Today we’re giving you a peek behind the scenes with an episode about one of our favorite pre-show topics: college sports [note: we’re both dyed-in-the-wool Duke fans. What can we say? The idea of your college as “the mother of your soul” definitely holds for us when it comes to sports loyalties]. This is perhaps the best and the worst time for a discussion about the economics of college sports: on the one hand, basketball and football seasons are underway; on the other, things are moving so fast that we had to include an update in this post.
In a move that will likely not surprise you once you’ve listened to the podcast, the NCAA Board of Governors made a unanimous decision to extend the right to receive compensation for the use of their names, images, and likenesses to all college athletes, an about-face from its earlier promise to contest California’s Fair Pay to Play Act. Of course, the NCAA is still a (non-profit) business, so this decision isn’t necessarily an indication of its newfound “wokeness.” They’re still obsessed with “student-athletes,” recruitment outcomes, and using amateurism as a barrier to further discussions about paying athletes, but the NCAA is at least paying lip service to a desire to move with the tide of history. More importantly, college athletes will get to reap some of the financial benefits of the enormous amount of time, energy, and effort they’ve put into playing the sports of their choosing. We definitely plan to keep an eye on this story as the NCAA rolls out its plan.
Now that that’s out of the way, we hope you’ll enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed recording it. In addition to the fallout from the Fair Pay to Play Act, we discuss revenue sharing, Zion Williamson’s impact on the stock market, the history of NCAA vs. athlete lawsuits, position stacking, and what happens when a city hosts a college sports tournament. Oh, and James pours one out for EA Sports’s NCAA Basketball and Football franchises. There’s also a sports-related update from our Black Capitalism episode.
Finally, we’ve got a question and an announcement: Will knowing that players are receiving some compensation change how or whether you watch college sports? How? Why or why not?
In addition to sharing your thoughts with us via social media (@financeflipside on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram), you can keep the conversation going with us and each other in our new Facebook Group, the Financial Flipside Group Chat. The group is private, but if you head over to our Facebook page and leave us a message or find us by searching for the group name, we’ll gladly let you in. Here’s to more real money talk!
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Show notes and bonus content are, as always, below the cut.
Mentioned on the show:
- Is that your king? We discuss the products of Jay-Z’s “social justice and music” partnership with the NFL, namely image rehabilitation for the League, a free concert, and a clothing line in a pear tree. Oh, and backlash. Lots of backlash. Both Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid came forward to criticize the partnership and Jay-Z’s subsequent comments about needing to move on from protests and focus on “actionable items”. There are also people who support the partnership for various reasons, including Cardi B, DJ Khaled, and former NFL player Marcellus Wiley. Both Wiley’s barbed (and, I’d argue, misguided-LaTarsha) comments about Kaepernick and his partner, Nessa Diab, and the wide range of opinions about this partnership demonstrate just how thorny and complex discussions of Black capitalism can be.
- From the Ringer: The Ripple Effects of California’s Fair Pay to Play Act, which includes responses from players, coaches and the NCAA
- If you want to take your own deep dive into the NCAA’s finances, the full report is here.
- Speaking of finances, here’s the full assessment of the impact of San Antonio’s Men’s Final Four hosting bid
- From SB Nation: How much colleges make from the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament
- From the Chicago Tribune: Tournament Cinderellas don’t always reap the majority of the benefits from their victories
- From the Minneapolis Star Tribune: The case against using public money to fund tournament hosting
- The Nation takes on the NCAA’s nonprofit status
- From WBUR: The origins of college sports amateurism
- The Organization of American Historians busts myth of the student athlete
- From Deadspin (solidarity/RIP-LaTarsha): The story of Ray Dennison, whose death led to the coining of the phrase “student-athlete”
- How Zion Williamson and his shoe affected both the price of Duke-Carolina game tickets and the stock market
- Athletes vs. the NCAA, part 1: White vs. NCAA (2008)
- Athletes vs. the NCAA, part 2: O’Bannon vs. NCAA and EA Sports (2014)
- From Forbes: Mark Cuban, the NCAA’s pro-amateurism attack entrepreneur
- From the Engaging Sports blog: Race, class, and position stacking in college football
- March Madness 2019 by the numbers, including the cost to businesses of time spent furtively checking scores or watching games at work.
- The history behind the debate around paying college athletes
- A group of economists recommend compensation for college athletes.
- Over at the New Yorker, Ekow N. Yankah makes the case against, but not for the reasons one might anticipate.
- We recommend listening to this episode of NPR’s Code Switch podcast on paying college athletes after reading the Yankah piece. Both take a look at the racial dimensions of the debate.