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The NCAA is fighting a war for its very survival on several fronts. It is about to get what is coming to it. The first battle comes up this week in a case involving it profiting from the images of the players. Former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon brought this suit which will begin next week. US District Judge Claudia Wilken rebuffed the NCAA by refusing their attempt to keep two suits together. O’Bannon’s suit is based on anti-trust law. The NCAA will have to defend another suit based on video games in 2015.
The defense the NCAA is putting forward is that a decision against it will destroy the current intercollegiate system by taking away its profitability. That is saying “we know we have been wrong for so long but please don’t make us to the right thing.”
But these suits are popcorn money compared to the NLRB declaring that the Northwestern players can form a union. That has the potential to take the control of the money cow out of the hands of the ivy covered professors and into the hands of the student-athletes. Worse yet for the NCAA, the growth of super-conferences has threatened its control of the big money sports. One of these fine days the conferences will realize they don’t need the NCAA to survive and thrive.
For years the NCAA has acted like judge, jury and executioner over universities. It has yielded its iron fist over schools without regard for process or legitimacy. It has been so inconsistent that even the most enthusiastic NCAA fan has to question supporting it.
The bottom line is the NCAA will get what it so richly deserves. It may not be in the O’Bannon suit but it will come. The fat cats drain the colleges’ coffers for the privilege of slapping them in the face for putting cream cheese on a bagel of a recruit. Payback is a bitch.
That is what I think. Tell us what you think.
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Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .
He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.
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