NCAAF  > General NCAAF  > Delany Vs. O'Bannon: Bluster or Bond?
March 19, 2013, 11:13 AM
Jim Delany has declared his and the B1G's opposition to the on-going pay-for-play litigation in the O'Bannon Vs. NCAA case. If the suit is won by O'Bannon, Delany has declared that the B1G's campuses "...would forgo the revenues in those circumstances and instead take steps to downsize the scope, breadth, and activity of their athletic programs...".

In essence, Delany is saying the B1G would reject pay-for-play and downsize their athletic departments much as the Ivy League did years ago, and would follow instead the Div. III (non-scholarship) model.

Would Delany and the B1G follow through on his threat? Is it bluster? Or is the B1G really serious about academic mission? Is their word their bond?
March 19, 2013  11:17 AM ET

My first question in regards to Delany would be if millions of B1G fans and alumni would agree to this drastic a down-sizing of their schools' athletic programs. What about the millions invested in the stadiums, arenas, and training facilities that still haven't been paid for?

March 19, 2013  11:39 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

What about the millions invested in the stadiums, arenas, and training facilities that still haven't been paid for?

The schools are locked into playing the games to keep the cash flow up to meet the financial obligations. I see no way around this aspect of the situation.

March 19, 2013  11:51 AM ET

I always thought the gubmint would step in and play the "profit" aspect of a non profit card.

March 19, 2013  12:03 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

I always thought the gubmint would step in and play the "profit" aspect of a non profit card.

Hi, DC. Truly, the Feds would definitely like to sink their claws into college sports' revenues if the opportunity arises. The other extreme of the Delany/B1G declaration would be to follow the Ralph Nader model: "...Openly acknowledge the professionalism in big-time college sports, remove the tax-exempt status currently given to athletic departments, and make universities operate them as unrelated businesses."

March 19, 2013  12:41 PM ET

The debt issue stymies action on this, IMO.

The Feds have to know that these often-highly-leveraged-with-stadium/facility-building-bonds organizations cannot just "all of a sudden" move to a totally different financial and tax model. To start taxing these immense revenues would kill a lot of Athletic Depts almost immediately.

March 19, 2013  02:02 PM ET

Honestly, I do not see all of the B1G member institutions following lock step with Delany's declaration.

March 19, 2013  02:02 PM ET

I can think of about a quarter of a billion reasons annually why he will back down...

March 19, 2013  02:04 PM ET

Maybe Northwestern and Purdue? If Rutgers wanted to go that route, they'd petition to join the Ivy League (Not that New England snobs have any respect for freakin' New Jersey...).

Comment #9 has been removed
March 19, 2013  04:17 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Maybe Northwestern and Purdue? If Rutgers wanted to go that route, they'd petition to join the Ivy League (Not that New England snobs have any respect for freakin' New Jersey...).

...Or my nightmare scenario occurs: tOSU, Penn State, Michigan, and Michigan State all drop out of the B1G and join the other money-makers with at least seven figures of profit. This would include Alabama, Texas, Kansas State, Notre Dame, Oregon, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, LSU, and Florida. (Source: The Business of College Sports.)

They could then dub their super-league the "Root, Hog, or Die" conference.

March 19, 2013  04:20 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

...Or my nightmare scenario occurs: tOSU, Penn State, Michigan, and Michigan State all drop out of the B1G and join the other money-makers with at least seven figures of profit. This would include Alabama, Texas, Kansas State, Notre Dame, Oregon, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, LSU, and Florida. (Source: The Business of College Sports.)They could then dub their super-league the "Root, Hog, or Die" conference.

HA! That one caught me by surprise...

March 19, 2013  04:29 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Hi, DC. Truly, the Feds would definitely like to sink their claws into college sports' revenues if the opportunity arises. The other extreme of the Delany/B1G declaration would be to follow the Ralph Nader model: "...Openly acknowledge the professionalism in big-time college sports, remove the tax-exempt status currently given to athletic departments, and make universities operate them as unrelated businesses."

That would dry up a big piece of the donor contributions, which are currently tax deductible.

