RandBall: An NIL 'salary cap' (and floor) for big-time college sports? What do you think?

BleedGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
60,896
Reaction score
16,485
Points
113
Per Rand:

Instead, what needs to happen in a construct like this is a sort of "salary cap" for each school — and a salary floor. Without it, recruiting will simply be dominated by whatever school has the most amount of money to offer players.

That's what we are starting to see already without any rules in place, as programs that have pumped/raised the most early money into the currently unaffiliated NIL collectives are throwing six- and seven-figure deals at athletes in order to flip high school commitments and land high-profile transfers.

The Gophers football program has lost players to the portal and had players recently decommit. In basketball it has happened, too. In basketball, it is even more damaging because of the impact one or two players can have — as Marcus Fuller and I talked about on Friday's Daily Delivery podcast.


Go Gophers!!
 

Interesting thought! Something more fair is coming eventually like the NFL and NBA. It drives up general interest and the value of the league if more teams are competitive. And something that restricts player movement. I wish I had a time machine to see how this looks five years from now!
 

I’m a firm believer the NIL numbers thrown around are inflated by some multiple, maybe up to 10x. The coaches are BS artists and we all know salesmen are usually easy marks themselves (see Rev. Rhule). I tend to believe players, like employees, usually quit their employers for reason XYZ rather than leave for monetary reasons, unless it’s a very large difference. Look at Irving. Playing at Oregon has some appeal. Playing at MN might mean being buried with a handful of opportunities. PJ’s culture isn’t for everyone. The MN climate isn’t for everyone. Girlfriend, family. Fresh starts.

Fix the portal, most of this tamps down and goes away. At this point, yep zero percent chance that happens. Nobody wants to be the “bad” guy.
 

I’m a firm believer the NIL numbers thrown around are inflated by some multiple, maybe up to 10x. The coaches are BS artists and we all know salesmen are usually easy marks themselves (see Rev. Rhule). I tend to believe players, like employees, usually quit their employers for reason XYZ rather than leave for monetary reasons, unless it’s a very large difference. Look at Irving. Playing at Oregon has some appeal. Playing at MN might mean being buried with a handful of opportunities. PJ’s culture isn’t for everyone. The MN climate isn’t for everyone. Girlfriend, family. Fresh starts.

Fix the portal, most of this tamps down and goes away. At this point, yep zero percent chance that happens. Nobody wants to be the “bad” guy.
It might be like you say here. You want it to be that way, and it might be.

Or it might really be how it is purported to be.


We don't know because it's all smoke and mirrors.

Anyone with internet can go find the salary number and terms of every NFL player. That's how it should be for P5 football players too.
 

I think the salary cap idea has merit for sure. Will it result in a lawsuit because we are suppressing the right for somebody to earn millions of dollars?
Cheating is still going to go on. The NFL seems to have a handle on this. We haven't heard of somebody getting more millions under the table...maybe because they know if they did they'd be forced to sell their team when caught.
NCAA seems less likely to catch somebody but it seems it would be a much better idea than just
the free-for-all it is now.
 


I think it would violate labor laws
The NFL doesn’t even cap endorsement deals (because they can’t)
 

I think it would violate labor laws
The NFL doesn’t even cap endorsement deals (because they can’t)
It may violate the Sherman Antitrust Act. Not sure of other labor laws.. This could be a problem if athletes were defined as employees and gained collective bargaining rights. There is some litigation on that issue now. The Congress has the power to grant exemptions in many of these cases but don't hold your breathe on that happening.
 

A student at a university has a social media account with a large number of followers. The student parlays this into some big time NIL endorsement deals.

Their "image" and branding is built around being a very intelligent college student.


The student receives a failing grade on a test.


The student sues the school because the failing grade has damaged the brand/image worth, and thus their ability to earn money on their NIL.


Where does it stop??
 

Not feasibly possible considering the whole point of NIL.

This doesn’t get better until the schools start signing checks.
 



It may violate the Sherman Antitrust Act. Not sure of other labor laws.. This could be a problem if athletes were defined as employees and gained collective bargaining rights. There is some litigation on that issue now. The Congress has the power to grant exemptions in many of these cases but don't hold your breathe on that happening.
Yes. What I meant. You are correct I misspoke
 


I don't see how an agreement between competitors to limit how much money their employees can get paid or make from sponsors would go over well with courts. If the NIL numbers we've seen around are anywhere close to true, I can't see a competitive floor working for public schools. I'm sure a lot of politicians and voters would have issues with funding schools if they enter into that type of an agreement. A lot of people already have an issue with coach salaries and that's only a few people per state, contracts of a few years at a time, and for leaders of profitable programs.
 

