition was first filed in September by the players and the local Service Employees International Union (Local 560) and was discussed during virtual hearings in October.

If it stands, the ruling could spell the end of the NCAA’s amateurism model—which is why Dartmouth’s administration is appealing the case, a spokesperson confirmed to Front Office Sports on Monday evening.

It could take a few years to get a final decision as the case winds through the federal court system. But one thing is for sure: amateurism is, at best, on life support.

Here’s everything you need to know about the potential impact of the ruling, what’s next in the appeals process, and where NCAA sports go from here.

In the cold of winter 2024, the heat has now been turned way up on the NCAA.

The NCAA is also now facing mounting opposition to include even the Department of Justice beyond also the National Labor Relations Board, which is hearing the case in Los Angeles that involves the University of Southern California.

Either the NCAA realizes they are fighting a losing battle, with now all the more to lose than ever, and the NCAA moves to settle up with the athletes, or the NCAA digs in their heels in all the more.

Meanwhile, if the NCAA continues to dither in the face of the legally inevitable, the SEC and the Big Ten conferences are not likely to wait around to jettison the NCAA.

Meanwhile all players, including top recruits and their usual agent parents or other relatives, damn well know the score now and will be shopping schools all the more for the best deal beyond merely NIL. They won’t be waiting around to ask for more now.

When will we get a final, final decision?

“It will likely take years to get a final ruling on this issue,” says Huma. “I expect the Supreme Court to have the final say.”

But players themselves don’t actually have to wait if they want to start organizing now. The Dartmouth players, for their part, said they intend to create an Ivy League players association, with the hopes that other athletes will join their cause. They also said in a statement that they want players at other schools to file unionization petitions of their own.

Jason Stahl, the executive director of the College Football Players Association, tells FOS he believes the announcement of an Ivy League players association would be “profoundly” more important than any NLRB decision. “We too often privilege what elite actors are doing—what is the NLRB doing, what are the courts doing, what is Congress doing, what is the White House doing,” he says. “That is one way in which change happens politically. The other way is the people themselves organizing en masse to create and push for the changes that they want to see in their workplaces.”

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This is a classic war of attrition - Here is the definition -
a prolonged war or period of conflict during which each side seeks to gradually wear out the other by a series of small-scale actions.

This was the only way the NCAA was ever going to change as they were the autocratic dictatorship from the word go. But it was so entrenched in the society that most people didn’t care. Also the salaries were tiny compared to today. Woody Hayes would have made $170 k in todays money compared to the multi million dollar payouts that coaches today receive.

Once the money started to flow in the NCAA should have shared the cash with men’s hoops and football, but they stuck to their guns and said they would have to play golf and tennis players the same money. No one bought their poor me line and then the employees lawyered up. The big law firms saw a big payout and the game was on.

That said you don’t see anyone going after Div II and Div III Schools or the NAIA - there is no money - file all the lawsuits you want there is no money.

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No doubt though I am confident there is a growing issue as well at the lower levels, especially in womens’ sports via NIL, where the world also crosses over into “Instagram influencer” and beyond as for many who are not athletes on campus.

A few young women who were college athletes have even abandoned their sport to work on NIL full-time and without any NCAA say in the matter at all, including a few who have turned down opportunities in the sport after college to include professional sports.

But that world has been there all along for decades since there only began to be more equality on campus for women beginning in the 1970s, though what was “hush hush” for decades has recently become an open secret on this front of NIL all the more since especially 2020, when it was yet another industry exacerbated in its growth by the pandemic.

Regardless on all matters NIL, the NCAA should have ZERO say anyway unless their intellectual property is being used without permission.

As the NCAA continues to fight, simply because a young man or young lady on any campus is an athlete should not give them fewer rights to make an income via NIL.

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I was wondering why it takes more than one year for these numbers to be announced, but today I learned that the SEC’s fiscal year ends 31 August.

That announced total encompasses $718 million distributed directly by the conference office, while $23 million was retained for schools that made a bowl game during the 2022-23 athletic calendar. That comes out to about $51.3 million distributed per school. Those numbers are likely to fall behind the Big Ten for the 2022-23 fiscal year, but they are still far and away better than other power conferences like the ACC and Big 12.

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:thinking:

The playoff still has two years remaining on its current deal with ESPN, with the network holding rights to first-round, quarterfinal, semifinal and championship games for the 12-team playoff, which will make its debut following the 2024 regular season. Under the new extension, ESPN would have the ability to sublicense games to other networks.

The full contract will not be complete until CFP leaders decide on a new format for the 12-team model following the Pac-12’s effective dissolution.

That format moving forward could be a real sticky point. The College Football Playoff Management Committee initially agreed on a 6+6 model for the expanded 12-team format, in which the six highest-ranked conference champions would automatically qualify and the remaining “at-large” bids would go to the next six highest-ranked teams.

I don’t see much reported that is solid on the matter, with the ACC moving in court to have the lawsuit against the conference dismissed, but there is some chatter that essentially Florida State and the ACC will end up negotiating their “divorce settlement” by the end of 2024.

The salient question is of course “How much?” with regards to the total amount to be paid by Florida State for early departure.

