Cut Ties With Nike, Say Georgetown Students Who Just Occupied Pres DeGioia’s Office

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In light of sweatshop labor violations defined at the Nike Hansae factory last April, a group  of Georgetown students this morning occupied the school president DeGioia’s office, pressing to have the university cut its ties with Nike. The school’s current contract runs out December 31, 2016. ( Former basketball coach John Thompson Jr. is a member of Nike’s Board of Directors and, according to some reports, current Georgetown basketball head coach John Thompson III has his own direct contract with Nike, apart from his employment contract with Georgetown.)

Nike has refused to agree to  follow the university’ Code of Conduct, even though all other Georgetown licensees have agreed to be bound by it.

The Workers’ Rights Consortium released a new November 2016 report on labor violations at the Hansae apparel factory in Vietnam which employs 8,500 workers. Among the abuses found were: forced overtime, under the guise of ‘voluntary’ work; factory floor temperatures above 90 degrees, in the cool season; workers’ fainting from exhaustion and overheating; degrading restrictions on toilet and bathroom access, including managers photographing employees as they leave and enter.

No public statement has yet been issued by Georgetown President DeGioia. A student rally is scheduled for noon today.

 

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Daughter Fiona (works for Clinton Fdtn in Capetown, S.A.), with boyfriend Dylan, and Bill Clinton yesterday

fiandbubba

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College Lineman Beefing Up May Increase Risk for Hypertension and Heart Problems

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According to a recently reported Mass General/Harvard Medical School study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology,  they assessed 87 college freshman football  players, who played between 2008 and 2014, before they started their freshman year. Thirty were linemen;  57 played other positions. All of the players were part of the Harvard Athlete Initiative, an ongoing research project which tracks athletes’ health.

57 percent of the linemen and 51 percent of non-linemen had pre-hypertension upon examination before their freshman year. (Pre-hypertension is a blood pressure reading greater than a normal reading of 120/80.) After their first season, 90 percent of the linemen showed pre-hypertension, while only 49 percent of non-linemen had a blood pressure reading above normal.

And by using strain echocardiography, the study also revealed that the changes in blood flow corresponded with a thickening of the heart walls, and a decrease in the ‘contractile’ function of those heart walls: the heart was not able to push the blood through and out to the vessels with normal efficiency.

The Gospel According to Football Coaches is that any lineman brought to a college team can — by increased caloric intake —  gain 40 to 80 pounds. But no one has ever studied the potential downside — until this study. Its results are ominous, and suggest that, like any ecosystem, the body may be imperiled by significant, marked changes inflicted by a new, stressful diet, and/or the grueling demands of being a college lineman.

 

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KState’s Rich Elder Eunuch Statesman Bill Snyder & the Broken State of College Football

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I’m going to attack Mother Teresa, your elementary-school’s special ed teacher, and the paraplegic Iraqi war vet — all at once — by taking on iconic Kansas State coach Bill Snyder.

Snyder, at sweet man who, in Kansas, is perceived as trustworthiness personified, did this several years ago, but he’s at it again. More high-minded proclamations, as reported by Brandon Schlager at Sporting News.

“it’s my feeling, Snyder proclaimed, ” that we have exploited college football, college athletics in general. We speak all the time about the welfare of the student-athlete and indeed that has not evolved as the most important thing.”

More Snyder high-mindedness: “I think we’ve sold out to the dollars and cents and we sold out to TV.” And, Snyder continued, “the resources out of television are so phenomenal. As coaches, and I can’t speak for others, I make far more than I’m worth, I can assure you of that.”

We don’t really need any such express assurances from Snyder, to know that big-time college sports is drowning in greed-disease. But now that he’s at it for the second time in three years, I think I’ve had enough. Snyder, who makes $3 million a year, could set up his own non-profit think-tank, just to help him past the mental logjam he’s met, since he signed his $14.5 million contract, which prevents him from figuring out some reasons — and solutions — for the ‘broken’ state of the college athletics system which plops $3 million per year in his account.

But Snyder, the elder statesman, is quick to tell the press that “I can’t tell you I have the answers.” His lack of curiosity, and complete lack of any action directed toward pushing to fix this horrible broken system, over the last three years, makes plain that he has no interest in finding those answers, or stepping up to the plate to fix the broken elements of the college sports business which have led us to this mess. Snyder’s de facto reality, no matter what he says, is this: everything is just fine, thankyouverymuch.

