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I usually hate OKTC because they're BLATANT SEC/AtM homers, but this is some solid work.
Johnny Manziel can do everything. Including, it would seem, find a way to legally get paid under NCAA rules while he's still playing college football. Last week Manziel's corporation, JMan2 Enterprises -- can you imagine the Christmas parties? -- filed a lawsuit against a man who was selling "Johnny Football" t-shirts. While Manziel can't profit off the direct sale of t-shirts featuring his name or likeness, the NCAA has ruled that he can trademark the phrase and protect his property interest from being infringed upon.
Only, that's not all he can do. The NCAA recently notified Texas A&M that, "a student-athlete can keep financial earnings as a result of a legal action."
You see the loophole you can drive a Rolls-Royce through yet?
Manziel can't directly profit off the sale of licensed products featuring his likeness, but he can pocket any proceeds that arise from a trademark lawsuit. Which is basically the same thing.
Raising this interesting question, what's to keep a bunch of Texas A&M boosters from intentionally infringing on Manziel's trademark, being sued for doing so, and then settling out of court for hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal payments to Manziel?
In other words, isn't this ruling a license for boosters to legally pay Manziel to play college football?
What's more, it's not just Manziel who has this opportunity. Every star player should work to trademark his likeness so that he can protect his future earnings potential. Trying to decide whether to go pro or stay in college, but really need to make some money off your talents while you're in college? Just find a booster who is willing to infringe upon your trademark, sue him, have him agree to settle, and voila, the payment becomes permissible under NCAA rules.
This is genius.
It doesn't even have to be coordinated to make the payment legal, a booster can just decide to infringe, wait to get sued, and then make a substantial settlement offer to cover the infringing.
The player can claim he's just trying to protect his trademarks and the booster can claim he was trying to make some money and the settlement offer is just a way to rectify his wrongdoing.
Someone who didn't trust the motives of the NCAA -- put me in this camp -- might even point out that this ruling is awfully convenient given the massive lawsuit currently pending against the NCAA and EA Sports. You know, the lawsuit that argues that every player deserves payment because the NCAA took the players' likenesses by putting them into the exclusively licensed Electronic Arts video games. Should the NCAA lose this case and be forced to pay out damages, those payments would be otherwise classified as improper benefits, the players would be being paid for their likeness, a violation of NCAA rules. Meaning -- the irony is delicious -- that the NCAA would be in the position of making every player ineligible under NCAA rules.
Yep, at its essence, the player lawusit against the NCAA accuses the NCAA of infringing upon its own rules of amateurism. I laid out the NCAA's legal mess nearly four years ago when the lawsuit was first filed. Read this FanHouse column if you want to see why this is such a big deal.
Here's the crux of the matter in four sentences: The NCAA prohibits players from being paid anything for their participation in collegiate athletics. Yet if a court, jury, or settlement determines the NCAA appropriated player likenesses on these video games then they must pay something of value to the players whose images they appropriated. Only then they'll be paying players for their participation in collegiate athletics. Yep, the NCAA will be violating the NCAA's rules on amateurism.
If the NCAA ends up settling this case -- which it would likely do if the case is certified as a class action -- then those payments would violate NCAA rules, rendering every current player ineligible under NCAA rules. Yep, the NCAA would become the greatest infringer of NCAA rules in the history of amateur athletics. What a fitting ending to the organization.
So what does the NCAA do to avoid this rule violation? It does what all dishonest dictatorships do, it creates an exception to the rules -- payments resulting from lawsuits seeking to protect trademarks or likenesses do not violate NCAA rules on improper benefits.
How convenient is that?
It looks to me like the NCAA is very worried about losing the Electronic Arts lawsuit and is trying to protect against the NCAA itself from becoming the greatest violator of the improper benefits regulation in NCAA history. And Johnny Manziel has just created a hole big enough to drive a Rolls-Royce through. Seriously, what can't this guy do?
My advice to current players? Every single one of you should attempt to trademark your likeness. Then hope that someone violates that likeness.
If they do?
Cha-ching, baby, you can get paid for playing under NCAA rules.
This might be Johnny Football's most remarkable achievement yet.
This isn't a loophole, gents, Johnny Manziel just killed the NCAA.
