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  1. #101
    Wow, I think Mudge's post says it all. If the best argument for the status quo is "NCAA won, others lost, tough luck" then we -- as graduates, representatives, and benefactors of those institutions -- have all truly lost.

  2. #102
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Berg View Post
    I agree universities have the right to protect their own brand. Does Bilas really argue that student-athletes have equity in school jerseys? He's a smart guy, with a law degree to boot; I doubt he misunderstands trademark so profoundly.

    But...

    Perhaps, but what difference does that make? If Kyrie's independently-branded jerseys fail to sell, it's once again risk borne by a commercial entity like Nike. Doesn't hurt Duke.

    If they do sell well, contrary to your expectations, it might cannabilize the market for Duke jerseys with #1 on it...but hey, that's life in a competitive market. NCAA regulations preventing this scenario are precisely what I mean by "consolidating monopoly power". It's not illegal; may or may not be sleazy, depending how you feel about amateurism; but it's definitely inefficient from an economics POV.
    It makes a difference because Bilas and Web(b?)er argue that Weber should get some cut of the profits on University of Michigan jerseys with Weber's name on the back-- I say, if Weber wants to market a jersey that does not infringe on the UM's hard-earned brand equity, with Weber's name on the back-- let him have at it-- oh by the way, he can't build up a clientele for that third-party jersey by playing for the UM anymore, while he is selling it. Weber and Bilas want him to be able to use the NCAA's and UM's bully pulpit to publicize himself, then sell a jersey which is mainly coveted because he is a member of those organizations... if Bilas and Weber think Weber's jersey is so coveted, let him/them prove it, by playing and working on his own, to build up the demand for the silly thing.

    That's exactly the point-- almost no one will buy a Rivers or Irving jersey that has some non-familiar design with their name on it--people want a Duke jersey, THEN with Rivers' or Irving's name on the back-- Bilas and Weber need to stop acting like they created the demand for the Weber jersey out of whole cloth (pun intended)... and good luck selling that non-Duke, non-NBA team Irving #1 jersey... maybe it should have something like "Rahway All-Stars" or "Hoboken Generals" on the front, along with "Irving, #1" on the back-- yeah, that'll be a hot seller.

  3. #103
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Berg View Post
    You're right, they don't have to. Nobody has argued that strawman. I merely claim that they should reconsider their anticompetitive restrictions, lest they lose the moral high ground.

    Remember, university presidents represent nonprofit, academic institutions. They are supposed to be guided by higher principles, striving to educate young men & women while enriching the broader world of ideas. In other words, there is a vast grey area between their stated ideals and robber-baron-like behavior. As alumni and donors, we have every right to demand that Duke and its peers keep to the former as closely as possible, above & beyond what the law might require.

    Barring student-athletes from participating in the NBA draft, hiring an agent, playing in semi-pro summer leagues, renting their likeness, etc does nothing to promote teaching, research, or public awareness. Full stop. At best, these measures are a crude mechanism for schools to retain talented quasi-employees at reduced cost. At worst, they shun otherwise-qualified students from NCAA classrooms & gyms, in total opposition with their educational mission.
    Actually, somebody did complain that the current arrangements were unfair, and in fact I've heard that sentiment voiced by a number of people looking at the current landscape of big-time college sports. It's a common view. However, I argue that there is not a reasonable basis for claiming economic exploitation of talented high-school basketball players.

    Setting aside the economic explotiation point, I am in general sympathy with the point you and Mudge are both making that universities should pursue athletics within a higher context, which is to say their overall educational mission.

    Nevertheless, it may be worth pulling back a bit from a narrow focus on the plight of a small number of highly-talented prospective professional athletes and the magnitude of the revenue stream reaped by the university and take notice that a major athletics program is not inconsistent with the diverse range of fields that a modern university considers appropriate to cover and benefits many students beyond the elite athletes. Lots of students who participate in major college sports programs often find that experience directly relevant to, and an important part of the preparation for, careers in a field related to sports, such as coaching or broadcasting or sports medicine or sports management or a number of other fields, and given how broadly universities today define their scope, these fields are not outside the realm of what universities consider it appropriate to prepare students for.

