O'Bannon vs. Title IX

Are O’Bannon Ruling and Title IX at Odds?

O'Bannon vs. Title IXOne of the most complicated parts of the O’Bannon ruling against the NCAA stems from the fact that Judge Wilken did not have to take Title IX into account when she ordered stipends and trust funds for football and men’s basketball student athletes.

I am not a Title IX scholar or expert, but I did interview about a half dozen of them when I was writing Saturday Millionaires for the chapter on pay-for-play. One big misconception I’m seeing from fans on Twitter this morning is that Title IX only covers equal opportunities for female student athletes. That is not the entire story. Most of you are familiar with what we call the “three-prong test” for Title IX, which does focus on opportunities. However, the three-prong test is just one of three parts of a full Title IX analysis.

The issues I see with the O’Bannon ruling and Title IX come in the second part about athletically-related financial aid and in the third part (the laundry list) where publicity and recruitment are factors.

Would a court consider the new stipend and trust fund for football and men’s basketball players “athletically-related financial aid”? Does it matter that football and men’s basketball players are publicized in more high-profile ways than female student athletes? What about the fact that the new trust fund will be associated with recruitment? Those are questions that will have to be answered.

I want to give you some excerpts from Saturday Millionaires where I explained the three parts of Title IX analysis to highlight where the O’Bannon ruling might be at odds with Title IX. Continue reading

NCAA Loses O'Bannon

What the O’Bannon Ruling Means for the NCAA and College Sports

NCAA Loses O'BannonA federal judge ruled against the NCAA on Friday on the O’Bannon case, which deal with student athletes’ inability to be compensated for use of their names, images and likenesses.

Although the judge dealt the NCAA a blow, and certainly gave student athletes a landmark victory, her ruling was very narrowly tailored. I have a detailed breakdown of the case and the ruling on Outkick the Coverage on FoxSports.com.

Autonomy for Power 5

Unintended Consequences of New NCAA Governance

As expected, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors approved a new governance model today that will give the Power 5 autonomy (only altered from the last publicized model by allowing proposals to be introduced by just one conference in the Power 5 instead of three). What does it really mean for college football? Although I was in favor of this model due to the increased benefits it will allow some schools to offer student athletes, I’m not sure everything that flows from it will be positive.

Want a little dose of reality? Click here to read my piece on Outkick the Coverage.

Hancock's dog named "Dog" displayed prominently on his desk

Tour: College Football Playoff Office

Last October, I had the opportunity to tour the new College Football Playoff office. The Summit at Las Colinas is a fairly run-of-the-mill high-rise office tower located on the outskirts of Dallas in Irving. Nothing on the outside of the building would alert you that the most powerful entity in college football is housed inside its walls. There’s no big flashy sign. In fact, I wasn’t even sure I was at the right building (my GPS did actually lead me to a building across the highway first).

Stepping inside the lobby, you could imagine looking for the name of your doctor on the directory next to the elevator. There were the same assortment of businesses you probably have in your own office building. As a college football fan and analyst, I felt a rush of nerves being so close to the epicenter of it all, but no one else in the lobby seemed moved by the CFP’s presence in the building. Like the outside of the building, there was nothing inside the building shouting that this is the home of the CFP.

I took the elevator up and entered the office itself, and I was stunned. The CFP doesn’t even command its own floor, it only occupies a partial floor. There was a simple wooden desk for the receptionist and the CFP logo on the wall above it. That’s it. I’ve worked in law firms with grander entrances.

There was a pretty cool football design in the floor of the reception area, but as you’ll see in the slideshow below, the CFP office is a fairly normal business office. Sure, maybe they’ve got some great graphics on the walls featuring the national championship contenders and football helmets in the kitchen, but it’s just office space. After having visited numerous athletic departments and been treated to some pretty highly-orchestrated displays – think lighting effects and fight songs that are motion-detecting and begin as you enter the locker room – I was surprised the CFP office didn’t make a statement. Actually, I guess it did make a statement. It went something like this: Hello, I’m an office. People work here. Oh yeah, our work happens to involve college football.

If you’ve ever had the chance to meet Bill Hancock, you probably won’t be surprised that the CFP office is a fairly simple, functional space. If you haven’t had that opportunity, check out our latest Saturday Millionaires podcast for an interview with Hancock where he discusses everything from his policy that a real person answer all incoming calls during business hours to his 24-hour email response policy…and of course, his dog named “Dog” (pictured in the slideshow).

You can also check out some pictures from my office tour:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photo credit: Bobby Magee via Flickr

Texas A&M Wrongly Cast as Bully in 12th Man Trademark Dispute

Photo credit: Bobby Magee via Flickr
Photo credit: Bobby Magee via Flickr

Just one month ago, Texas A&M was depicted as a bully who got its thrills from suing double amputee cancer survivors. The story generated headlines like these:

“Texas A&M threatens to sue double amputee, cancer survivor”

“Texas A&M tackles double amputee over ’12th Man’”

“Texas A&M plays hardball with a double amputee over 12th Man trademark”

Those headlines appeared on July 2nd and 3rd when news broke that Texas A&M sent multiple cease and desist letters to a group of Bills fans who founded the site 12thManThunder.com, one member of which happens to be a double amputee cancer survivor.

Charles “Chuckie” Sonntag, the aforementioned individual, told reporters earlier this month, “My experience has proven two things: a handicapped person can accomplish just about anything – and Texas A&M will sue just about anybody.”

Today the headline is that Texas A&M has reached a settlement agreement with the group that will result in the 12thManThunder.com domain name and associated social media accounts reverting to Texas A&M. And Chuckie Sonntag has sure changed his tune.

Click here to continue reading my piece on Outkick the Coverage.

You can also listen to my Saturday Millionaires podcast for more on this issue.

453653643

Say Goodbye to Division IV

453653643In my opinion, Division IV was like Texas threatening to leave the Big XII; it was never going to happen. Texas wanted Longhorn Network and all the money that came with it, and the Power 5 (the ACC, Big XII, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC) want autonomy within the confines of the NCAA.

Click here to keep reading my thoughts on why Division IV isn’t happening over on Outkick the Coverage.

The latest news and original analysis on the business of college sports…