NCAA filing reveals fears of officials
by Steve Berkowitz, USA TODAY Sports
Lawyers for the NCAA wrote in a federal-court filing Thursday that if the association’s current amateurism rules were lifted, as proposed in a lawsuit pertaining to the use of college athletes’ names, likeness and images, some schools might exit Division I or Bowl Subdivision football because of the financial and legal burden that would result from needing to share revenue with football and men’s basketball players.
The assertion was backed by written statements from a group of conference and university executives, including the University of Texas’ top athletics officials, the chancellor of the California State University system and the presidents of Utah State and Wake Forest.
Texas “has no interest in a model that would force us to professionalize two sports to the detriment of the balance of the athletics department’s sports, fitness and educational programs,” says a statement from Texas athletics director DeLoss Dodds and Texas women’s athletics director Christine Plonsky. Dodd and Plonsky oversee a program that generated a college-sports record $163.3 million in 2011-12, according to its recent financial report to the NCAA report.
Wake Forest “might cease playing Division I or Football Bowl Subdivision sports entirely if pay-for-play became a reality,” says a statement from university president Nathan Hatch.
Hatch also cited gender equity concerns, as did CSU chancellor Timothy White. “Paying male athletes for their participation in sports would seriously undermine the objectives of Title IX and CSU’s ability to remain in Title IX compliance,” said the statement from White whose university system includes nearly 10 NCAA Division I schools.
Utah State president Stan Albrecht’s statement said in “pay-for-play” scenario, “it is likely that USU would not be able to fund the 16 sports that the NCAA requires to qualify for Division I.”
Albrecht’s statement also revealed that at present, a Utah State athlete “receives four to five times the amount of financial support from the University than a non-student-athlete receives. That amount would necessarily increase for football and men’s basketball. … That model would not be feasible financially or consistent with USU’s … [For more on NCAA legal filing reveals fears of college sports officials, click here.]