  4. #104
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Berg View Post
    Wow, I think Mudge's post says it all. If the best argument for the status quo is "NCAA won, others lost, tough luck" then we -- as graduates, representatives, and benefactors of those institutions -- have all truly lost.
    This is silly-- Duke is a voluntary, and highly willing member of the NCAA-- no one is making Duke stay in the NCAA. Duke (the institution which you are graduates, representatives, and benefactors of), by virtue of its actions, supports and endorses the NCAA's rules and operations. Duke is not by any means lamenting some loss, as a result of the NCAA's actions.

  5. #105
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Berg View Post
    Eh, I should've known...

    I prefer to argue about the state of the real world, under real constraints, informed by real events. If you want to discuss some alternate history where abstract libertarian idealism reigns, step 1 should be returning all Duke jerseys (and every other bit of property in "our" country) to the Native Americans
    I am arguing about the real world-- and how it ought to be organized, IMO, not how it is organized. We have gotten way off the path, with intercollegiate sports in higher education-- they have long since departed from the original reason they were incorporated into colleges in the first place, and I believe that colleges (and America) would be better off, if they got rid of intercollegiate athletics, and returned to fielding only intramural teams.

    Just because you don't like my opinions of the court cases regarding monopolies that have come down over the years since this country was founded (which was originally founded on principles that had the utmost respect for private property rights), doesn't mean I am not entitled to voice those opinions. I am not a lawyer, but it isn't only lawyers who get to say what seems fair, right, and just, in light of the original founding principles of this country.

    Warren Buffett did not invest $40 billion in buying the BNSF railroad, just so Sen. Rockefeller (and others like him, with no respect for private property rights) could steal away the value of his purchase, by insisting that he not be able to charge what the market will bear for shipping goods on his railroad-- Buffett expressly bought the railroad because of its near-monopoly like economic presence in some markets, and the associated economic profits that that near-monopoly presence could/can generate-- it is neither fair, nor just, for the rest of society to take his property rights, after the fact of his purchase, by deciding to limit what he can charge for his property's services. If society wants to do that, then society should pay Buffett's asking price for his railroad, and buy it from him, and then operate it to serve Rockefeller's constituents-- imagine how well that will work out for rail transport in America (cf.- Amtrak, if you don't know or can't predict what will happen).

    P.S.-- No doubt, it is a travesty what Europeans did/have done to the previous landholders here; I am all for efforts by native tribes to gain restitution on these matters. I love it when they gain the right to operate casinos near big cities, and inconvenience the Donald Trumps of the world.

  6. #106
    Join Date
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    Steamboat Springs, CO

    Antitrust

    Quote Originally Posted by Mudge View Post
    I am one who absolutely believes that if you don't like the deal on offer, you can (and should, if you feel that strongly) "go write your own code". Many people felt that way about Microsoft, and tried to fight that "monopoly"-- it's the reason we have Linux today. I think most of the laws that we have written to take away property rights from so-called monopolists are misguided and ill-founded (this is where our resident phalanx of lawyers chime in to tell me why I am wrong, based on case law-- which misses the point entirely-- that I disagree with those court decisions, because I think they run counter to the protection of private property rights that were an essential element of the founding principles of our country.)

    You absolutely can go found your own team, league, barnstorming exhibition, or whatever-- and would-be owners and players have done this many times in American sporting history-- the fact that you are unlikely to be as successful financially with this activity is both A) Too bad for you; and B) An emphatic underlining of the fact that these players are not economically successful because of their own identity, but rather because of the brand equity that has been built by the school or league/team that they join. Jennings has already proven that 18-year old HS players do have other professional options-- if you don't like the deal, don't join their organization. You are not entitled to live on Manhattan in a rent-controlled apartment, and you are not entitled to play basketball for money at an NCAA-member college.
    Every modern western country has laws that prevent monopolists from exercising monopoly powers -- essentially driving up prices and reducing quantities of goods and services traded either by monopoly power or by arrangements with other companies. These are "combinations in restraint of trade." Of course, being Dukies, we should have some appreciation of the wealth created by monopoly power and giant trusts -- the American Tobacco Company was founded in 1890 by James B. Duke by buying up a number of competitors. Other trusts that were also busted include U.S. Steel and Standard Oil.