Snyder’s high-minded criticisms are somewhat accurate. But it’s alot easier to crticize than to be correct and, now, the second time I’ve had to listen to them, Snyder’s criticisms ring out to me as full of a disdainful ignorance, which needs no enlightenment, because it resides so securely behind the bulwark of fabulous fortune. It’s a lazy, almost cavalier criticism which Snyder here delivers. What, it is fair to ask, have you, Snyder, done, much as you might ask your wide recievers, or quarterbacks, or any other player, to forcefully change the game which is played before you? Nothing — even though Snyder now has a bully pulpit of considerable heft. Does Snyder at least acknowledge that, as Conrad said, his breath-taking financial success might, in some small measure, be the result of some “accident arising from the weakness of others”?

We don’t know, because Snyder performs here a little fussy tantrum, to inform the public that he is fully aware that it makes no sense whatsoever that he ought be paid $3 million annually, within a purportedly ‘amateur’ education-based system,  while the predominantly black and poor player-employees he uses to get him to that $3 million all have families which all cry out, “how do we get the kind of security which Bill Snyder has?”.

Snyder’s an elder statesman; in that status, his duty has changed, and I’m going to hold him to it. He’s no longer 38, and able, in an off-handed, supercilious manner, to happen to call out some wrong which he perceives. He’s at the top of the mountain. He speaks, people listen. Snyder should call up Ramogi Huma. Chris Nowinski. Jay Bilas. Jeff Kessler. Rodney Fort. Ask them: could you please help me to understand how the system needs to change, and what I should do, using my massive bully pulpit, to change it?

Snyder sits now atop the money-mountain, and needs to work hard to fix the system. Until then, his comments have only Conrad’s “taint of imbecile rapacity” to them, as the Brink’s trucks full of money from KState weekly pull up to the Synder home.  Snyder hasn’t done a damn thing to advocate for change. Why should he?

  Copyright 2016 William Wilson

 

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Nike, Knight, OSU’s Drake & Gene Smith: An Easy Way to Good Insurance for Nike Player-Promoters

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https://twitter.com/OhioStateFB/status/802645226565177344 

(Video can be found here)

The video shows Knight owner Phil Knight in the Ohio State post-game locker room, after the teams 27-24 overtime victory over Michigan, stating:

“Of the top 25 NCAA teams, Nike supplies twenty of them. And none of these teams are we more proud of than this one.”

Nike makes nothing; it is a middleman, which buys services, by written contract,  from two different sets of production factories. The first set of factories (overseas) makes shoes and apparel.

The second set, located at universities across the U.S., make promotion.Those universities hire players, who also go to school, to perform Nike’s promotion. (The players also promote for the schools.)

Nike Uniforms are Promotion-Props

So when Phil Knight says that his Nike “supplies” NCAA teams, what he means is that those teams, including OSU players, are given  Nike-logo-ed uniforms to use, like billboards, to promote Nike’s products. The uniforms are promotion-props. And what promotion it was on Saturday: the highest ranked game for TV viewership, with a 10.4 rating, and 60 million minutes of streaming viewership — against a set of Michigan/Nike  player-promoters, for which the school gets $173 million.

But Nike’s 2016, $252 million contract to purchase OSU player-promotion services, over 15 years, is somewhat unique. Each year, Nike will pay $1 million to a Student Life Endowment Fund. It will also make a one-time payment of $2.5 million to go toward “general student scholarships,” to be awarded at the discretion of the university. It will also make another one-time payment of $20 million toward an “athletic endowment,” also to be used at the discretion of the university. Finally, the contract “permits” the OSU President to order more than $1/2 million of Nike prodcuts annually, “for distribution to the Office of Student Life,” at the OSU President’s discretion.

These unusual sums (about $42.5 million, over the 15-year life of the contract) are not paid to players, because NCAA Big-Lie #2 — that players don’t promote — allows Nike to get away with it. But these $42.5 million in payments are unusual, because they purport to spread money (and some apparel) around to, potentially, many students who are not the football and basketball players who do the overwhelming majority of the promotion for Nike. The sums are also unique because of the “discretion” which  Phil Knight has handed to the school president about spending this $42.5 million.

