Monday, October 7, 2019

KU chancellor: Legislation not the best way to change NCAA rules on pay for athletes

Kansas athletic director Jeff Long stands along the sidelines before kickoff with chancellor Douglas Girod on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas athletic director Jeff Long stands along the sidelines before kickoff with chancellor Douglas Girod on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.


State and federal law is not the best way to change NCAA regulations regarding athletes receiving compensation through endorsements, University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod said.

“Rarely is legislation the best way to fix things,” he said. “There are always significant unintended consequences that haven’t been thought through. So we’ll have to think through all of that.”

Girod briefly spoke to the Journal-World on Monday about a new law in California that will eventually allow college athletes to make money off their images, names or likenesses, through endorsement deals with companies, such as Adidas and Nike. The law directly contradicts the NCAA’s rules, which generally bar college athletes from accepting compensation outside of the scholarship they receive to attend college.

Girod said that contradiction could complicate how universities will be expected to meet NCAA regulations when one of the largest states is operating on a different system.

“I’m concerned it’s going to make a complex environment even more complex,” he said. “It’s going to confuse the environment. But we’ll deal with it.”

Girod said he was not sure how it would affect the college athletics landscape, but he thought it could give California and other states that follow in its footsteps a recruiting advantage. Additionally, he said California’s law would exacerbate the challenges of managing enthusiastic boosters, who may pay a college athlete a significant amount of money to sign autographs.

“Where’s the line there? I think it’s going to be really hard to manage,” Girod said.

With the California law in place, the NCAA may not allow California universities to participate in its championship tournaments. When asked if he would support such a two-tiered system, Girod said he didn't know if it would be a viable option because it would be a struggle to enforce.

However, he expects other states to explore passing similar laws, or federal lawmakers may even consider making a nationwide law.

“We’ll have to see how it plays out,” Girod said.

KU has not yet discussed the topic with other Big 12 institutions, but Girod said it would likely be a topic of conversation when the universities meet for a Big 12 retreat later this fall. Last week Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby told the Journal-World in an email that the law created instability in college athletics.

“The schools in our conference and those throughout the United States seek a national recruiting and national competitive environment that can only be accomplished with fair and uniform rules and policies,” Bowlsby said at the time. “The passage of (the law) will negatively impact the universities in California and will undermine the unique American collegiate model that has been an enormous source of opportunity for millions of young student-athletes and many millions of fans.”


Freddie Garza 2 years, 2 months ago

Translation: We've been profiting immensely from the facade of "amateurism" and don't want to kill the golden goose. So we'll instead tell you that there would be "dire and unforeseen consequences" to legislation allowing athletes to be paid...which of course, we're already doing anyway.

Suzi Marshall 2 years, 2 months ago

Long is laying on total BS. The mindset to consider the evil implications of an alum paying student-athletes is beyond insane. What business do the schools or NCAA have to dictate what any student can legally do in their own free time. The NCAA has proven itself to be a self serving corrupt illegal organization. They have had years, correction...decades, to correct their operations. The NCAA should be shutdown. I absolutely HATE the idea of government intervention into anything but State and Federal legislation appears to be the only way to free the student athletes from those tyrants.

Dirk Medema 2 years, 2 months ago

Not the best way = California politics?

Phil Leister 2 years, 2 months ago

The legislation is going to force the NCAA's hand and spur them to change their arcane rules. Anyone who thought the NCAA would do this on their own is delusional.

Len Shaffer 2 years, 2 months ago

You said it, Phil. If the NCAA had truly dealt with this issue years ago, then California and other states wouldn't have to be dealing with it now.

Barry Weiss 2 years, 2 months ago

The NCAA has totally bungled this whole thing.

Tony Bandle 2 years, 2 months ago

I think we can apply this statement to at least 100 other decisions made in the last 50 years by this "organization" !!!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.