    Most people see competition law, or antitrust, as a requirement that companies "play fair," much as laws require companies to make and sell safe products. I wouldn't see this is as a "loss of property rights."

    You are absolutely right that recruited athletes have no legal right to a better deal. But that doesn't mean that there shouldn't be greater benefits for athletes in some circumstances. I believe that is Bilas's point. I think the wealthier athletic programs would be OK with some changes and liberalization, but the NCAA represent hundreds of college, most of whom are hard-pressed to operate a program that breaks even.

    sagegrouse

  7. #107
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    Cary, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    One other idea, if one goal is to reduce one-and-dones: what about treating each of the 13 scholarships as a four-year "entity" regardless of whether the player to whom it is granted uses it for all for years. So let's say Kentucky signs DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins leaves after one year. That scholarship that Cousins was "on" is not available to be granted to another player until three more years elapse. It's "dead" for those three years, after which time it can be granted to another player. Kind of like dead money coming off an NBA team's books when a contract expires.
    I like this idea a lot. You're not telling schools that they can't recruit any one and dones, but you are telling them that if they do they have to be prepared to lose some scholarship space after they leave. My guess is that under this system the top schools would bring in a one and doner every 2-4 years but then back off from those types of players in between. Also, the one and done guys would be forced to spread out across a lot of schools instead of all of them going to the same 3 or 4 schools like it is now, because those 3 or 4 schools would run out of space. So there's an added benefit of increased parity.

    Some of the other ideas, such as straight up penalizing a school when a player leaves early, are kind of unfair to the schools because you don't always know for sure that a guy is going to leave after one year, especially at the time you start recruiting them early in their high school careers. So you'd bring a guy in, he'd leave, then you'd have to just give up on the guys you're currently recruiting and have already invested time into because of the actions of the current player. Under Tommy's system, you'd know that any time you bring a recruit in his scholarship is tied up for four years regardless, so you can plan your future recruits accordingly.

  8. #108
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Arlington, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by Mudge View Post
    ^ Yeah, what he said!^ The bottom line for me regarding Bilas' specious argument about jersey sales or whatever, is that virtually no one would want a Chris Weber jersey, if he wasn't playing (or hadn't played) for the Univ. of Michigan-- let him sign a deal with some AAU team, or some semi-pro team not governed by the NBA/NBAPA agreement (e.g.- let him do what Wilt did, and sign with the Globetrotters), and see how many jerseys he sells and how much money he makes-- Bilas, Weber, and the rest of these delusionals want to take advantage of the equity and brand identity that colleges have built up with their fan bases through a variety of methods (whether it is through the affinity of having attended the school, or something else-- i.e.- UK fans), and then say that the players are being exploited against their will... if you don't like the deal, don't sign the scholarship agreement. Nobody wants a Bilas jersey if all it says is "Rolling Hills HS" on the front. Practically nobody wants a Chris Weber or Kyrie Irving AAU jersey.
    This argument goes both ways. While practically nobody wants a Chris Webber or Kyrie Irving AAU jersey, there aren't exactly a ton of people looking for a Duke Marty Pocious or Michigan Kirk Taylor jersey. The school might be the primary driver for jersey sales, but it doesn't follow that the player brings nothing to the table. Bilas isn't saying that the all jersey revenues should go to the players, just that there is a portion of the revenues that the athletes are driving and that they should be entitled to some of it.

    ...

