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NCAA is trying to add a third tier now…

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
The Truth Network Radio
December 12, 2023 3:54 pm

NCAA is trying to add a third tier now…

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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December 12, 2023 3:54 pm

Matt Brown, Extra Points, on the NCAA and the power 5 adjustments making new impacts in college sports.

Why does Adam find this issue so interesting? What does Adam believe SHOULD’VE happened earlier, but looks like it will be, and does Matt agree with it? Are we heading for something that really doesn’t look anything like what college football looks like today? Potentially a European model? “There are multiple ways this story could end…” Could college sports be legally divorced form colleges soon?


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See website for details. I think we all raised an eyebrow when we saw the news that NCAA president Charlie Baker took a moment from looking in the past to look to the future of college sports and thought, hey, what if we had a third level, an enhanced level of FBS football where the teams could actually pay players? Sort of.

Like, everybody would love that. And my first reaction was, yeah, nice, but too late because athletes are likely going to be declared employees pretty soon by the courts. Now, maybe I'm not looking at it the right way.

Best way to find out is talk to Matt Brown, publisher of Extra Points, which is a newsletter that covers the off-the-field stories in college sports. I appreciate his time. All right, Mr. Brown, was I looking at it too cynically? Because I don't, to me, they're going to be declared employees pretty soon anyway. No, I think you're, you're mostly right. There's a lot that is interesting and newsworthy and important about this proposal. It definitely shifts the NCAA's historical thinking and a willingness here to engage in what the actual reality is. But fundamentally, you're right. Nothing in Baker's initial proposal really touched on the idea of employment and anything that they're advocating for here still requires Congress to either grant them an antitrust exemption and or potentially state that athletes aren't employees because the court system is looking, is likely to do that in the near future. So I would read this as more of a message to Congress than it really is for us.

Right. And I keep saying this, and I hate to play the cliche game. We have a promo that's been running now for three weeks or four weeks, however long it's been running, because the reason why Charlie Baker and all the conference commissioners and all the power brokers in college sports have been going to Congress, looking to them to help solve their problems is because they know that people in Congress don't really get it. There's very few people that truly understand how college sports works, even though there is a former football coach in the Senate.

And it doesn't seem like he really gets it either. They're just kind of trying to protect the status quo. I think the only proposals that I've seen that make any sense, the NCAA would not want because they would declare to basically give too much freedom to the players. Yeah, I mean, I think part of the frustrating thing here, if you're an AD or that you work or if you work in college athletics right now, is that fundamentally you don't get you're not really in charge anymore. Even relatively modest regulations about NIL are going to find themselves in court. If the NCAA tries to enforce them, we already now see multiple state attorneys general either threatening or about to file lawsuits against transfer portal regulations and saying that athletes can't transfer more than once and not have to sit out. So the only way that you can really enforce any of these rules and be any kind of administration is if the Congress grants you protection from some of these lawsuits. And so you're right, this is the big challenge because the people that fundamentally get to shape what college athletics looks like, by and large, don't understand college athletics, by and large, don't really care about college athletics and are delegating that to poorly paid staffers or something far down the totem pole.

But if they decide not to do anything, then then the future is going to be shaped by courts who might care even less. All right, I'm going to transition to some of the stuff that you wrote about in the newsletter, which I would encourage people if you are interested in not just college sports, but why college sports is what it is and how it's shaped from outside the, you know, outside the lines, if you will, then this is a newsletter that is absolutely for you. I don't know how many years ago it is now, but when they granted athletes full cost of attendance, and it always struck me as odd that university presidents and commissioners were patting themselves on the back for finally making the kids whole when I never even knew that they weren't.

It's kind of bizarre to me. But my thoughts at the time were that there were a lot of universities that wouldn't really be in favor of this because it was going to cost them money that maybe they didn't have. You wrote in the newsletter yesterday that you think that there are more universities that would be on board with actually paying, maybe not directly paying players, but setting aside all of this money because you think there's something more can than maybe we believe.

I definitely think that. There's so many schools out there that are committed to participating at the highest level of college athletics they possibly can. They know they need to do that to satisfy their donors. They know they need to do that to be able to get favors or be able to build relationships they need to with lawmakers, especially as many state lawmakers are increasingly skeptical of higher education. They need this for the exposure as they're fighting for a limited number of students for this country's facing a college student enrollment cliff, which is, you know, you're going to be fine if you're Duke or North Carolina.

But if you're maybe high point, it's going to be a more complicated future for you. And so schools are realizing, OK, whatever, whatever we got, we got to pay. We got to pay. And what I think people need to realize here is that, OK, let's let's say the regulations change and the new buy in for Division one plus is 10 million bucks. Right.

Well, most people aren't going to be able to just absorb that even at the power five level. But you're going to see a redistribution of some of those resources. Right. The only reason that football coaches in this country make seven million dollars and more in college sports is because they're not paying the labor like that's not what they're meant. That's not what assistance and that's not what people make in the NFL. Right.

Or the NBA. You'll just be redistributing some of that. Now, where the interesting question comes is not who can afford to pay it. When push comes to shove, anybody in the power five and a lot of people in the G5 or who don't sponsor football will find a way to come up with that money.