This post was edited by BrooksBearLives 14 months ago
I really don't like this guy.
change the system. they should all be able to profit off their marketable likeness DURING their college career.
Baylor #10 Heisman winner - what a joke
the O'Bannon case may finally end the sham...hopefully
because remember - only colleges are allowed to use likenesses and make Billions. kids do get a scholarship after all.
good for Johnny - but there are court cases that may take this further, and rightfully so.
This post was edited by JChitw 14 months ago
I'll make it.
The days where universities can pay their players are fast approaching
Man, what happened to that whole honor code thing?
Plus, if I wan an Aggie I wouldn't want JF killing the NCAA. What else is there to do in CS other than delusional devotion to collegiate athletics?
in fact, the NCAA may have far more concerning issues at this pont, considering the recent ruling that athletes can also make a claim to live and rebroadcast TV revenue.
the NCAA's stubborness on marketable likeness opened the door for this. what a mess. too bad the NCAA couldnt reform on their own. they could have avoided this additional claim. but while the case was ongoing it made sense to seek a part of those revenues on behalf of athletes as well.
A judge rejected the NCAA's motion that players in the antitrust suit led by former UCLA star Ed O'Bannon should be precluded from advancing their lawsuit on procedural grounds.
I'm still stuck here. Texas A&M- and Baylor with RG3- provided the platform for him to succeed and develop their image. That platform costs hundreds of millions of dollars and takes decades to build. In return, the players are paid with tuition, books, room, and board that is worth over $50k.
I do think Manziel should be able to seek remedies, tho. I just hope the NCAA can keep this from becoming a practice among boosters
This post was edited by TAMUwake 14 months ago
meanwhile kids are only allowed a specified number of meals a day, and if they the school provides them food at the wrong time it is an NCAA violation.
I still cant believe Baylor had a kid hitchike from California, eating whataburgers and ice water. I know a kid from the projects who could not buy a plane to get to school ticket either. his coaches found him a way to get there...as they should have
ok - but why shouldnt kids be able to do commercials, etc and also receive revenue from their own personal jersey sales? instead they use only the # of the player and act like the school is not capatalizing on that actual players likeness. except that they are.
jeremy bloom was prohibited from playing football at Colorado because of endorsements he did as an olympic skiier.
the olympic model of amateurism makes far more sense.
and as I mentioned above, there are other ridiculous rules on eating, getting to school, etc etc.
as to your comments on taking decades to create the platform - I understand that argument, and there is some merit to it. however, the landscape has changed so drastically, and the $$ has become so big, and the hypocrisy of the rules so appalling...that reform should be implemented to make things more equitable and reasonable for athletes.
there is a reasonable middle ground - that the NCAA has never sought to find.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by JChitw 14 months ago
Yeah, I imagine this is what will be changing soon. So the starters for each team would get a cut of jersey sales, but the stars would be the ones getting truckloads of cash. If we think NFL players mismanage their money, wait 'til we see college players making thousands per month without any expenses.
here is the best article thus far on the topic.
A litany of scandals in recent years have made the corruption of college sports constant front-page news. We profess outrage each time we learn that yet another student-athlete has been taking money under the table. But the real scandal is the very structure of college sports, wherein student-athletes generate billions of dollars for universities and private companies while earning nothing for themselves. Here, a leading civil-rights historian makes the case for paying college athletesand reveals how a spate of lawsuits working their way through the courts could destroy the NCAA.
That was 15 years ago. Has that happened lately?
for some reason that kid had not had his approved or released or something. that does ring a bell.
regardless, there are numerous other common sense changes that need to be made in order to bring the rules in line with the current climate of college sports.
and I think Johnny is actually a good example of why a kid from money is at an advantage - his family has the means to fight these battles for him, and he is clearly living it up as the Heisman winner.
I really dont have an issue with it, except if he were a poor kid there would be all kinds of NCAA issues based on where he has been/what he has been doing, and those kids would not be able to fight for their legal rights like Johnny was able to do in this trademark case.