    Something I haven't really seen discussed in this thread is the effects letting players get paid would have on competitive balance. As it stands now, there's already a huge difference in exposure between the top tier programs and small to mid-major programs. If the NCAA were suddenly to allow players to sign endorsement deals on an individual basis before and during college, it would wreak havoc on whatever parity is left in the NCAA. To use Seth Curry as an example, wouldn't he be worth more to a sponsor now than he was at Liberty, even though he led all freshmen in scoring at Liberty and was the clear-cut best player on his team? If I'm a sponsor, I'd much rather pay someone who is going to be on TV every game and in the national spotlight than pay someone who might have 3-4 games a year on national TV, even if the latter is a significantly better player or the face of his team. Now from the other side of things, if I'm a recruit doesn't earning potential become a huge factor in the decision where to go to school? Maybe I'll be the man at somewhere like Villanova, where I might still compete for a Final Four, but if I know I can get bigger endorsements at Duke or Kentucky as the 3rd of 4th best guy, suddenly being the man isn't as important to me. It seems like allowing this to happen in college sports would create the same large market-small market problems that were a significant part of the NBA lockout last year. Miami's big three took pay-cuts to play together, but I'm sure it was made up for by endorsements (especially for Bosh).

    So far, I've assumed that it would only be companies independent of the universities causing potential problems. However, if players were able to earn endorsement deals during school, I'm not sure what would stop wealthy boosters to give "endorsement" deals to players with the understanding that they'd go to a particular school or giving deals to all players at that school. I'm not sure what would prevent some one like Phil Knight or Kevin Plank from using Nike and UnderArmour to lure the top 10-15 players from every class to their alma maters, and these types of endorsements would even make business sense for their companies. There are already rumblings of this being a problem with Adidas and Nike sponsored AAU teams "guiding" their players to Nike and Adidas sponsored colleges, and this is without players receiving any of that money. If this can be done for individual players, I can only imagine this problem getting worse. I'm not saying that the athletes shouldn't be allowed to capitalize on the revenue they bring to their schools, but pointing out that letting them do so on an individual instead of collective basis might ruin whatever semblance of parity is left in the NCAA.

  9. #109

    Kyrie and the One Year Rule

    I personally like Kyrie Irving and his breakout rookie season is good for Duke Basketball. Now, recruits can be attracted to Duke because of Irving. Irving is a beast. He was quick, could shoot, draw fouls, and a underated and smooth athlete. I liked it better when kids could go pro out of high school but think of the rules. Dibs. Opinions about Irving and the one year rule. Rivers was alright but Irving was my fav.

  10. #110
    It was discussed pretty thoroughly over here...

  11. #111

    Resigned

    (mods, feel free to delete my previous post, I was re-directing the conversation to this thread)

    One and done works great for the NBA - it creates pre-packaged "stars" who are already vetted for their league. Fans get much more excited about draft day and their teams picks when it's Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis, Austin Rivers - whoever - when they are familiar with these players and have watched them on national television. For GMs and team executives, there's far less guess work than when they are drafting high school kids. Not so much for the extra year of "development and maturity" but because there's a much more predictable level of competition. High school competition can vary so wildly from state to state, metro area to metro area, and from division to division. High level college ball offers a way for a player's skills to be tested on a big stage.

    However, as a Duke fan, I could give a rip about any of these things. I've found the NBA to be rather unwatchable for most of the last twenty years. I have had not one but two NBA teams I liked ripped away from where I lived (Charlotte and Seattle) and I dislike both the professional style of one-on-one play and the way that NBA teams tend to mail it in until the playoffs.

    But I digress. What does "one and done" do for college basketball? Nothing good, unless you are a fan of one of those handful of franchises that has made their peace with their role as a de facto NBDL team. It penalizes four year players by having hot shot freshmen come in with the promise of one year of playing time and big exposure. It makes recruiting and coaching so much more difficult for those who try and play by the rules. It means fans have the narrowest of windows to "get to know" their team rather than watching player development and team chemistry over time.

