NCAA president Charlie Baker needs assist from Congress to keep away from paying scholar athletes

NCAA President Charlie Baker mentioned Friday that motion by Congress was wanted to guard what he described because the “95 p.c” of athletes whose capacity to play faculty sports activities can be endangered by a court docket ruling or regulatory choice declaring them as workers of their faculties.

Talking to a small group of reporters close to the NCAA’s Washington workplace, Baker was sensible however nonetheless hopeful concerning the prospect of Congress doing what it did not do regardless of persistent requests from his predecessor, Mark Emmert: granting the NCAA a restricted antitrust exemption that might enable it to make guidelines safeguarding faculty sports activities with out the fixed menace of litigation.

His feedback took on extra urgency when a Tennessee choose dominated Friday that the NCAA couldn’t block faculties from utilizing title, picture and likeness (NIL) cash to recruit athletes. Baker was knowledgeable of the ruling throughout his assembly with reporters and declined to remark. The NCAA mentioned later in an announcement that the ruling “will worsen an already chaotic collegiate atmosphere.”

Baker in December proposed creating a brand new tier of Division I that might enable the colleges that take advantage of cash from sports activities to pay their athletes. However he would not need inside NCAA reforms or a court docket ruling to hazard sports activities on the overwhelming majority of member faculties. The NCAA is dealing with a number of lawsuits and a unionization effort at Dartmouth that would lead to athletes getting categorized as workers.

Barker argues that it could have an effect on traditionally Black schools

The employment mannequin wouldn’t work at traditionally Black schools and universities, he mentioned, or at Division II or III faculties.

“You are speaking about 95 p.c of faculties that most likely spend someplace between … $40 million and $5 million on faculty sports activities, they usually lose cash,” Baker mentioned. “They do not have TV contracts and no one can have a look at their revenue statements or steadiness sheets and conclude there can be a approach for them to earn money.”

Baker, a former two-term Republican governor of Massachusetts whose tenure as NCAA president hits the one-year mark on March 1, mentioned he was inspired by his conversations with members of Congress who agree with him that one thing have to be finished to safeguard and standardize gamers’ NIL rights and be sure that the NCAA may give athletes extra alternatives to earn money.

“I believe ultimately, we’re going to want Congress to do one thing,” Baker mentioned. “As a result of folks will draw a whole lot of conclusions from court docket selections. After which there can be new ones.”

He mentioned he took the lengthy view on congressional motion and wasn’t relying on getting a invoice handed throughout an election 12 months during which priorities of each events, together with funding for border safety and Ukraine, have stalled.

“I fully settle for the truth that within the grand scheme of all of the issues Congress is engaged on, this one might be not on the high of the pile,” Baker mentioned.

Baker added that the antitrust exemption he’s in search of is way narrower than what the NCAA has requested for previously.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *