A good sports thing and a dumb sports thing
NCAA athletes can finally make money + Faux media outrage over some pot + Idiot Buffet
Hello Idiots! ✊
It’s been too long. For that, I apologize.
Welcome to all of our new subscribers!
A couple of stories in the wide world of sports caught my eye this week. One good, one dumb.
My thoughts on each below plus what else is hot in the Internet streets to take you into the weekend.
Let’s get to it!
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The NCAA should’ve done this a long time ago
The biggest story in sports this week comes from the NCAA:
In a LONG overdue announcement Wednesday, the NCAA informed the world that they would no longer be exploiting the talent and labor of young student-athletes around the country while profiting in the billions of dollars.
Just kidding. They will most definitely continue doing that. Obviously.
The good news is that they will no longer be prohibiting the athletes from making money off their name, image, and likeness (NIL)!
ESPN: The new rules will allow athletes to profit by monetizing social media accounts, signing autographs, teaching camps or lessons, starting their own businesses, and participating in advertising campaigns, among many other potential ventures. Athletes will be allowed to sign with agents or other representatives to help them acquire endorsement deals.
It’s about goddamn time. Until now student-athletes couldn’t so much as charge for hitting lessons or use their expertise to earn money working camps. In which they would be passing along that expertise to kids…
The NCAA has prohibited this type of activity for decades in the name of “amateurism.” A word I suspect means something else entirely to some of these college athletes (particularly the males).
The notion that a student-athlete earning money somehow hurts the integrity of amateurism (or “love of the game” or whatever disingenuous spin zone label the NCAA wants to slap on it) was always a bullshit argument, at best, but somehow (lobbying) it’s always managed to win out.
This monumental power shift comes on the heels of a smaller (but still important) win for student-athletes last week in the Supreme Court that is paving the way for education-related payments.
In that decision, Justice Brett Kavanaugh put the worst run organization on the planet in a metaphorical body bag:
“The NCAA and its member colleges maintain important traditions that have become part of the fabric of America ... but those traditions alone cannot justify the NCAA's decision to build a massive money-raising enterprise on the backs of student athletes who are not fairly compensated. Nowhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing not to pay their workers a fair market rate on the theory that their product is defined by not paying their workers a fair market rate. And under ordinary principles of antitrust law, it is not evident why college sports should be any different. The NCAA is not above the law." - Justice Kavanaugh
Some scattered thoughts:
NIL will mostly benefit big basketball and football stars at top programs and attractive female athletes. I don’t make the rules!
Schools set rules on the use of team logos in deals.
What kind of endorsement restrictions (gambling, alcohol, tobacco, etc.) will there be?
Will there be profit-sharing between players and universities if logos are used? And if so, what on earth would that power dynamic look like?
We’re going to see THOUSANDS of new marketing/media/promotional companies sprouting up across the country. Get ready for a shit ton of NFTs and Tik Toks.
If you thought recruiting practices were dubious before…buddy…the stories we get out of this should be incredible. It’s essentially creating a “legal” avenue for coaches to pay players for play.
I want to see the faces of these kids when they find out how much Uncle Sam takes for the first time.
I’ve got a feeling the NCAA will somehow find a way to f*ck this up for student-athletes and the ones who play on non-revenue generating teams will be hurt the most (i.e., the programs will be cut).
TL;DR: NCAA still holds too much power, but this is a big win for student-athletes.
P.S. Athletes have wasted NO time moving on this! Click photos for links to articles.
Track star test positive for pot, media-bullied into apologizing
This is a media story in 2021, somehow:
Sha’Carri Richardson is all of us. Except for one thing:
“I just say, don’t judge me and I am human — I’m you, I just happen to run a little faster.” - Richardson
She’s being modest. She runs a lot faster than you and me. In fact, she runs a lot faster than every woman on the planet.
Here she is absolutely smoking the competition and sealing her spot for the women’s 100m at the Tokyo Olympics:
Not even close!
Richardson won’t be competing in the women’s 100m at the Tokyo Olympics, however, because the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) still prohibits the use of marijuana, which Richardson tested positive for in test results revealed today.
Why is it still prohibited?
It poses a health risk to athletes
It has the potential to enhance performance
It violates the spirit of sport
Read: no good reason.
What bothers me isn’t the archaic nature of the USADA’s rules. I’ve long accepted the fact that all major sports organizations (see NCAA) are corrupt, incompetent, or both.1
Besides, rules typically change over time to better reflect logic and reason. A naive premise, I know, but I’m trying to be optimistic.
What bothers me is the amount of media shaming/uproar about the whole thing.
Now Richardson is making the social media rounds issuing apologies that she’s essentially been bullied into.
The slimy tentacles of the media have made their way into her personal life, and now they’re grabbing hold of things that I’m guessing she doesn’t want the ENTIRE WORLD talking about like the passing of her mother or her mental health.
The media has no shame. If it bleeds, it leads.
The most absurd part? This all went down in Oregon, where marijuana is not only legal, it’s basically a rite of passage.
You’re goddamn right you are! ✊
The US added 850k jobs in June, beating expectations of 720k. Unemployment ticked up a hair from 5.8% to 5.9% (people leaving jobs voluntarily + people starting to look).
Steve Ballmer (Microsoft, Los Angeles Clippers) with one of the most WTF celebrations of all time.
Robinhood is going public soon. They were also just ordered to pay $70M in the largest FINRA penalty ever. I will not be an investor.
One more bad sports thing. A really awful story if the allegations are true. Also, another instance of the MLB’s incompetence.
James Gandolfini’s son will play a young Tony Soprano in The Many Saints of Newark. Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in!
Facebook became the fastest company to a $1 trillion market cap (17 years). Also, Facebook has been around for 17 years, which makes me feel very old.
Thanks for reading! ✊
MLB, NFL, FIFA, Olympics Committees, etc.