As universities around the country get ready for their most profitable time of the year, college football season, the NCAA is bandaging up the severe wounds they received from this past week’s events.
Last Friday, a federal judge ruled against the NCAA in an antitrust suit saying that the NCAA cannot stop players from selling their rights, and striking down regulations that prohibit players from receiving anything other than scholarships and the cost of attendance at schools.
This monumental ruling comes days after the NCAA Division I board of elections voted to give schools in the top five conferences the ability to come up with the majority of their own rules. What this means is that these top conferences will have the power to decide actions such as player stipends and insurance benefits as well as recruiting practices, something that the NCAA was highly critical about in years past.
Nothing has been officially put into place for student-athletes to be paid to play sports yet, but with the three above-mentioned occurrences and the continuous public outcry something is bound to happen.
The interesting question is, what will the NCAA do next and how will they react to everything that has happened this year?
Of course we know that they will appeal the violation of antirust laws ruled last week, which is predicted to eventually get to the Supreme Court. And, we still need to wait and see what the major conferences do with the additional power they have been granted. Those both are givens.
Regardless, the smartest stance for the NCAA is to wave the white flag and give up this fight. They need to start looking for ways to save face and whatever opportunity they have to influence where college athletics will head in the future. Instead of fighting away the critics, they should meet them at the bargaining table and discuss what the best possible outcome is for all parties involved.
The NCAA claims that they always have the student-athletes best interest in mind, it’s about time they actually follow through with that.
Roberto Valdez is the Marketing Director of Latino Giant and Executive Director of Latino Giant Sports. Roberto graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Communications with a minor in Media Analysis. Mr. Valdez is a marketing, public/media relations and social media consultant for numerous organizations in the Washington DC area and Arizona. He is also a sports strategist for high school, college and professional level teams.