Nike’s Sustainability Policy Applies Only Overseas

Nike has a non-negotiable ‘Sustainability Policy’ which includes Nike’s ‘commitment’ to protect its overseas ‘factory partners by ‘disrupting’ existing labor standards, to trigger “new compensation and benefit models,” concerning the “health and well-being” of those overseas workers. This policy uses Nike muscle to force its overseas ‘factory partners’ to better treat the human who makes the product.

No Nike Sustainability Policy for U.S. Promotion Factories

In contrast, Nike has no such ‘Sustainability’ policy for its second set of ‘factory partners,’ (here in the U.S.), to similarly force those partners to better treat the human who makes the promotion.  Nike ignores the “health and well-being” of the bodies of the U.S. college players who ‘make’ their promotion, because Nike fails to use its muscle, as it does overseas, to demand that universities give the best possible protection to the players who daily encounter significant risk of injury.

But that’s not all. Notice that, even though Phil Knight builds into his contract a package of cash payments, amounting to $42.5 million, from which he could have insisted that, for example, OSU use $2 million per year to purchase top-drawer player insurance, OSU President Mike Drake has been given ‘discretion’ by Nike to spend that money any way he wants.

A good faith Nike contract with OSU would have mandated that OSU use some of the cash to buy the best possible health and disability policy to cover the player-promoter –rather than leaving ‘discretion’ to the factory owner. Nike must change their contracts to ‘disrupt’ existing college sports insuring practices, to “trigger new compensation and benefit models” for its players, by requiring that its university promotion-factories use some of the Nike payments to  purchase top-drawer insurance for players. Nike should immediately press for an addendum to its 2016 contract with OSU

OSU President Drake and AD Smith Have a Barnful of Cash, and All the Discretion, to Use the $42.5 Million to Buy Top-Drawer Football and Basketball Player Insurance

But OSU’s President Drake has been given walloping discretion by the Nike contract. Drake, a physician who, by trade, ought to find the lack of top-drawer player insurance unacceptable, and OSU AD Gene Smith are both black men who can institute this change with a stroke of a pen, in order to properly insure the black men who are the overwhelming majority of the players who promote for OSU and Nike. “In America,” Ta-Nehesi Coates’ observed, “it is traditional to destroy the black body — it is heritage.” Knight, Drake and Smith can help put an end to that insidious tradition, with a stroke of the pen. by using some of that $42.5 million discretionary money now floating around the OSU president’s office, to fund that insurance. Time for some action. Lead the way, Mike Drake and Gene Smith. Phil Knight won’t.

Copyright 2016 William Wilson  

 

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Protections for Its College Player-Promoters? – Nike’s Cowering in the Locker-Room John

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Nike has been hiring college players to promote for them since 1978. Well, not really, uh, hiring, exactly. Sort of  hiring. Well, no. . . it’s actually that the school, like . . . hires . . . well, no sorta, well, just gets the players to do the promoting. So Nike’s payment goes – follow me here – to the school, and Nike just lets the school do . . . whatever … just so long as the school makes sure that the promotion-with-logo which is the “essence” of  Nike’s contract with the school, really happens. And this wacky promotion scam – um, arrangement – has been ‘happening’ for almost forty years.

The Apparel is Just Promotion-Props

Nike and the schools like to call those arrangements “apparel-supply’ contracts, but don’t buy that. Sure, they supply apparel, but the school actually books it as in-kind payment. But, mostly, it’s really not in-kind payment, because it is props, really — promotion props. Equipment for promoting on the football or basketball stage. Billboards, in a way. Nike requires that the school, uh, require that the player wear the billboards at all times. So Nike’s contract gets two things it wants badly: 1) the schools takes its thousands of billboards; and 2) the school mandates that its players wear those billboards. A lot like those sandwich-board guys you see down by the railroad station, paid to wear a sign that says “Payday Loans,’ or ‘Gold and Silver Wanted.’ The display is on the body. The billboard is the apparel-with-logo. Nike hands those billboards out to big-time schools everywhere. The players wear them. And the students and public then line up like ducks, to follow the billboard-wearing players, by buying the Nike-loge-ed products.

Nike’s promotion-makers here are a lot like Nike’s overseas apparel-makers — except that they’re not.

