Andy Staples' CFB mailbag today

Included a question that has come up here before:

Why are there not salary caps, in essence, on NIL?

Andy repeated my answer: Capping compensation is illegal under federal antitrust law, unless such caps are collectively bargained, as in the NFL and NBA. Patrick Mahomes can’t sue the Chiefs, or the NFL, for limiting his income, because as a member of NFLPA, he essentially agreed to those limits.

But Andy also presented an interesting approach to this for college athletics.

It’s not an impossible task. One of the more interesting ideas I’ve heard came from an athletic director who suggested athletes become employees of conferences, which are private entities and which would consolidate the jurisdiction for each collective bargaining agreement to a single state. That would allow leagues to negotiate with the athletes or their representatives and come to a compromise that both groups consider fair. They also could negotiate new rules to control player movement or anything else they’d like to address.

Andy thinks something like this is inevitable. NIL is out of whack because it is having to make up for the schools’ unwillingness or inability to compensate the players anywhere close to their true value. Eventually the courts are going to declare NCAA rules on the subject illegal, just as court rulings opened the door for NIL. The 9-0 ruling by SCOTUS in Alston v NCAA made that very clear. And without collective bargaining, it will remain out of whack.

Andy also noted that in the pros, endorsements (which is just a form of NIL) allow athletes like LeBron to make the extra money that they can’t be paid under the NBA salary cap. With a negotiated deal, NIL could fulfill the same role in college.

The employees scenario has been fought by ADs since before I was born. It brings work place laws into the equation. I like it. ADs do not. They would have to drop the student-athlete talk.

They will drop it. The $ makes their empires bigger. Poor campus professors do not have new large amounts of $ flowing into their areas other than say Bama where Saban has raised total university support by big factor more than the tv money. Not saying it is good but $ is like honey to flies, it attracts many things.

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