    Are there positives? Sure. Ask fans of Memphis - a middle program at best that watched their national exposure soar with a handful of top-level recruiting classes. It nearly netted them a (vacated) national championship. Ask Kentucky fans who get to use their teams as a veritable "who's who" of the top class year to year, with packed and enthusiastic stadiums full of fans who are eager to watch the top athletes in the nation every game.

    How do I feel about Duke recruiting these players? Well, resigned I guess. The fact is, in order to compete at the highest level in this environment you have to take chances on these players. Especially with the arms race with UNC, every player Duke gets is a player that your rival doesn't get.

    Unfortunately, I can't see a way it's going to change. I can sit here and carp about how much better college basketball was 20 years ago when your stud players usually at least stayed 2 or 3 years, but I might as well long for the 8 team ACC and the old home-and-home conference schedule. It's an NBA rule, not an NCAA rule. The NBA benefits immensely from some sort of requirement for college - it greatly reduces the draft mistakes you saw frequently with the 18 year old kids drafted in the 90's.

    The only mutually beneficial solution I see to this situation would be for a legitimate and viable NBA "minor league" where kids can play at 18 (or 16, 17 like soccer players). In order for this to be a real alternative to one year of college basketball, this league would have to have the same exposure and prestige as college basketball's highest levels. If players could go "semi-pro" and play basketball for real money for a year or two in small markets as an alternative to having to sit in classes they aren't interested in and make a farce of college education, I'd wager they'd be very interested. The NBA would be dealing with a known quantity once these kids "graduated" to the NBA, colleges would get kids who were committed to being in school for more than a year and could learn the system of coaches and develop true chemistry, and we the fans would get to watch higher quality ball.

    But it is completely unrealistic to think that the NBA would invest the time and money to create a developmental league that could rival the glitz and glamour of the NCAA - March Madness, high level rivalries, conference tournaments, holiday trips to Hawaii or Puerto Rice, games in Madison Square Garden, 9,314 rabid fans supporting you at a game in January, One Shining Moment...

    In the meantime, I wouldn't be surprised if the NBA offers a breadcrumb to the NCAA by instituting a 20 year age limit, but it really doesn't change things that much and is still arbitrary and unfair to the players themselves. I'd expect that also more players might explore the possibility of playing overseas rather than choosing to play in college. Higher level of competition and the chance to make some decent pocket change.

    Anyways, I'll stop my carping now. I feel like a prematurely old man. And I do still hope that Duke gets the Kyrie Irvings and Austin Rivers of the universe. They both seem like "Duke" kids and handled themselves very professionally throughout their short Duke careers. I don't fault them in any way for making the most of the system as it stands. I want Duke to hold to their high principles and standards, and I hope for them to do so while winning national championships.

    Thanks for reading my ravings - it's been building up for a good long time.

  12. #112
    Good essay out today by Steve Kerr on the age limit:

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...-age-limit-nba

    Enjoy.

  13. #113
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Washington, D.C.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mudge View Post
    It makes a difference because Bilas and Web(b?)er argue that Weber should get some cut of the profits on University of Michigan jerseys with Weber's name on the back-- I say, if Weber wants to market a jersey that does not infringe on the UM's hard-earned brand equity, with Weber's name on the back-- let him have at it-- oh by the way, he can't build up a clientele for that third-party jersey by playing for the UM anymore, while he is selling it. Weber and Bilas want him to be able to use the NCAA's and UM's bully pulpit to publicize himself, then sell a jersey which is mainly coveted because he is a member of those organizations... if Bilas and Weber think Weber's jersey is so coveted, let him/them prove it, by playing and working on his own, to build up the demand for the silly thing.