March 19, 2013  06:59 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Hi, DC. Truly, the Feds would definitely like to sink their claws into college sports' revenues if the opportunity arises. The other extreme of the Delany/B1G declaration would be to follow the Ralph Nader model: "...Openly acknowledge the professionalism in big-time college sports, remove the tax-exempt status currently given to athletic departments, and make universities operate them as unrelated businesses."

Exactly Harley. There's a Catch-22 to all this mess cuz they all let the almighty dollar ruin things.

More like "keeping up with the Jones" by having to outspend each other.

March 19, 2013  07:00 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

...Or my nightmare scenario occurs: tOSU, Penn State, Michigan, and Michigan State all drop out of the B1G and join the other money-makers with at least seven figures of profit. This would include Alabama, Texas, Kansas State, Notre Dame, Oregon, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, LSU, and Florida. (Source: The Business of College Sports.) They could then dub their super-league the "Root, Hog, or Die" conference.

That's what it is looking like.

March 19, 2013  08:57 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

That's what it is looking like.

In your immortal words: Conference Realignment Sucks.

March 19, 2013  11:08 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

In your immortal words: Conference Realignment Sucks.

Amen brother, preach on.

March 20, 2013  11:58 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

The schools are locked into playing the games to keep the cash flow up to meet the financial obligations. I see no way around this aspect of the situation.

I don't disagree with your observation, GR (nor #5 either), so it appears that Delany is describing an alternate reality that his conference is fiscally unable to carry out. If he knew of these financial constrains going forward, then it begs the question- to me, anyway- about why he would make such a sweeping pronouncement to begin with.

Does the O'Bannon suit have a good chance of winning, perhaps on an antitrust technicality? Is Delany attempting shake up the NCAA legal eagles into a more urgent stance to save their "amateur" status? Or is there another, hidden agenda at play here?

It just seems to me that Delany wants to put the genie back in the bottle, and that's not possible, unless, of course, we were to fall into a catastrophic economic collapse that makes downsizing a fait accompli.

March 20, 2013  01:42 PM ET

Bloody bunch of fish bladders, Delany et al. Here's the bone of contention - If the court rules against the defendants (impacting all sports rich schools, for arguments sake), then, the schools have no choice but to pursue appeals until the original plaintiffs are dust and their survivors will settle for Indonesian rupees to the dollar (coupons for free concessions at the stadiums to which they still have to purchase tickets for entry). Meanwhile, the schools quickly engage their legal departments to draw up contractual commitments which in essence make student athletes chattel throughout their matriculation (essentially putting the way things are now into legally enforceable voluntary commitments by the student athletes). "You want a full ride to play sports for [Big Bucks U], son? Sign the papers."

If Delany doesn't grasp this, he's headed for early retirement.

Coda: If the big bucks sports schools go the legal papers route, the next former-student-athlete lawsuit will have to be based upon collusion by the schools. They conspired to rob unsuspecting young men and women of the money's generated by their talents and labors! [Let's conveniently forget what the universities must do and the huge investments they must make to create the opportunities to "deny student athletes fair compensation for their performances."]

It's a cocked hat. There will be no equitable resolution. There will be shizzle zlingin' to make zoo monkeys look well behaved. Lawyers will be the only "winners."

March 20, 2013  03:50 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

I don't disagree with your observation, GR (nor #5 either), so it appears that Delany is describing an alternate reality that his conference is fiscally unable to carry out. If he knew of these financial constrains going forward, then it begs the question- to me, anyway- about why he would make such a sweeping pronouncement to begin with.Does the O'Bannon suit have a good chance of winning, perhaps on an antitrust technicality? Is Delany attempting shake up the NCAA legal eagles into a more urgent stance to save their "amateur" status? Or is there another, hidden agenda at play here?It just seems to me that Delany wants to put the genie back in the bottle, and that's not possible, unless, of course, we were to fall into a catastrophic economic collapse that makes downsizing a fait accompli.

Damifino WTF he's trying to do.

I've rarely understood what the guy's intentions/goals have been in practically any of his undertakings, with the exception of the Big Ten Network.

 
March 20, 2013  03:51 PM ET
QUOTE(#18):

It's a cocked hat.

Dadgummit, Tinnie! Get that thing outta my hat!



;-)

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