Jason Stahl is both the founder and the executive director of the College Football Players Association and he had the, I'm just going to go air quotes, privilege of being on Capitol Hill a couple of days ago for the House of Representatives, and I'm using their term here, Protecting College Athletes NIL Deal Making Rights Symposia. I don't even know what it was, but it didn't seem like any of that, Jason, and I appreciate your time. It almost, it really seemed like it was the, the goal was the opposite of protecting the deal, the rights of them to make deals. Did I miss, did I miss that?
You were there. I think you hit on the Orwellian nature of the title, right? It was very much not about protecting athletes' deal making rights. It was about creating, I mean, the, you know, you had this sort of lobbyist, NCA lobbyist talking points there at the center of things, breathing through different legis, you know, legislators, different representatives, through all, you know, basically all the witnesses. Right.
I shouldn't say that, you know, most of the witnesses. And yeah, I think it was about anything. But if you, if you're coming in to advocate for what a piece of federal legislation to do, what to clamp down on a single free market of American citizens monetizing their name, image and likeness, right?
Yeah. That's not actually about protecting their deal making rights. It's about constraining and reining in their deal making rights, which they have only had for what, like a year and a half now, right? Because the NCA spent how many millions of legal fees before that, making sure they didn't have the right that every other American has.
So yeah, it was, it was a frustrating title for sure. Here's what's interesting to me. We're talking with Jason Stahl, who's the founder and executive director of the College Football Players Association.
And I want to, I do want to talk to you about what your mission is with this, with this association. But for because I've been talking about this issue for a long, a long time, going way back. I remember being appalled that I didn't even know this that full cost of attendance wasn't part of the scholarship. And they were when they were patting themselves on the back for now, we've included full cost of attendance. Wait a second, full stop. You mean we weren't doing that before?
So, so giving them what they deserved is now is now well, that's just an aside. But what I don't understand is if they were going to have, even if we took the title, you know, on his face of this, why wasn't the guest list? Why weren't the invitees different? Right? Because to me, the guest list was not even like they didn't have a sitting college football player.
It couldn't find one college football player active. It was willing to come. Here's what's crazy. I mean, that's not, you know, I don't want to impugn anybody on the guest list. I think that, you know, this witness list would have made sense maybe if the hearing was framed a little bit differently. Right. I think it would have made sense. But I think for if you're going to order organize it around this particular type of topic, yeah, you need you need a different witness list. Here's the crazy thing.
You go back, you look at all the congressional hearings going back, however, however far you want to look back in this century. OK, not once, not a single time have you had a power, a current power five football or men's basketball player. Right. Like, how mind boggling is that? Right. The two sports that everyone that everyone knows, these two sports make the whole enterprise go. Everyone knows that. Everyone knows that men's college basketball entirely underpins the entire budget of the NCAA. Right. And they can't even do these folks who generate their massive salaries. Right. They can't even do them the favor of giving them a seat at the table at one of these congressional hearings to talk about, yeah, what is what is the life of a college football player actually like?
What is the life of Division one's men's basketball player actually like? Yeah, it's it's it's shameful. I mean, it really is when it comes down to it.
It's shameful. Or because we know we all know why they're seeking out congressional help, a lifeline, whatever you want, a life raft jacket is because they don't want to be told what they have to do, what they have to allow. They want to put all they call them guardrails. They don't need there shouldn't be any guardrails, zero guardrails, not not sensible guardrails.
There should be zero, in my opinion. And let the if we're talking about a free market, let the free market work for itself. Let me let me get to what you want for your your constituents, because I don't want to forget that. Yeah, let me respond directly to that, because that's that's an important starting point for like, yeah, what what do we want? OK, so I came in and I said the feds should not be intervening in here, but I wanted to have this more nuanced conversation, though, right of, OK, well, look, if we let's say we need guardrails on this market, because let me I'll put it this way, like, do I like that there's people out there taking 30, 40, 50 percent fees for NIL deals, attorneys, whoever else?
No, I don't like that. OK, so I think licensing of attorneys, licensing of agents like the NFL, PA does protect players. Those are important things that need to be done. OK, right. But those within the industry can handle this right. Just as they would in any other industry in America. OK, if we need to have rules and we'll you know, we need to bring the the labor to the table here to figure this out.
Again, you look at the NFL, PA model that that's really what we're pointing to here. Right. Instead, what the NTA is trying to do here is get the feds to write this bill on NIL. And boy, if they can do that, maybe we can ram in some some other stuff down the line.
Right. Against employee classification, against, you know, getting an antitrust exemption, all these things. So that sort of points the way to what we want, because we want reform. We know there's bad actors in this world and we want to disempower those bad actors for sure. But the way to do it is not some ham handed piece of federal legislation.
Yeah. By the way, they're never going to do that anyway. And they demonstrated during the hearing and I've seen clips and I read enough about it. They demonstrated that they have no clue as to what the real issues were. But it was really cool that the representative from Georgia could put on his red jacket sitting next to the representative from Florida who was who went go Gators. And it was just it was completely comical.
It's as though The Daily Show did it. Jason Stahl is the founder and executive director of the College Football Players Association. So there is a court case coming up about employee status for college football players or college athletes in college athletes.
Yes. So where where where is your position as an advocate for college football players? Where is your position?
How do you stand on the employee status for football players? OK, so as an organization, when I talk about Oregon, you know, because I have personal feelings about things, right? I point to our platform for change.
People can go just, you know, go to our website at BPA dot org. Right. And you can click on the platform and you've got to see what we're about.
