Ok, so this has been a bizarre week in the world of college sports.
Early in the week, the NCAA granted the "Power 5" conferences the right to do pretty much whatever they want when it comes to setting the rules for sports participation.
Then late Friday afternoon, the landmark case of Ed O'Bannon and others antitrust suit against the NCAA for not sharing profits that came from the usage of their likenesses.
Yeah, we sort of are too. But we'll attempt to explain what this all means.
The O'Bannon suit and ruling means the NCAA can no longer keep athletes from getting a share of the profits from TV, Video Games and other such profitable items. Essentially, if you buy an NCAA 2014 Football Video game, the players are entitled to a cut of the profits if their likeness is used.
The NCAA had claimed the players were not eligible for that money because they only can get money from scholarships or the cost of attending a school.
But....there was a stipulation added to the decision by Judge Claudia Wilken. That stipulation states that the schools must hold the revenues due players in a trust fund until they finish school. And that fund can be capped at $5000 per year max.
The ruling also stated the schools don't have to set aside any monies...as long as they don't license the athletes names or likenesses for marketing.
To keep from a lengthy discourse, both the O'Bannon ruling and the "Power 5" ruling means the College Sports landscape is about to change yet again. And you may...or may not like it. If you are Power 5 school or fan, no big deal...if not, well, maybe not.
For major college athletes...this means you are going to get paid. You are going to have money besides your scholarship money, which basically is enough to get you to school.
Let the bidding wars begin...
Yes, this is all going to eliminate the amateur part of sports. There are parts of all this we totally agree with: Athletes should be entitled to money generated by sales of their jerseys or if their likeness is used in a video game.
And yes, the "Power 5" conferences should have their own leagues. And we don't have issues with a small stipend for athletes for expense monies.
Giving the "Power 5" schools autonomy to make their own rules? And no, the set-up where the other conferences have a seat at the table, that means nothing. They don't have enough sway to change any votes and can't stop the "Power 5" from making their own decisions.
We've said all along their should be a conference for the "Big Budget" schools and then one for everyone else. It's not fair to a Conference USA or Sun Belt school to try and compete for a national title with the bigger schools. They will never, ever win it.
Getting to a bowl game should not be a "Top of the Ladder" goal for any college football player. Winning a title should. But only the Top 50 or so "Power" schools have a sot at it.
And sorry folks, as much as we agree with some of these rulings, on the whole, this is wrong...
The fine folks at ESPN...who've had a hand in creating this chaos, try to offer an explanation: