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UNC student takes NCAA to court

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
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March 21, 2024 3:23 pm

UNC student takes NCAA to court

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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March 21, 2024 3:23 pm

Tarun Sharma joins the Adam Gold show to discuss the legalities behind one college athlete's rights, that are a certain way for some but apparently not them; according to the NCAA. 


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Count on real-time product availability and fast delivery. Call or just stop by. Grainger, for the ones who get it done. Oh boy, what a juicy week for sports and the law, which means that you must be listening to the Conduct Detrimental Podcast to run Sharma. It not only appears there, but also runs the Sports and NIL Clinic at the University of Minnesota Law School. He is an attorney and an NIL expert, and I appreciate your time, sir.

We are going to be busy here. I want to start with a North Carolina issue, if I can localize it right out of the gate. Because a UNC tennis player has sued an antitrust lawsuit.

Reese Brantmeyer is her name. She sued the NCAA because they won't let her participate in a tournament, a for-pay tournament, a professional tournament, because it's against the pay-for-play. Meanwhile, the NCAA can't enforce their pay-for-play NIL rules.

They've been forbidden to do that. So, square all of this for me if you can. Yeah, thanks for having me on, Adam.

Always happy to jump on. Yeah, I think that all of these cases, and, you know, we'll also get into Clemson later, but all of these things kind of reminds me of that saying, like, how do you eat an elephant and it's one bite at a time? And so, there have been all of these efforts, I think, for a long time to get the NCAA to come down off of some of these rules that were put in place with the intention of upholding amateurism, whatever that means. Right. And what that's meant for a long time is that the labor can't make money off of the – out of what they're producing while everyone else around them, whether it's TV executives or coaches, administrators, the university itself, can.

Right. And so, I think that's starting to change in a big way. And so, I find the UNC tennis case particularly interesting because it's not the first time that we've heard of a UNC women's tennis player being affected by something like this.

They have a great program over there, obviously, which, as a Duke guy, you know how difficult that is for me to say. But this is very similar to the Fiona Crawley situation. She was forced to give up something like $81,000 in earnings from U.S. Open. Similarly, Reese Brandtmeyer had to give up something like $50,000 in earnings. And this is not insignificant money, especially as it relates to someone who is 19, 20, 21 years old. Right. That would have been really significant money to me at that age.

It would still be significant money to me right now. And so, these are efforts that these women have made to hone their craft to the point where they are capable of competing with the best professionals in the world and winning matches. And that entitles them to some sort of monetary reward.

And it shouldn't be some arbitrary NCAA rule meant to prevent the student athletes from making money that prevents them from enjoying the fruits of their labor. And so, that's my take on it. And so, I'm excited to see that both Crawley and now Brandtmeyer are speaking up about this because it is money that they've rightfully earned. Tarun Sharma is joining us here on the Adam Goldshow Sports Attorney Conduct Detrimental to Podcast.

You can see him there. Runs the University of Minnesota NIL and Sports Law Clinic. It just brings to mind so many different things. Imagine if the NCAA had anybody who was forward thinking and they allowed Katie Ledecky to swim professionally and earn money off of who she was through endorsements and also still swim for Stanford. Or Michelle Wee, not only play golf at Stanford but play in the handful of tournaments that she was playing on the LPGA tour. Just imagine all of the possibilities and how it would raise the profile of intercollegiate athletics.

I'm baffled why they couldn't see it that way. Hey, it's Adam Gold and I'm in the studio with my friend Coach Pete DeRuta with the Capital Financial Advisory Group. Is it ever too soon to seek out you and your expertise? Really, there's no too soon.

