Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Thursday, July 07, 2022 — Houston, TX

NCAA faces possible legislation changes

9/3/14 7:22pm

On August 8, a federal judge handed down a landmark decision that could drastically impact the future of collegiate athletics. U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled the National Collegiate Athletic Association must allow colleges to pay athletes.

The judge’s injunction will go into effect August 1, 2015. Her order overrules the NCAA’s regulation prohibiting colleges from paying student athletes and allows schools to offer student athletes trusts funds that can be accessed after graduation. The scope of her decision, however, is limited to Division I men’s basketball and football players in the top 10 wealthiest conferences. Judge Wilken’s decision further authorizes that the NCAA could cap the amount players are paid, but the cap could be no less than $5,000 per year of play.

The judge’s ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed five years ago by former student athletes led by Ed O’Bannon. In July 2009, O’Bannon, a former UCLA basketball player, filed a class action antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA after seeing his likeness in an EA Sports videogame. O’Bannon did not understand why others could profit from his likeness while he received nothing years after he finished his education.



Judge Wilken found the NCAA to be in violation of antitrust laws and ruled in favor of O’Bannon. She based her decision on the profits realized by the multibillion dollar college sports industry and the reality that the existent regulations ensure players do not receive anything from the profit they generate or the subsequent use of their name or image.

       The NCAA claims the ruling could compromise their current business model and violates their principles of amateurism. The organization is expected to immediately pursue an appeal of the controversial decision.

       The NCAA and its supporters believe that paying players would undermine the integrity of collegiate athletics. The NCAA feels the value of a college education trumps a potential salary. Furthermore, prospective students could hire agents and commit to schools based on potential income rather than the quality of each program.

Rice Athletic Director Joe Karlgaard said, while he supports the NCAA, he sympathizes with O’Bannon and believes both the principles of amateurism and the rights of student athletes can be maintained.

“I can understand and empathize with O’Bannon,” Karlgaard said. “I believe in the amateur model, and the ruling the O’Bannon case helps preserve that in its limits.”

Karlgaard said Rice stands behind the principles of amateurism.

“Rice athletes are students first,” said Karlgaard. “ We support the amateur model.”

Paying players could also put smaller universities at a disadvantage. Critics of the decision state that schools with larger endowments could offer higher player salaries than schools with limited budgets. Other less profitable sports could also suffer, as their funding could be siphoned to pay basketball and football players.

The O’Bannon ruling has already impacted how coaches, players and spectators feel about college athletics.

According to Karlgaard, the focus of Rice Athletics will not change in face of the O’Bannon ruling despite its already broad impact on NCAA athletics.

“My job is the same,” said Karlgaard. “I am trying to generate more interest in the program. My job is to position Rice as a model for amateur athletics, and I am confident we can do that.”

 



More from The Rice Thresher

SPORTS 6/13/22 2:41pm
Forbes takes silver at NCAAs

On Thursday, sophomore distance runner Grace Forbes proved to the rest of the country what her Conference USA opponents and Rice teammates have known for years – she’s one of the fastest runners in the country. Competing at the NCAA championships in Eugene, Ore. for the second consecutive year, Forbes, took second place in the 10,000-meter, the best finish by an Owl at the NCAAs in over a decade. According to Forbes, who missed the indoor season and the first month of the outdoor season due to extreme fatigue later diagnosed as an autoimmune disorder, the result was a testament to the work she’s put in to overcome an incredibly challenging year.

SPORTS 6/3/22 1:21pm
NCAA T&F prelims see five Owls qualify for championships, Forbes take gold

Five Owls will be heading to next week’s NCAA outdoor track and field championships, after qualifying at the NCAA West Preliminaries which ran May 25 through 28. Headlining the meet for Rice was sophomore distance-runner Grace Forbes, who took first place in the 10,000 meters for the second consecutive year. Forbes will be joined in Eugene, Ore., by sophomore thrower Tara Simpson-Sullivan, junior thrower Erna Gunnarsdottir, senior thrower James McNaney and sophomore vaulter Alex Slinkman. Jon Warren, head coach of the men’s track and field program, said that he was impressed not only by the five qualifiers, but by all 13 Owls who participated over the course of the week in Fayetteville, Ark.

SPORTS 5/22/22 10:09pm
Men's team takes third, women's takes fifth at C-USA T&F championships

The Conference USA outdoor track and field championships saw Rice’s men’s team place third with 121 points — their best conference championship performance since 2005 — and the women’s team place fifth with 88 points. According to men’s head coach Jon Warren, he was proud to see the work his team put in all season be on full display at the meet.


Comments

Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.