Reply to "California Lawmakers Vote to Undo N.C.A.A. Amateurism"

NorCalBBDad posted:
collegebaseballrecruitingguide posted:
NorCalBBDad posted:
 

Ah. I see what you are saying. Allow me to expand my fact pattern. Zion Williamson commits to attend Duke University. Nike and Addidas get into a bidding war, for the ability to use his likeness in a large poster and print advertisements showing a picture of Zion wearing their shoe that says "Zion Williamson wears Nike (or Addidas)." He is not making an endorsement or a commercial. They see he is valuable NOT really as a college player, but as the pro player he is going to become after one year in college. They see him as the next LeBron/Jordan/Durant/Curry and want to get him locked up. Zion goes with Nike who pays him $20 million so they can use his likeness in college - banking that creating this relationship will give them an edge when he goes pro. Zion then twists his ankle and is out several games. The injury, it is widely seen, could have been much worse. Nike sees its $20 million and the future hundreds of millions it was going to make off his endorsements and commercials and five different "Z Dubs" shoes flash before its eyes and nearly go down the tubes and up in smoke, respectively.

My fact pattern then continues on as above. We have already seen college athletes, like McCaffery, skip football bowl games to protect their professional future. Is it so hard to believe that athletes might do the same in this scenario? True, they can do it NOW, but NOW it is all speculation - they can't be communicating (I think). They probably rightly BELIEVE they will make millions on graduation, but with this legislation a perfectly legal business relationship can be created between the player and corporation - who primarily cares about its investment in the player - BEFORE graduation and DURING the competition season.

Is this not a possible interpretation of the legislation?

I haven't read the CA legislation, but what you describe is an "endorsement" under any standard definition I know.  (If Nike or Adidas tried to issue your hyptothetical poster without Zion's permission, he could sue them for misappropriating his image.  And he would win, assuming he controls those rights rather than his school.)

What you describe is capitalism at work.  And it is why people write contracts.  Schools have lawyers, as does the NCAA.  If the CA law sticks, there will be adjustments by all parties via contracts, rule changes, etc.  All the risks you are concerned about exist for current pro athletes who don't want to jeopardize their earnings by getting hurt.  Sometimes they get into disputes with their teams about their health, about what treatment to pursue.  It all gets figured out (in court, if need be).  It may not be easy, pretty or inexpensive; but with the billions at stake, the deals will get papered.

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