And for 38 years now, Nike has shown it could care less about the bodies of their U.S. college players who make their promotion. Nike’s promotion-makers here are a lot like Nike’s overseas apparel-makers — except that they’re not. Unlike Nike’s apparel-makers, if you can believe it, Nike’s U.S. player-promotion-makers get no cash pay, no benefits, and no employment protections. And they also — all of them, the football and basketball player-promoters — encounter extraordinary daily risk of injury, which is much greater than the risk which those overseas apparel-makers encounter.

Nike’s promotion-makers here get half-baked, dollar-store, dipshit insurance for the injuries they daily experience 

But here’s the amazing thing: Nike’s promotion-makers here get half-baked, dollar-store, dipshit insurance for the injuries they experience every day. Nike apparel-makers in Vietnam are treated better than Nike’s promotion-makers here. And the NCAA’s ‘amateurism’ myths are so strong, that nobody thinks that this is weird. Figure that one out.

Neither do Nike’s player-promoters here, unlike Nike’s overseas apparel-makers, have any glossy online ‘Sustainability Policy’ to protect them, with grand affirmations that Nike’s ‘non-negotiable’ Sustainability policy must ‘disrupt’ existing labor standards, to trigger “new compensation and benefit models,” concerning the “health and well-being” of those who work for them overseas. Nothing.

It’s time, Nike. Make the Jump, Man. Just Do It. Insist that your U.S. ‘contract partners’ (colleges) protect the bodies and lives of the promoters they hire to do your promotion. It’s your time. Pressure is on. All we need is a field goal from you. Time is winding down. Nike, you never even came out on the field — and we found you, hiding in a locked locker-room bathroom stall. We know you’re in there.

Copyright 2016 William Wilson  

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Nike and the Power 5 College Player’s Safety: Watch Out for the Locomotive

On October 4, 2014, Washington State quarterback Conor Haliday passed for more yards in a game (734) than any other quarterback in NCAA history. During his career, he had NCAA records for the most passing completions (59) and attempts (89) in one game. But in late October 2014, 290-lb Southern Cal All-American Leonard Williams fell across Haliday’s leg, causing compound fractures so severe that Haliday’s promising career was over.

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This wasn’t Haliday’s only injury: two years earlier, he was speared in the chest by a Utah lineman; causing a 9-centimeter liver laceration – the kind of injury most commonly seen only after a gunshot wound or car accident — and spent four days in intensive care,

His injuries occurred while playing in uniforms and shoes bearing the Nike logo. The NCAA’s ‘amateurism’ system has long been fueled by a number of Big Lies, but one of the biggest is that such player display of Nike (or other) logos is ‘Not-Promotion’. This deception, which inures to Nike’s substantial benefit, since its ‘promoter’-players require none of the employment-related benefits which Nike must pay to its other 5,300 U.S. employees, is exposed by Nike’s own promotion-contract with universities, which states that such logo-display is the “essence of the agreement” and a “bargained-for material benefit,”

Overseas Contract Partners —  Domestic Contract Partners 

Nike no longer makes shoes or apparel; instead, it enters into contracts to purchase them from overseas “contract factory partners.” Nike enters into a second set of contracts, to buy promotional services here in the U.S. Some are contracts to create and buy TV or online advertising. Some are big-dollar endorsement contracts with ‘professional’ sports celebrities. And some are entered into with their U.S ‘contract factory partner,’ Power 5 universities, to purchase promotion services performed by student-players.

Some two decades ago, public pressure to eliminate exploitative working conditions and pay in Nike overseas factories triggered Nike to make sustainability-based improvements aimed toward ‘greener’ production methods, more stakeholder engagement, data-based decision-making, and new worker-protection benchmarks. And in 2015, Nike committed to a campaign for continuous improvements, described in its 100-page “Sustainability Policy,” and a four-page “Code of Conduct.”

This Nike campaign for greater environmental and human sustainability will come, Nike asserts, from its commitment to one basic tactic: disruption. “Evolving and disrupting change” will “transform beyond the foundation of compliance,” and “piloting new approaches, supporting transformational causes [and] collaborating to create systemic change,” will help generate “new compensation and benefit models,” and improvements in the “health and well-being” of the laborers who work in overseas factories. Compliance with its 2015 Nike Code of Conduct, according to Nike, “is non-negotiable.”