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Investment Advisory Services offered by Capital Financial Advisory Group, a North Carolina registered Investment Advisor. Yeah, you know, I don't know what's going to happen at this point. I think a lot of this is just aiming not to get sued and that's probably pretty good legal advice. If I was on the NCAA side, I think that would be similar because look, I think that they thought that they were invincible, right? They win. I mean, they lose the case in 1984, but they get that little piece of dicta in the Board of Regents case. And from then on it's like, oh, the NCAA basically has free reign to take whatever action that they need to take in order to preserve amateurism, which is a critical trait of intercollegiate athletics. And because of that one small line from Justice Stevens that we end up with the NCAA really, you know, you give them an inch and they took a mile to enforce amateurism. And so there are some programs that they've allowed that are good, right? Like, so one thing is this Operation Gold program where the entities that govern a certain sport. So for instance, like USA Wrestling could pay Gable Stevenson's training costs to a certain extent without running a foul of NCAA rules.

And so that stuff is great. But it's always a half measure. They don't want to give up power. And so even if they were forward thinking at this point, which they're not right now, but even if they were, I think that there's too much fear that they would get sued for whatever they do and they would lose.

And that would cause those legal bills to run up more. So I think they're stuck in this point of inaction, which is why they keep going to Congress and begging for some sort of national rule, because that's the only thing that's going to keep them relevant moving into this next era, because we're almost certain to get some sort of ruling. And the one that I think most of us have our eyes on are either this NLRB ruling with USC or the House case. And so both of those things have the real potential to completely bring the NCAA to its knees.

Right now, it's been taking body blows for the last almost a decade now, but we're, I think, really on the precipice of a complete shift in how the model works. And so for anyone that's listening that is frustrated with the current state of intercollegiate athletics, I hear that. I grew up rooting for teams where guys came to school and they stuck out adversity and they stayed for four years because they didn't have necessarily other options. There were a few transfers here and there. I remember Dante Jones.

Yeah, going from Rutgers to Duke. Yeah, exactly. But other than the rare guy, there were very few of those. And so I think that there is something to be said if you're being compensated fairly, if you're signing an employment contract, if your rights are being collectively bargained, that that you can agree to give up some of those. But in absence of that, I don't see how the NCAA can arbitrarily just set rules and say, yeah, you've got to follow these. And that's what they're finding out right now, too. And it's taken some some judges that actually understand the law that that don't want to give them a free antitrust pass just because they are this entity. And so I think that this in-between era isn't great. And and I also long for old times, maybe a lot because of nostalgia. But but I think that we're going to get to a place that is more recognizable to the the OG NCAA fan.

I really think that that is in the cards and we'll see it just with labor being compensated for the value that they're creating. Yeah. And then and honestly, that's the way this all should have been. I've used this example before to run charm. I want to get to the Clemson ACC situation here in our in whatever time we have left.

But I've used this example. The ACC 25 years ago doled out more money per school in media rights revenue than any other conference. In 1999, they distributed nine million dollars to each school.

That was the number. The Big Ten and the SEC will go north of one hundred million dollars within the next three years. And the value of nineteen ninety nine nine million is about seventeen million today.

So we are talking about a five, you know, five, maybe six fold increase in the value of the of media and college sports today. How is it possible that they can't find money to compensate athletes fairly or just collectively bargained? Because just because you collectively bargain an arrangement doesn't necessarily mean there has to be a lot of money involved. You can collect you can collectively bargain anything. Yeah.

Yeah, you can. Major League Baseball Players Association makes bad deals all the time. So it's possible for for collectively bargaining to to be in the favor of of ownership. And often it is.

But yeah, I think that they they didn't want to write. They they saw this money. They realized that, hey, we've got free labor. It's ours. It's our money. It's not the kids. Yeah, exactly.

And so I think they've they've missed out here. But I did not know that about nine million being the most. Yeah. So twenty five years ago, 1999, the ACC, the SEC was second at eight million. The ACC was first at nine million per school. Yeah. And it's interesting because the ACC was pretty early to expand. Right. They added Boston College in Miami and Virginia Tech at that time.

