Likeness or Not: NCAA pays big bucks

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

Matt's Take:

The NCAA is paying out some big bucks after a judge ordered college basketball's governing body to dish out more than $45 million in legal fees relating to the Ed O'Bannon class action anti-trust lawsuit.

The former UCLA Bruin and 19 others filed suit against the NCAA, alleging the powers that be violated anti-trust laws, given that college athletes are not entitled to a share of the billions of dollars generated by use of their likenesses and images.

Seems legitimate, right?

Well, the jury is still out on the matter. But small victories have happened along the way.

A prior ruling, back in August, from a U.S. District Court judge stated that the NCAA cannot prevent athletes from selling the rights to their likenesses, which includes their names and other images.

Trust me, as an Ohio State fan, this ruling may have prevented the suspension of former Buckeye Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who was suspended and ultimately booted from Ohio State for selling signed merchandise.

Pryor was quoted in an ESPN story about the court ruling, saying "I'm glad they did that." "The only thing I will say about that is when I was at Ohio State, all you see is red jerseys in the stands and you see a lot of No. 2s [Pryor's number at Ohio State]. I'll leave it at that."

Why not let these kids benefit a little, financially? The NCAA is making money hand over fist off of these "student athletes," so why not share a piece of the pie.

It won't hurt the NCAA's pocketbooks to dish out the $45-plus million in legal fees, we all know that. But, maybe it's a positive sign that the courts will make the right decision moving forward.

Let's pay these kids a small stipend and be done with it. It's the right thing to do.

Andrew’s Take:

Easy, young tigers.

Things are changing. I’m a grumpy old man when it comes to the tendencies of my generation. But the big stuff, the civil rights movement, is a type of positive progress that outweighs any negativity surrounding “my people.”

I’ve never been afraid to get political. This is a sports column, but Double Take often discusses issues that stretch beyond the boundaries of a field or court.

You can’t necessary classify either of us. Matt and I provide you with honest content, and we’re never worried about agreeing with anyone. It’s called “originality.”

The big decisions in the world are still made by the Baby Boomers. They’re the largest and most spoiled generation in the history of the world. Yet we (Gen. Y) have forced the hands of the most powerful. That’s how wrong they’ve been.

Just because Matt and I are Millennials, our thoughts are not confined to popular opinion amongst our peers.

When it comes to the compensation of American collegiate athletes, I am on the outside of generational feeling.

Last week, a judge ordered the NCAA to pay $45.9 million to the plaintiffs in the Ed O’Bannon class-action antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA.

I agree that the NCAA should not profit from the likeness of students, but I keep hearing that these amateurs should be paid.

The only compensation that athletes should receive should come from endorsements. I do not believe that the American system of colleges and universities should be in the business of contracting talent.

Ultimately, the only action that will be taken on account of the most recent judgment is the reimbursement of legal fees. It’s an obvious conclusion.

I’m glad the federal government has prohibited the exploitation of young adults. I just don’t want you take my support of these athletes and run with it, in the wrong direction.