Nike’s Non-Existent Commitment to ‘Health and Well-Being” of Its Player-Promoters

This Nike commitment might be ‘non-negotiable,’ overseas but, as regards the protection of athletes who perform promotion at Nike’s U.S. ‘promotion factories’ (the universities), it is non-existent. Nike may, as it claims, have “worked alongside others for over 20 years” to improve labor standards in its overseas ‘contract factories,” but it has done no work to similarly improve benefits and protections for the college players who promote for Nike.

In fact, because of what I call the players’ Big Insurance Hole, college players who promote here for Nike need new protections and benefits just as much, if not more than, workers in Nike’s overseas factories. This Hole is created by an unconscionable shortcoming in the “benefit model” applied to today’s Power 5 player-promoter: the schools’ refusal to pay for what I call “Full-Tail” player health and disability insurance. Full-Tail covers the entire risk of injury to which players are exposed, by insuring all reasonably-related medical and disability costs connected to that injury. It is hardly unique; in fact, Full-Tail auto coverage means that the insurance carrier for the driver who plows you down in the pedestrian cross-walk must pay for all medical, rehab and other costs which are causally related to the injury.

This Big Insurance Hole throws the vast majority of Power 5 Revenue players into an absurd “Bring-Your-Own” [BYO] insurance back alley: the player’s own coverage is primary, and the school’s ‘fills-in’ the gaps. (And if the school provides primary coverage, it usually lasts only one year post-injury or, at most, one year post-graduation.) As a result the player is commonly left, like Washington State’s Conor Haliday, with no health or disability coverage after that one-year post-injury period.

NCAA Devil-May-Care Attitude re: the Player-Promoter’s Big Insurance Hole

The NCAA’s devil-may-care attitude about this Big Insurance Hole is illustrated in this 2015 exchange between NCAA VP Oliver Luck, and an audience member at Texas A&M:

Questioner: What would you say to a player like Connor Haliday who was . . . a record-setting passer and . . . was a ‘for-sure’ draft pick . . . forced into retirement after going undrafted in the NFL draft? What do you say to a player like him, it’s just too bad?

Luck: No, I would say to him that its a shame that he broke his leg, you know injuries are a part of sport, they’re impossible to completely avoid. But I would encourage him to make sure he has his degree and has a plan for his life . . . and to take out of his athletic career those values that will help him . . in the future. . . . That’s why its so important for us to focus young men and women on education, that’s what going to make a difference in their lives.”

Luck most likely procures his own personal homeowners, auto, disability and health insurance (some or all of the costs of which may be paid by his employer) and, in his former role as West Virginia athletics director, Luck (along with actuaries and other experts he likely consulted), oversaw the pricing and arrangement of millions of dollars of property, casualty, health, workers’ compensation, disability and other business-loss insurances, all meant to cover risks attendant to the operation of that athletic department. And many of the WVU employees injured – physically or financially – as a result of the risks covered by those insurances were likely told that their injury or loss was “a part of” the athletic department’s business, and that “it was a shame” that the loss was suffered. But none, most likely, were ever also told that no insurance – or only Tiny-Tail — coverage had been retained by WVU to insure their loss — and that, as a result, they should “make sure [they have] a degree and a plan for life.”

The player touted by the NCAA and school as both student and athlete is, for insurance purposes, treated as only a student – even though he encounters repetitive high-stakes risk. “Injuries,” Oliver Luck asserts, are “a part of sport,” but the de facto impact of his response, and the Big Insurance Hole, is that “injuries are a part of sport, but insurance is not.” This is long-outdated 19th-century risk management, the kind evident in the warning commonly posted back then at railroad crossings: ‘Watch Out for the Railroad Crossings.” It is human non-sustainability, which makes the player promotion industry effluent.

Power 5 School Position: Insurance R Not Us

The modern AD assumes that there is no need to insure his player-asset against the entire risk of loss. This is not loss control; it is an expense-avoiding ‘Insurance R Not Us’ shifting of financial burden to the player, who is left owning much of his own risk of injury. In fact, the school manifests more insurance concern for almost any of its other inanimate assets – buildings, autos, and even income-streams – than it does for its players, and violates a basic tenet of modern business loss control: if you cannot entirely eliminate a risk, at least fully insure for it. The school’s refusal to provide Full-Tail health and disability insurance needs to be labeled for what it is: barbaric.

