Tuesday, October 25, 2016

My October Daily Camera Column: College Athlete Compensation

With more and more money pouring its way into college sports, college athletes and their representatives have been pushing for a bigger slice of the growing pie. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court decided not to take on a case brought by former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon over the rights to athletes' names, images and likenesses. O'Bannon, who played in the 1990s, first brought his case after seeing himself in a video game and realized he wasn't being compensated.

The Supreme Court could have used the O'Bannon case to make a landmark decision on college sports, but chose not to. So that means debate will continue, especially about big-time athletic programs with annual revenues over 100 million dollars. The debate isn't about whether or not athletes should be compensated — they already are — but how and how much.

I see a framework already emerging for answering these questions. It has three parts: stipends, prizes and intellectual property. Let's briefly look at each.
Read the whole thing here, and please feel free to come back and comment.

Here are some resources for additional reading if you'd like to go deeper:
There is also an enormous academic and legal literature on issues surrounding compensating college athletes. Here are two papers that I had on my course syllabus earlier this year:
And you might also have a look at this debate between Jay Bilas and Oliver Luck, two smart and thoughtful experts with different views on this topic:


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