    That's exactly the point-- almost no one will buy a Rivers or Irving jersey that has some non-familiar design with their name on it--people want a Duke jersey, THEN with Rivers' or Irving's name on the back-- Bilas and Weber need to stop acting like they created the demand for the Weber jersey out of whole cloth (pun intended)... and good luck selling that non-Duke, non-NBA team Irving #1 jersey... maybe it should have something like "Rahway All-Stars" or "Hoboken Generals" on the front, along with "Irving, #1" on the back-- yeah, that'll be a hot seller.
    How come more Weber Jerseys were in all likelihood sold than others? How come more Fab Five Jerseys were probably sold during the two years they were at U or M than, I'm guessing, any 10 year period at U of M.?

    The selling of Jerseys by the way is an exploitation that was completely, as in totally, foreign to college sports until Nike et al started giving free gear to colleges and paying college coaches more than they were earning from the colleges. I believe that that started happening when college games became ubiquitous on the Tube, that is, with the coming of cable, most particularly, with the coming of ESPN. Then onferences started getting contracts with cable companies. Now, is anyone going to argue that the Fab Five et al DID NOT MAKE the industry that is the NCAA/Shoe Company/Cable/big time prorams/big time coaches marriage much, shall we say solid, but in reality a fortune than that which would not have therwise have been there.

    This NCAA of old was a different organization. It became a mega industry in bed with other mega industries once the selling of these stars became possible based upon what is close to being payola by the Nikes and ESPNs to anyone whom they could pay to increase their profits, except of course the kids. It starts in AAU, zips along to the private finishing schools, and then transforms into something gargantuin in the college game. Everybody associated gets big bucks except for the kids who get squadoosh.

    The canard that the stars are getting paid in the form of a free ride to quality schools does not pass the laugh test. Before this unholy marriage began and the mega dollars started to flow, colleges gave free-rides and that was a different deal. Bill Bradley's first contract with the Knicks, the highest ever paid through that point, was maybe 10 times what a year at Princeton would have cost him. Princeton, I have to believe, was not on national television even once before it made the final four in Bradley's senior year, and I'm not sure that it was paid a dime by anyone for havig made it that far. There were no Jersey sales, and Alumni did have a way of making sure the kids were taking care of, Bradley aside of course. Heck, when Marquette would come to the Garden, Big Al himself handed out the cash (20 bucks) so that his guys could go out and do the town.

    Look, Everybody Knows what the deal is here--the stars drive the bus. If the star is a coach, he gets paid millions by the school that employs him, more by the Shoe company he allows to advertise their gear by choosing them to outfit his guys (got to have 4 or 5 different uniforms, of course), who knows how much more for summer camps, speaking engagements, etc. If the star is a player, he gets to eat peanut butter. It's not right.

  14. #114
    Not a fan of the one and done rule. I would prefer something similar to baseball. This is something that I'm sure the NBA and the union would have to hash out. Unfortunately I don't see it ever changing.

  15. #115
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldSchool View Post
    The athletes are free to organize their basketball activities and profit from them in any way they see fit.

    If Anthony Davis and Marcus Teague and Michael-Kidd Gilchrist were to decide not to accept scholarships from the University of Kentucky but instead to rent out a basketball arena and charge the public money in exchange for displaying their basketball skills, they are free to do that.

    The notion that there should be some sort of legal remedy on behalf of these basketball-playing individuals that should override the terms and conditions offered by the universities to persons considering accepting scholarships from them has no basis in any claim of "monopoly" power.

    The market, properly defined, is the entire market for the display of basketball skills. There is a whole world of opportunities for someone to obtain compensation for their basketball-playing abilities beyond the NCAA and beyond the NBA. Nothing prevents any group of basketball players from forming their own league and charging admission, for example.

    The reality is that what we would see if Davis and Teague and Gilchrist did that is little interest on the part of the public. In fact, they simply don't in fact bring to the table as much as what people who claim they are being unfairly oppressed by monopoly power argue they bring to the table, and that would be readily apparent if they went out into the market and offered their basketball services directly.

    One could argue that the universities should not be allowed to collude on the terms and conditions of athletic scholarships through the mechanism of the NCAA (or otherwise), but that is a different argument entirely than the claim of abuse of monopoly power.
    huh?

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