“Barbaric? – Us?,” might be Nike’s likely response, followed by an excuse:“Talk to the universities – we don’t own or control them!” But Nike’s own sustainability policy states that “the majority of [Nike’s] environmental and social impacts – as well as [its] biggest opportunities – occur in operations [it does] not directly control but influence.” Overseas, then, mere Nike ‘influence’ – not ownership – is used to ‘disrupt’ practices; despite having similar, if not greater ‘influence’ over its U.S. ‘promotion factories’ at each university, Nike has done no ‘disruption’ here.

Where’s Nike in the New Era of Player Sustainability?  – Freeloading

A new era of college player sustainability is emerging, with no thanks to Nike. Nike’s “fundamental values” may “remain the same,” as CEO Mark Parker asserts, and none may, as Parker further contends, “be more important than contract factory workers who are valued and engaged.” And Nike may have “worked alongside others for others for 20 years to improve labor standards in contract factories” overseas.

But Nike has been AWOL regarding labor standards, or basic injury protection, for the minion-players who do their promotion here in the U.S. It’s time for Nike to apply some domestic, home-grown disruption of the Big Insurance Hole tolerated by almost all of its U.S. promotion factories which use player-promoters,’ to force those universities to disrupt and “innovate to deliver better solutions that benefit athletes, the company, and the world.”

Until it does, Nike’s de facto message to former player-promoters like WSU’s Conor Haliday, and all current Power 5 players who encounter daily risk of injury, is not, as Nike’s Policy claims, “Sustainable Innovation is a Powerful Engine for Growth.” It is ‘Watch Out for the Locomotive.’

Copyright 2016 William Wilson  

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Spatting and the Mini-Letter Every College Athlete Must Immediately Send to the AD

Big time college football and basketball players have to immediately protect themselves from NCAA bylaws by writing a simple one-line letter to the athletics director. To illustrate why, first listen-in on this completely fictional 2015 meeting between Nike CEO Mark Parker and his top marketing aide, as they prepared to re-negotiate their contract with the University of Texas:

———–

Parker: Good god, we’ve been paying out millions to these schools, and I’m worried. What if one of these knucklehead players pulls a protest of some kind, announces he’s not gonna wear our shoe?

Aide: Well, Mark, we’ve got something in all our contracts about that, says the “University shall require all Coaches,Team and Staff members to wear and /or use Nike product that have been designated by Nike.”

Parker: I know, I know, but I need more than that. That’s our contract with the school, not player, and some player can just decide to go rogue – and we can’t do anything about it. I want each player to sign a contract with the school— says that if they’re gonna get a scholarship from the school, they gotta wear the shoes the school wants. What’s the matter with that? Don’t those players sign a couple of contracts, before they start playing?

Aide: Yea, that National Letter of Intent, and then the Student Athlete Statement – but they don’t have any clause like that.

Parker: So lets do it.That’s why we pay the schools big bucks, to have their players promote, so why can’t they make the player sign that? Just one clause in that NLI: “I agree to wear Nike shoes at all times.” I want it airtight.

Aide: Yes, boss, and you know what, actually I think you might be right. Remember, we got that NCAA reg passed back in ’78, it said that display of logos is NOT promotion! So if the NCAA says its not promotion, then the player should have no problem signing, saying he’ll wear our shoe.

Parker: Ok, then, call your friend Wally, the lawyer who works in-house at Texas athletics, he’s smart as hell, tell em we want that in the player’s contract and we need to get that done – now.

(Aide returns 10 minutes later): Well Mark, Wally says no way. Wally says that 1978 staff ‘Not-Promotion’ ruling, all that stuff, everyone knows its all complete horseshit. He says NCAA law has about as much effect, with the workers’ comp commission, those other judges, as some Triple- A rule about how many maps you can have for free. It’s not law. It’s like a . . . club.

Parker: What? What do you mean?

Aide: Wally says, no matter what the NCAA says, logos on shoes is promotion. He reminded me that our last contract with them, like all our contracts, says, the “display of the logo is the essence of the agreement” and “a bargained-for material benefit,” but also that “a material inducement” to our making the contract is to “provide broad and prominent exposure for the Nike brand and particular products, models and styles.” He says these provisions blow the NCAA’s ‘Not-Promotion’ fiction right out of the water.

Parker: Well, Wally’s right. I tied that down good. Now I want the player tied down with his own signature.

Aide: Well, Wally said no way on that one too.

Parker: Why?

Aide: He says you don’t need it. He says the coaches —  they won’t let some kid wear any other shoe, they just won’t let it happen.