If you go to our platform, you'll see nowhere in that platform have our members and our leadership committee made a decision to talk about employment classification. OK, now, that's not that we don't take interest in, for instance, the ongoing Johnson versus NCA case or the NLRB administrative court hearings. Right. Of course, we're watching those closely because if it happens that that shift is made, we have to be ready for that new reality and to make the transition to that new reality.
Right. The platform, though, does not represent because we want we our platform is grounded in how things are now and adjusting to where things might go in the future. I think one of the frustrations for me at the hearing is that employee status was often conflated with revenue sharing and they're not the same.
OK, they're not the same because I kept trying to talk about the media rights in contracts, which, you know, I'm sure all your listeners know everybody, but nobody, you know, a lot of people there seem not to know. We've got many new billions of dollars coming into the system. OK, the idea that we can't do revenue sharing through some sort of NIL deal directly from the conferences or directly from the CFP to the players.
Right. Like, of course, we can do it. There's many new billions of dollars. You know who's going to love it? Well, of course, the players are going to love it. Fans are going to love it, too, because what if we, you know, like think of all the new billions that are going to come when the CFP expands from 14 to 12.
Right. Like, OK, you got all these new billions. What about a prize pool? What about a prize pool with NIL deals? Because it's media rights.
They're going to appear on the screen. We're using their name image and likeness right on the television screen. Let's figure out a way to share the new money. You guys continue to have all the old money.
Burn it up in whatever way you want. Let's think about the new money, though, and think about how we're going to divide it up among the players that make the tournament. Think how much fans would love that.
It feels so similar to NIL where for years and years and years, they fought and fought and fought and fought. And then at the last minute, the state laws passed and they're like, OK, well, have at it. Oh, great, guys.
Well, you know, you spent how much money here? Right. Again, deny this specific group of Americans a basic economic freedom that is enjoyed by every other American. That's what they try to do. Let's be clear about it. And now they're trying to do the same thing.
The courts break Kavanaugh of all people, right? I mean, just being like, guys, let's get it into gear here. Let's realize here that, you know, you've got to like you've got to think about your industry in the same way that other American industries have to think about themselves. But it's just like they can't do it right.
It's the same playbook. What they need to do is end the paternalistic mindset towards college athletes. They need these these these Americans. They can vote. They can serve in the military. They can do all of the. So you know what else they can do? They can sit down at the table and help help figure out the new world that we're moving into. But no, they're so trapped in their paternalistic mindset that it's like they can't even imagine another way.
They wouldn't want their own kids being treated that way. But but it's OK, as long as, you know, it's just operating from this playbook that they're used to. All right. Let me let me ask.
And this might have to be our final question, because we're running out of time here. Jason Stahl is the founder and executive director of the College Football Players Association. You can find their website at CFBPA.org. Why do you think that there are so many fans? And I understand why the administrators are against it, because they are they are looking at this as they're coming after our money.
And I've said I said this 10 years ago at a panel we did with a bunch of sitting A.D.s. They were they're clearly afraid that the players are directly going to get the monies that the universities feel like they are owed, which is a little bit gross. But I understand money is such an important factor for them.
I get it. But why do you think so many fans think negatively towards NIL deals and collectives and all of that? I mean, I do detect a shift among the fans. I think there is a way in which many fans are like, OK, well, this is the way things are going. I think the one thing, though, I and you know, you want to separate the issue here, NIL, collectives, et cetera, from transfer portal. I think more of the angst from fans is going to be transfer portal, which is, of course, related to NIL. It's related to collectives. And so now I put it this way.
I said this is somebody yesterday. I sympathize with the fans. And because I'm not, you know, you know, I know it's like to root for a team. You want to root for those players.
Maybe you want to see a guy recruited out of high school and then, oh, yeah, he finishes his time at that same school, your school, the school you went to. Right. Like, I get that. OK. But the way to solve that problem is not to say, well, we got to go back to the past where we limit labor mobility among athletes. We limit their right to make money as other Americans would make money. Instead, we can figure out a way.
And I think it's opening up competition through revenue sharing from the media rights agreements directly from the conferences or the CFP that that money flows into. OK, so here's what I say. Like, we need competition here. I'm not a socialist. This is not like I was the only one in that room.
I felt like it wasn't like a planner or socialist. Right. Like we need to open up this market to competition. We need the big 10 to say, you know what we're going to do?
We got all this new media rights money and we're going to pay we're going to pay our our football players whatever X dollars for the fact that their name, image and likeness appears on the TV screen. Well, let me tell you, players aren't going to be wanting to transfer out of the big 10. Right.
Or the SEC. Right. Yeah. OK. And then what's the SEC going to do? Oh, we're on this too.
We're on the screen too. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Right. That's what we need to happen.
We need competent competition. I do believe would actually diminish the movement of players around and the disk. And it would if the paying NIL payments directly from the media rights contracts through the conferences or through the CFP would disempower collectives, too.
Right. Because you wouldn't necessarily need the collectives in the same way you do now. The problem is, is that the administrative class in college athletics wants to have their cake and eat it, too. They want third parties to pay their labor and not pay the labor themselves because they want to keep all this money themselves. You can't you can't have it all, guys. You have to be willing to make concessions given this new world we're moving into. Jason Stahl, we could talk about this forever.
Founder and executive director of the College Football Players Association, CFBPA.org. I thank you very much for your time. We'll talk again soon, I hope. Heck yeah, I appreciate the time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-31 20:49:19 / 2023-03-31 20:55:57 / 7