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So with the legal heat only going up from hotter on the NCAA now, and with the record sums from media partners going into the media rights, look now only three weeks after the SEC and Big Ten weighed in for what is essentially their new NCAA Football Super League exploratory committee.

We are already seeing the narrative in some media about an expansion of the College Football Playoff to 16 teams and well, why wouldn’t especially these two conferences simply break off for their own league and playoff?

I figure they already have people doing some math for them with regards to the financial prospects for a post-season tournament for ONLY their two conferences and maybe a few other select partner schools.

And their fans would love it even though it’s not a real national championship, which in some years it has not been dating back to the old BCS anyway.

Beyond all the growth, college football in 2024 has become vastly bigger than even the dawn of the College Football Playoff a decade ago in 2014 after that stupid BCS BS was ditched at last, for now the wagering is at record numbers and dominantly legal too.

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College football has never had a “Real” National Championship - there was never a real playoff - it was all about voting and going to a bowl game. If we end up with an SEC/Big10 Championship and then a couple of lower tier championships I am good with that.

In the NCAA There are 351 schools that are full members of 32 Division I basketball conferences and you could probably cut that in half and have a division right below what the big schools have. There are still more schools transitioning up to Div I because to a lot of students you are considered small time if you are not Div I.

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For football, there are now a whopping record 133 teams in FBS, the top division.

The open question is how many will be in a top flight breakaway “Super League,” for those teams no longer want to share any of that money with the rest?

As of July 2024, with 16 teams in the SEC and 18 in the Big Ten, there are 34 of them already.

And so what is the magic future number for the NCAA Super League in the early workings already? 48 maybe?

I think they could pluck the cream of the rest with geographic considerations as well, however they organize with or without conference affiliation.

Clemson
Florida State
University of Miami
Georgia Tech
Memphis

Notre Dame is a wildcard, but no doubt in my mind as an alumnus and as would feel most alumni, they would be interested in any formal discussions of a top flight league that breaks out from the bloated NCAA now with 133 teams in FBS football.

There’s 40 teams right there, and so maybe 40 would be the next step and away we go?

@Paolo_X - Totally agree with you - you could take the top 50 of the Div I football ranks and have a super league, take the bottom 80 teams and roll them in with the half of the I-AA ranks and have a pretty good setup - I do think that a lot of this is heading that direction as things filter out on the money front.

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NCAA Bodyslammed In Court Via An Injunction

Judge Clifton Corker had this to say in regard to the ruling.

“It is hereby ORDERED that, effective immediately, Defendant NCAA; its servants, agents, and employees; and all persons in active conce11 or participation with the NCAA, are restrained and enjoined from enforcing the NCAA Interim NIL Policy, the NCAA Bylaws, or any other authority to the extent such authority prohibits student-athletes from negotiating compensation for NIL with any third-party entity, including but not limited to boosters or a collective of boosters, until a full and final decision on the merits in the instant action.”

“DOWN GOES FRAZIER” and “OH THE HUMANITY!” come to mind here for the NCAA.

Such adversity could not happen to a nicer bunch of blokes.
:smirk:

Meanwhile via other proceedings against the NCAA, BRING ON THE PAIN!

If paywalled, sorry for the noise at the top of this site with annoying presentation on many fronts, but they are on the case for this matter.

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NCAA Athletes versus NCAA
Scoreboard

So for those keeping score, let’s review.

NCAA transfer restrictions? DENIED
NCAA restrictions on NIL? DENIED
NCAA Athletes as Employees?
1 ruling in favour of the NCAA Athletes so far (Dartmouth)

So far it’s
NCAA Athletes 2
NCAA 0

and the NCAA Athletes have a man on first base now with the best of the batting order coming up at the plate, including again even the dangerous slugger that is the US Department of Justice.

It’s already bad enough for the NCAA that the federal government has joined the Team NCAA Athletes on more than one front.

Even if you win such a case against the federal government on perhaps some technicality, you are going to lose with your stained name in due time in future proceedings.

I am betting on NCAA Athletes Are Employees in additional rulings next.

Meanwhile, the SEC and Big Ten have been wise to begin to figure out early how to facilitate their prosperous departure.

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“pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered” - You notice no one is going after D2 Schools or NAIA schools because there is no money in it. College football is not going to die - the schools making crazy mad money are going to separate from the rest of the NCAA and the NCAA can then go back to governing everything that doesn’t make insane amounts of money.

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I saw that article as he did an interview with Outkick as well.

He’s an insider, and well look there, apparently things are going to plan.

It’s also telling to see Herbstreit stepping out like this, since he has been an employee of ESPN since the 1990s and started working for Amazon to cover the NFL in 2023.

I’m thinking before that College Football Playoff expands again for 2026, that’s the season we will see a brand new landscape in college football with a “Super League” in some form even if not official.

One thing I see for sure already, which was saw in 2023 with the exclusion of undefeated Florida State, which is a move that Herbstreit supported as well mind you.

Whereas before there was this illusion that it was a “national” championship, nope, now if your school is not in the club with the SEC and the Big Ten calling the shots, it’s going to be crystal clear that your school can’t be in the club for any playoff from 2026 forward.

Now that the scam and illusion of amateurism has been smashed of course, such is why they no longer have to perpetuate such an illusion as over the years via that awful BCS and in many years since the start of the College Football Playoff since 2014.

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