Parker : Wait a minute, we gotta rely on some guy with a whistle around his neck to enforce our mult-million dollar contracts? I don’t THINK SO. You call him back, you tell him I said want something more. I want something the kid signs, in the NLI or SAS.

(Aide leaves, returns 10 minutes later.)

Aide: So Wally says he just can’t do that, but look Mark, he says all our contracts with the schools, they have a lot of provisions which say that both the school and us agree to obey all the NCAA rules, so that the coach who is minding the player, and telling him he has to wear the shoe, he’s got the backing of the whole NCAA on it. Plus, the player signs something that says he understands those NCAA rules. Don’t you think that’s enough?

Parker: Why’re you buckin’ me? Tell them I want a contract signed by the player. Period. Why in all the waffle-soled world can’t they just have the player sign something that says he has the obligation to wear our logo?

Aide: Mark, Wally’s a straight guy. Known him forever. He didn’t want me bringing this up with you, he says nobody in the NCAA or anywhere wants to talk about it. but he will. Wally says that if Texas makes the player sign some agreement that says the player has to wear our shoes – that just that one requirement might make that player an employee for workers’ compensation purposes. It looks too much like a contract for services, and the player looks an awful lot like an employee! They just can’t have that. Wally said hell will freeze over, before they do that.

Parker: Bastards. So I’ve always known that NCAA had Two Big Lies – that the scholarship they pay to the player is ‘Not-Pay,’ and that the display of logos is ‘Not-Promotion.’ But now I”m just figuring out their No. 3 Big Lie – they want us to go along with making sure their employee-players are called ‘Not-Employees.’

(Parker Musing): Okay, though, here’s what we’re gonna do. Tell Wally it’s non-negotiable. We’re gonna put in a big penalty for the school, if a player wears a shoe with no logo, or does that ‘spatting’ trick, by covering it with tape. We’re paying Texas huge bucks, plus they’re saving huge bucks scamming on workers’ comp, so if just one player decides he’s not gonna wear our shoe, it’s a $10,000 penalty for the school. — No, make that a $10,000 school penalty for EACH SHOE, for EACH player that does it. That’ll make everybody think twice about spatting. That ought to tie the player down pretty tight.

____________

Parker’s fictional conclusion has much truth to it. Every school omits from the NLI or SAS, or elsewhere, any requirement that the player sign a explicit statement that he will wear the Nike (or other) shoes or apparel – because the schools and NCAA know that would jump out at workers’ compensation and other regulators, as an clear foundation for finding that the player had signed a contract for services, and was, therefore, an employee.

Instead, the schools fake it, by patching together the best possible de facto requirement that the player wear the logos, formed from a combination of the player’s acknowledgment that he understands all NCAA regs (a preposterous notion, by the way); that the spatting penalty exists and will be applied by Nike; that the coach might be cranky with the player if he tries to upset the applecart by not wearing the logos, along with the three Big Lies (Not-Pay, Not-Promotion, and Not-Employee.)

But the problem with this devious, patched-together dodge by the schools and NCAA, which scams the workers’ comp statutes, is contained in NCAA bylaw 12.5.2.1, entitled ”Advertisements and Promotions After Becoming a Student-Athlete’:

After becoming a student-athlete, an individual shall not be eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics if the individual. . . permits the use of his name or picture to advertise, recommend or promote directly the sale or use of a commercial product of any kind.

The player’s clear, immediate duty, then, under Bylaw 12? To notify the school in writing, as follows:

I will not permit Nike (or other supplier) to advertise or promote using my name or picture.”

Otherwise, under Bylaw 12, every player who “permits” such promotion risks becoming ineligible. And not reporting a possible NCAA violation subjects the player to being charged with a broader ethical violation under Bylaw 10.

Every player, as a matter of prudence and self-protection, but also to expose NCAA Big Lies #2 (‘Not-Promotion’) and #3 (‘Not-Employee’) should immediately write the above 17-word letter to the school athletics director. It might not solve every ill in college sports, but it will protect the player, and stir some pots that need to be stirred. It will also set the proper foundation for (should the players so choose) a later Spatting Protest. 

