Why an NCAA Hire of Oliver Luck, to Manage His Proposed Sharecropping Arrangement with Players, Might Not Be Such a Good Idea

Sportico reports that Oliver Luck has a ‘non-profit’ which is bidding to manage player NIL for the NCAA.

This is the equivalent of a post-Civil War, post-slavery scheme to keep the black players toiling, at some radically-reduced income, on the same land.

Luck — by all accounts, a sweet, and personally engaging, honest, and kind person — is clueless about the legal reality. And his cluelessness has propelled him to generate this proposal. A proposal which, however much it wears an ostensibly high-minded ‘non-profit’ toga, will give Luck access to staggering levels of personal income. On the backs of — and taking economic advantage of — primarily black players.

Luck is Major-League Clueless

Why do I say this? Listen to Luck, debating Jay Bilas, back in October 2015, and crooning like some attenuated big-band star featured on Lawrence Welk re-runs, a sampling of some antique in loco parentis Greatest Hits, from a long-gone era:

– “We have a difficult time with student-athletes who are athletes, and students who are non-athletes, emphasizing to those students how important an education can be . . . it’s very difficult for many young folks to realize that four or five or six years is a worthwhile investment in education because you don’t immediately see the payback. The difficulty we have of convincing folks of deferring their gratification by getting an education – it’d be even more difficult if we had paid employees playing football or basketball.”

– “There’s plenty of time to earn dollars, and if a student is dead set on doing that, he can make that decision to leave early to play professionally.”

– “The opportunity to go out and earn money would distract students, in a very significant way from pursuing what they really need to pursue, which is their education. Having the opportunity to do an autograph signing, or an endorsement, really distracts that young person from what’s really important, which is the educational component.”[i]

– “[As regards] the player’s triangle of athletics, academics and social life, if you turn that triangle into a square and add another component of promoting or marketing yourself, there’s simply no time to do that, particularly an 18 or 19 year who is not necessarily sophisticated in business and promotions.”

– “We’d be worse off in the challenges we have convincing young men and women of the value of higher education . . . to get a degree. We’d be worse off if we were paying those student-athletes because, quite honestly, it doesn’t make sense to me to figure that into the equation of what they have to do, there’s a lot of time demands on our student-athletes, it’s a very challenging period.”

— “There’s still alot of in loco parentis on campus.”

Luck’s Major-League Cluelessness Might Have Something to Do With His Bent for Major-League Personal Income

This is major league cluelessness. In loco parentis on campus — as a basis for athletic department or NCAA control over the player — disappeared (as a result of national and state legislative and judicial changes) between 1965 and 1985. It’s gone.

But not in Oliver Luck’s world-view: Luck’s player is still a child. Who needs alot of help, from adults. It’s preposterous. The player at age 18 is an adult, entitled to hire his own agent (or others) to manage and push his affairs.

But Luck wants to be declared that adult-player’s agent — because of a contract which he does with the NCAA! Even though the NCAA no longer has a waiver which might give it even some color of ownership or control over the player’s NIL rights.

And Luck’s cluelessness is at the heart of the wealth which he now seeks, with his bid to control and manage player NIL. (Always look twice at claimed cluelessness, on a path to wealth.)

Until Luck bothers to even read the cookbook law, he should withdraw his bid. It’s beneath his fine character.


About brewonsouthu

lawyer, with interest in college sports and NCAA oversight and decisions, and sports generally.
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