Jeremy Bloom had to return over $100K in endorsements he got as a professional skier before he could play his senior year at Colorado.
and that is ridiculous
I remember reading Joe Nocera's column a few years ago on this topic. He was really pissed about the Perry Jones III ruling that held him out 6 games. I thought he had some good ideas in this thread. $3 million salary cap for football team; $650k for basketball; let each coach decide how much each player is worth. If you want to give the Harrison twins $200k each and then fill in your roster with some other pieces, that's your choice. Probably easy to pick holes in his utopian theories. But on the surface, I thought it was sound reasoning. You might get kids who are interested in staying in college longer if they are being paid legally (we all know A&M does it under the table ). Of course, I did read today in Luke 15 to be on my guard against material possessions because life does not consist of these things... So you open that whole can of worms of having some kids accumulate stuff. Harrison twins in my example buy Ferraris while Rykhoek drives a Yugo. Comparison is the thief of joy so Rykhoek is looking for his opportunity to clothesline the twins in practice to teach some humility to them...
The corrupt, contrived sentimentality of big-time college sports has created a glaring, and increasingly untenable, discrepancy between what players get and what everyone else in their food chain reaps.
true...many will be dumb with it. but I dont believe in paternalism. the federal government cant manage money either...clearly
there is absolutely no reason schools should be able to profit off jersey sales while pretending that marketable likeness doesnt exist. marketable likeness is exactly why the star's jerseys are worth more, even with just the # on the back.
Okay, I worked with student Athletes as a GA. I know a little bit about this. The life they have isn't glamorous for 99% of them. But they have enough. They certainly have more than the average non-Baylor student. And that's a fact.
Remember, for every student-athlete that is held back from making millions, there are about 2000 who don't play pro. And of the ones who DO go pro, how many of them are stars that COULD make "millions?"
We're blowing things wildly out of proportion. I think athletes SHOULD be able to trademark themselves. But I don't think they should be able to make money off of any of it while they are amateurs. Being an amateur MEANS something. It means you do it for free.
To me, THAT IS THE POINT. If you want the benefits of being an amateur (free school, meals, housing, transportation to travel the country and world, a platform to get better, build your name and craft, and to get to the pros) then you should do it for free.
If there is ANY way we're failing Student-Athletes, it's in academic support. But THAT'S a whole other issue.
If you're playing for a school that is a non-profit, then you don't get to make a profit. If you're good enough to make millions, you'll make your millions in your career after school.
I dont even know that I agree with outright paying players. but I do think they should be able to make money on their own, due to their status, without it being an NCAA violation.
they should also be able to talk to agents. and really - why do we care if agents give them things trying to get future business? law firms wine and dine law students. same goes for consulting firms when recruiting business students. etc, etc.
there are numerous third parties that would - and already do - provide compensation to NCAA athletes. outright pay isnt necessarily even needed.
it is about greed - on the part of the NCAA and member institutions. none of us should be concerned with how other people spend their money, just like it is not others concern how we individually spend ours. those are personal decisions.
amateurism is a term that must be defined. olympic amateurism is not the same as NCAA amateurism - because of how it is defined.
I dont see how any of what you say above justifies denying athletes rights to their own image and likeness, among other property rights that they should be able to profit from.
You have to look PAST the idea of what these supposed "rights" are. How will the issuing of these "rights" affect the ecosystem of the Collegiate Athletic landscape? If you let them make money off of their "likeness" or basically, off of their stardom (the platform of which is provided to them, along with an education, management and development for free), then they WILL need agents.
And agents change the game COMPLETELY.
Let's not forget that they get something in return for their play. They get A LOT. They get a chance at a degree. But most importantly, they get a platform to to showcase their skill.
Who in the FRICK even knew who Robert Griffin III was before he started at Baylor? Who knew before 2 years ago? Honestly?
Who knew who Johnny Manziel was outside of Kerrville, TX before last August?
You keep writing this off as if it were nothing, but it isn't. And for every Johnny Manziel out there, there are TENS OF THOUSANDS of Victoria Jone's, May Sayman's and Jhasmine Player's out there. If you were to ask them what return THEY got on their collegiate investment, they would probably tell you that it's insanely in their favor.
well said, Brooks.
i can see, somewhat, where JChitwood is coming from, but to say that these athletes get "nothing" or "very little", from the institutions, in today's collegiate athletics environment is off the mark, in my opinion.
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