By Keen Reed
A federal judge is expected to rule on June 1 whether or not the four-year-old O’Bannon v. NCAA lawsuit will be given class-action status. If class-action status is granted, it could mean big changes for the NCAA’s billion-dollar economic model. Instead of the NCAA (read: member schools) keeping all the loot for themselves and the players getting nothing more than their scholarships, the courts might eventually rule that athletes in the revenue sports deserve a cut of the pie that they’ve created with their blood, sweat and tears.
At the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, “there isn’t anyone in college athletics that isn’t taking it [the O’Bannon lawsuit] seriously,” wrote Yahoo! Sports columnist Dan Wetzel recently. “One day soon, maybe even by 2015, the players themselves could be getting a share of the billion-dollar revenue, a once-unthinkable development. The O’Bannon side is seeking a 50/50 split. The NCAA wants to keep it 100/0 and has expressed no interest in negotiating. Billions of dollars hang in the balance.”
Imagine that. Some of the revenue from big-time sports could actually end up going to the players that produce the product, rather than going toward more opulent facilities in the escalating facilities arms race, as well as escalating salaries for coaches and athletic administrators.
It’s a basic accounting issue and the NCAA sports power brokers have all the power. Unlike their NFL and NBA counterparts, NCAA football and men’s basketball players don’t have any representation. No union. No agents. They’re left at the mercy of NCAA decision-makers.
And those decision-makers traditionally have operated from a position of greed.
Hence the need for the O’Bannon v. NCAA lawsuit.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site. We discuss his experience at the MLB game at Field of Dreams; his thoughts on the appeal of the Field of Dreams, and baseball in general.
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Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
Episode #11 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Latest on Brain Trauma, Concussions and CTE with Dr. Chris Nowinski – Nowinski is CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation.
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO.
Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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