Copyright 2016 William Wilson

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Biggest NCAA Reform in Two Years Proposes to Gut School Compliance Duty

It is September 2010, and Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel is filling out the ‘Certification of Compliance’ form which NCAA bylaw 18.4.2 mandates that all staff members, (including university presidents) sign each September, to “certify that you have reported through the appropriate individuals on your campus to your chancellor/president any knowledge of violations of NCAA legislation involving your institution.” I”ll call this document the “Little Sensor Certificate,” for reasons I’ll get to in a moment.

jim-tressel

Jim Tressel

Tressel ‘Purposely Hid’ Information

Five months earlier, Tressel had received emails from a local lawyer about NCAA violations involving the sale or trade (for tattoos) of OSU memorabilia by players, including star Terrelle Pryor. But Tressel lies, by stating that he has no knowledge of any NCAA violations. And for the next four months he continues to conceal his knowledge, even after being confronted with a U.S. Attorney’s December 11 letter to OSU, reporting on the very same violations. It is only on January 16, 2011, when OSU staffers confronted him with his own emails (which OSU, incredibly, had not searched until then), that Tressel confessed he had been lying all along. In December 2011, the NCAA COI imposed sanctions on OSU and Tressel, finding that he purposely hid” information, and was “not credible,” citing the lie Tressel had put to paper when he signed the September 2010 Little Sensor Certificate.

The following year, the Penn State/Sandusky scandal erupted, and made clear that PSU’s iconic coach Joe Paterno and others had, in an effort to protect PSU football, long been burying information about Sandusky’s predatory behavior toward young males.

The Creep-to-Cheat

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Kings’ Fans Can Now Bet Against Each Other: Gambling & Data Camels Poke Noses Under Arena Tent

The ever-innovative Sacramento Kings are breaking ahead of the pack again. According to SportTechie’s Mark Burns, (based upon his discussions with Kings’ Chief Tech Officer Ryan Montoya), fans at Kings’ games will be able to take advantage of the team’s ‘Golden 1 Apps,’ which will allow them to get real-time data about “parking, arena lines, player stats, menu items [and] seat upgrades, fan experiences, mobile food ordering and payment.

Innovative, maybe, but not necessarily cutting edge. Here’s what is cutting edge, though: according to Burns’ report, “the Kings also have a gaming element embedded in the app, where fans can place in-arena wagers against other fans and, at the end of the night, those fans atop the leaderboard will win game experiences and prizes.”

Serial, Contemporaneous Bets: This is startling. It also is a tiny precursor, in rapidly unfolding great story of New-Data’s digital impact upon sports, of what may be coming. Pro tennis, for example, is now vexed with problems associated with world-wide ‘contemporaneous’ wagers placed on each point (as opposed to the entire match). Bettors gain access to important on-site data from ‘trackers,’ attending the match in person, who transmit information digitally, from smart phones. The setup allows ‘serial’ bets to be placed, so fans anywhere in the world can be betting on every point played. (In contrast, as I understand it, British football is not so much vexed by such real-time, per-play betting: they are thrilled by the staggering amounts wagered.)

Player Micro-Performance Data as Basis for Serial, Real-time Bets: With its new ‘Golden 1’ apps, the Kings have built a clever platform, whereby live attendees can similarly participate in ‘in-arena’ betting competitions, which will apparently allow similar ‘serial’ bets, to be placed on each play (or some other logical segment of the game.) And it doesn’t take Isaac Asimov or even Dick Tracy to make an educated (if not wild-assed) guess that, within just a matter of years, ‘fantasy’ fans on the couch at home (or in the arena), may be able to place such serial, per-point bets on football or basketball game, within an app provided by the team. And an additional educated guess is that such betting, whether on-site or off-site, will be exponentially enriched (or complicated) by that fan’s access to the kind of detailed, in-game Player ‘Micro-Performance Data’ generated by hardware and software already available. Imagine sitting at home on your couch, with a read-out on (one of) your screens, telling you the real-time heart-rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate of every player, but also a prediction, based upon algorithmic-analysis, of every play run by that team for previous 1, 5, and 10-year periods — and then thumb-texting your bet on the outcome (or even the choice of) the next play. And then doubling-down on the next play. And imagine if your participation in such betting is through FanDuel or Fantasy Sports, who have, by the time of this imagined future setting) signed lucrative contracts with the professional or NCAA team to obtain and use such elaborate team and Player Micro-Performance Data.

It’s clear that the team owns its own data. But who owns this extremely valuable Player Micro-Performance Data?

 

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