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Not sure how many people are following this, but I am absolutely enthralled by what's going with NIL, Employment Law as it relates to college athletes, and the resulting impact on college athletics.

The experts seem to think that amateurism in college sports will cease to exist in less than 5 years - Basically there's three legal activities involving the NCAA and Employment law that are going on right now:

  • Johnson v NCAA - A Villanova athlete is suing the NCAA saying he was an employee, which should exhaust the appellate process in 2024

  • NLRB (national labor relations board) investigating NCAA - will likely wrap up before the next presidential election ends

  • The NCAA lobbying congress for an antitrust exemptions - at the whims of congress/NCAA Lobby

How do these things impact the NCAA?

  • For amateurism to remain a thing, the NCAA has to win all 3 of these things - HIGHLY unlikely

  • If the NCAA loses all three, then the NCAA will have to treat athletes as employees

  • If the NCAA can successfully get an anti-trust exemption, it opens the option for a middle ground that could include:

  • A standardized federal law around NIL (right now, every state has a different law)

  • An NIL clearing house operated by the NCAA

  • A (presumably better defined) quasi-employment status for student athletes

If you're interested in learning more about this (or question the crude summary I threw together), here's a list of things I'm following/reading (mostly a variety of work from Matt Brown, who I consider the foremost expert on NIL):

  • Here's a twitter thread (with Matt Brown) that talks about NIL/TV Contracts. The gist is basically:

  • Athletic Department fundraising is a completely different process that attracts different types of money people than NIL, so it's unlikely that NIL will ever detract from Athletic Department donations.

  • Could this change with time? No, because NIL won't be a thing in 5 years (see summary above)

  • Here's an episode of The Solid Verbal where they brought on Matt Brown to discuss this stuff

  • Here's a piece by Matt Brown focused on the NCAA Lobbying Congress. Also, here's a catalogue of Matt Brown's work - his newsletter is called Extra Points, it's a part of the D1 ticker network, and is used in D1 Classroom, which is a teaching tool used in sports business degree programs.

  • Here's my favorite piece on the Johnson Case, from the Athletic.

  • This piece from the Athletic does a wonderful job of explaining the Jadan Rashada issue, which shows a lot of the problems with NIL. For discussion specific to Rashada, see this thread.

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