And that seems pretty forward thinking. But I think they locked themselves into a bad contract. And that's why they have the issues that they have right now. Let's get to the Clemson thing. And in the couple of minutes we have left with Terron Sharma. So Clemson suing the ACC.

I mean, they can dress it up, but I mean, I'm not wrong in thinking that they're simply trying to force the ACC to come to the bargaining table so they can agree on a number that would be amenable to both sides to allow Clemson to exit. Right. Without the ones like you who work tirelessly to keep things running, everything would suddenly stop. Hospitals, factories, schools and power plants.

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Call click Grainger dot com or just stop by Grainger for the ones who get it done. Yeah. So I think that and we've talked about this before, but the issue with settling even with with Florida State is don't you open the floodgates then? Yeah. And it's a bad it's a bad deal for the ACC.

Yeah. That that meets that number, which is not going to be enough in terms of what the value is of keeping a brand like Florida State or keeping Clemson or more importantly, keeping North Carolina or or some of the other bigger schools. And so if you say, yeah, our grant of rights, you guys are right. It doesn't actually mean that we continue to own the media rights for your home games after you leave the conference through 2036 or whatever it is. Then, yeah, I mean, you might as well just that's the death knell for the conference.

Everyone will leave. And so for or the people that can't. Right. And in which case you don't have a power conference anyway, probably.

So I think that is a legitimate concern. We're going to get a hearing this week. It's tomorrow, I believe, in North Carolina. As you recall or anyone listening, when Florida State filed suit, the ACC preemptively filed suit against them for a breach of contract in North Carolina. Obviously, the ACC is based in Charlotte. And and so we're going to get a hearing in North Carolina on Friday. And so it'll be interesting to see what the judges there have to say.

You would think that the ACC had scouted out which court they were going to file in and we're going to get a good result. So I think this is going to continue to escalate because I think Florida State, there's probably a number that they would be willing to pay because I think there's a value that they're looking at. But this is 40 to 50 million dollars every year. Yeah. Which really puts the nine million and 17 million modern number into perspective.

Right. That's multiple years of of operating budget. And so if you fall behind 40 to 50 million behind Ohio State or Michigan or whoever, that is it's perilous for your for your football program's future, especially if we get into some sort of employment scheme where there isn't one consistent sort of cap on how much you can spend.

And so I think that there's a number of the Florida State is willing to look at. But the ACC can't do that, in my opinion, because if you let one out, you're going to lose all of the premier names. And so we'll see how that shakes out. But again, it's like bit by bit. Right.

These are all body blows. How much can the ACC really take? What is the value of the West Coast schools and SMU that they added? Obviously, that didn't make Clemson and Florida State and North Carolina happy. And so is that going to be enough to give them a good TV contract next time around? Because this current one, they locked in with ESPN. It hasn't been fruitful for them, despite the fact that they're featured on ESPN a bunch. The SEC has obviously talked about more and even the Big Ten has talked about more on ESPN. So it's not they're just in a bad spot, which, you know, obviously concerning for me because I hope that that Duke's athletic programs will continue to be great.

Well, into the 21st century. But, yeah, it's definitely something that we're going to have to continue to track. I am hopeful that they'll be able to figure out something that that keeps these this group together. I grew up with the ACC and I would like to see it continue to succeed. Tarun Sharma, Conduct Detrimental, the podcast at TK Sharma Law on Twitter, University of Minnesota, NIL and Sports Law Clinic.

I thank you very much. We'll talk again. We've got much more to talk about. Dartmouth versus Dartmouth. More on Clemson and Florida State versus the ACC. But you and I agree.

If the ACC settles the Florida State case, then basically it's over unless Florida State is willing to pay like six hundred million dollars to leave, in which case that's somewhat prohibitive for most non-Saudi schools. All right, Tarun, I'm sorry I did that. I appreciate your time, man. I'll talk soon. All right.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-21 17:25:41 / 2024-03-21 17:32:44 / 7

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