The more interesting question is who has the money and will elect not to do it because they don't want to do it. And that may include some teams in the power five or other institutions that definitely have the financial resources that just decide, you know, we draw in the line of the sand, whether in or way out. And we decided that we're out. And that might be an OK decision to Matt Brown's joining us here on the Adam Gold show at Matt Brown, E.P.

on Twitter. Delaware chose to pay those those FBS buy ins. Right. That was weird to a lot of people because they just jacked the price up. They did.

And here's a dirty little secret. Right. I've written about this a lot and I've talked to a bunch of schools that are considering this reclassification. Five million dollars is not enough to dissuade anybody that's seriously thinking about making this jump. You can you can shake down your donors for five million bucks unless you're the kind of school that has no business thinking about this conversation to begin with. It's the increase in scholarship costs that are going to make some schools pause.

Delaware doesn't really need to increase any of those here. So there is just a matter of paying the buyout from the CIA and the entrance fee. I think it's going to be six million dollars total, but they have the money.

Matt Brown is joining us here on the Adam Gold show. All right. So first of all, people need to understand that this is just a proposal. This is not any sort of legislation. I don't think it will look anything like this. If anybody, you know, essentially gets a chance to vote on something like this.

But what has been the reaction of the power five conferences of the presidents to something like this? You know, I haven't seen a ton of. Cash prizes every day. Ads up when you play at Pulse Casino. over 700 casino style games and counting and no terrible lounge singer promise.

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No purchase necessary. Presidents go on the record. I've talked to a few ad's and I've read, you know, comments from my colleagues here who have written follow ups. And honestly, the reaction that I've seen has mostly not been Oh, absolutely not. Or like, Oh, this is ridiculous because the truth is it's not that dissimilar from what a lot of school leaders would already admit to you in their group chats or at the convention center bar after NACDA or something. Like they know this is coming.

They just don't want to admit it in public because they don't want to throw their presidents under the bus who maybe aren't as plugged in or they don't want to stand out here. So now that Charlie Baker is setting the agenda, a lot of those private conversations are going to move forward. And it's not just what does the power five think about this?

It's not just what do Bubba and Boo think about this particular proposal? Like this is something that will need support and buy in from everybody. And I think our fans might be surprised about how many low major schools are going to say, actually, we think this is good. And this may free us from some of the spending pressures to keep up with schools that we have no business keeping up with. And maybe we compete for the same championships. Maybe we don't. But it's silly to continue to force us to all play by the same rules.

So this issue to me is so interesting because I've thought for a long time that we should probably have three different levels in within Division one and that the FBS, which is what is called now, should probably be split in half. I asked Craig Thompson, who used to be the commissioner of the Mountain West Conference. This is a long time ago.

It's got to be 20, almost 20 years ago. I said, why do you participate in a system that discriminates against you? Because they give us money, you know, because they were getting a check from from the BCS and they were getting a chance to play at. Remember, Utah was getting paid to come play at Michigan. And now Utah is part of the same system. I've always thought that we were going to have three divisions, but are we headed for something?

And I guess we're going to have to close on this. Are we headed for something, and maybe Charlie Baker's trying to head this off, that really doesn't look anything like the college football that we see today? Are we headed for something that resembles more along the lines of like a European football model? It's entirely possible.

And I know that this makes lousy radio, but I think people need to understand that there are there are multiple ways that this story could end and what you described is one of them. There could be a world where 35, 40 brands completely separate themselves and create their own, you know, the quasi European Super League. We could see a world and this might even be the betting favorite where college sports becomes legally divorced from colleges. And what will happen is, you know, Learfield will partner with some gigantic private equity firm or maybe the Saudi Royal Fund. And, you know, they'll pay the University of North Carolina a licensing fee to use their intellectual property in their stadium. But it will really college football LLC will be owned and operated by something else. And they'll be fully fledged professionals.

It'll be the G League overtime elite with the veneer of college IP. That's possible. It's possible Congress tries to call all this stuff back and tries to shove everything back in the in the 1992 tube. And we'll see how well that works. It's it's hard to handicap because it isn't up to the people that generally talk to reporters for what this world is going to look like if they want to have as much influence as possible.

I know my advice would be like it's time to start riding with the wave instead of paddling against it because you lost a couple of the important fights that would have prevented this from happening. The NCAA had looked into the future instead of the past 10 years ago. We might not be here. Maybe we would be here anyway. But I mentioned I actually told Jim Phillips this this year that based on the ACC's deal with the CW that I thought that live ACC football would be a good idea. All of that money would prevent Florida State and Clemson and others from looking elsewhere and everything would be fine.

But I don't think I think he just sort of uncomfortably chuckled. But as long as we're trying to grow the game is really all that matters. Matt Brown golfers will understand what I'm saying there. Matt Brown from extra points. I appreciate your time, man. Always good stuff. All right. Thank you. You bet. Take care. All right, man. Look, there's a ton of things in this. If you read the newsletter, it's great.

And it kind of gets you into what all of this stuff means. And like we were just talking about, I don't think this is going anywhere because they're going to the athletes are going to be declared employees before we get even close to a vote on this. So it's going to happen. And then where are we going with college sports? Well, it's in your pocket. You can play anywhere. Well, as e dot com.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-12 17:39:05 / 2023-12-12 17:45:22 / 6

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