They can't cap earning without collective bargaining.
They won’t be able to cap external endorsement deals even with collective bargaining, because no one would vote yes on that contract
 



I don't see how an agreement between competitors to limit how much money their employees can get paid or make from sponsors would go over well with courts. If the NIL numbers we've seen around are anywhere close to true, I can't see a competitive floor working for public schools. I'm sure a lot of politicians and voters would have issues with funding schools if they enter into that type of an agreement. A lot of people already have an issue with coach salaries and that's only a few people per state, contracts of a few years at a time, and for leaders of profitable programs.
It’s too big. Not enough money to fund that floor at 65 schools, let alone 133.
There is a reason the nba, nfl, mlb, nhl, mls haven’t gone to 40-60 team leagues.
 


Not sure how this would actually work, since the NIL is not being paid by the school. I do think a good first step is to require full reporting of each deal, including the amount the agent or collective is getting. I continue to think this will settle down over time as deals are busts and team results don't match expectations of the donors.
 

Against it - not because it is a bad idea..... More because this just becomes a legalized means by which to have the same kind of recruiting violations schools used to get in trouble for paying players. Who is going to monitor this? College capoligists? Just what the game needs.... How about we find more of a way to keep it a game instead of buisiness. I might be too old school......
 

I’d be against it. Rather than penalize schools who have fans that actually support their school, the other schools and their fans need to step up their game.
 

It might be like you say here. You want it to be that way, and it might be.

Or it might really be how it is purported to be.


We don't know because it's all smoke and mirrors.

Anyone with internet can go find the salary number and terms of every NFL player. That's how it should be for P5 football players too.
The salary of every P5 football player is publicly available- the amount is $0
 

They can't cap earning without collective bargaining.
Bingo.

Unfortunately, for the NCAA (and college football/basketball fans), the NCAA has the wolf by the ears. They might be best served just pretending that the NIL money isn't directly coming from schools and letting players get paid.

If they want to go the cap route, they'll have to allow the players to unionize and they would be insane. Would it be all NCAA athletes? Would it be just football and basketball? What else would they ask for? The union might be dumb enough to kill it themselves too.

I just can't think of an alternative that doesn't open up a massive can of worms.
 


the idea sounds good in principle. but as others have noted, there would likely be a lot of legal obstacles.

but beyond that, the logistical obstacle: let's say you have an NIL 'cap' and 'floor.'

Who is in charge of enforcement? how does the NCAA verify that schools are not trying to circumvent the cap and floor with under-the-table deals?

In order to make this work, the NCAA would need to hire legions of investigators and compliance officers. and there would have to be a system to hear and resolve complaints and violations in a timely fashion.

I just don't see any way that this would be workable.
 

Always remember the Golden Rule:

If you have the gold, you make the rules.
 


The idea makes no sense...NIL is not direct payments it is endorsements and no league caps that. (yes I know it is really pay for play) The NCAA doesn't have the authority to do that and wouldn't even if the players were unionized and collectively bargained. (no union would allow that)

The only way you could justify it is if the only allowed NIL was filtered through the schools as a means of salary not personal endorsement and somehow made it a violation to seek endorsements not through the university. That would never pass the smell test though and even if all parties agreed (which they wouldnt) would be a logistical nightmare.

(I do not advocate any of this as a fan or as a union rep/negotiator)
 

The idea makes no sense...NIL is not direct payments it is endorsements and no league caps that. (yes I know it is really pay for play) The NCAA doesn't have the authority to do that and wouldn't even if the players were unionized and collectively bargained. (no union would allow that)

The only way you could justify it is if the only allowed NIL was filtered through the schools as a means of salary not personal endorsement and somehow made it a violation to seek endorsements not through the university. That would never pass the smell test though and even if all parties agreed (which they wouldnt) would be a logistical nightmare.

(I do not advocate any of this as a fan or as a union rep/negotiator)
You could certainly pass rules that are collectively bargained for to circumvent a lot of the NIL money.

For example, in the NBA, Mark Cuban cannot work around the salary cap by offering FAs a small salary and then a massive marketing deal as an endorsement. There are definitely agreed to by laws on what and how you can get endorsements to play in a league.

I think most people believe a large portion of the NIL money is through these NIL collectives which are essentially just fronts for the universities giving money.
 

If - and I say IF - players were recognized as employees of the school, then there could be collective bargaining on salaries and bonuses.

to use pro sports as an example, players receive their salaries from the team, but are free to make outside income from endorsements.

in the case of college, the "salary" would replace the current "pay for play" version of NIL. players could still market t-shirts, do endorsements, etc on their own.

the problem would be enforcement. how does the NCAA police the system so that Joe Stud is not getting under-the-table payments in addition to his salary? there would have to be an enforcement system and real penalties for violations.
 

You could certainly pass rules that are collectively bargained for to circumvent a lot of the NIL money.

For example, in the NBA, Mark Cuban cannot work around the salary cap by offering FAs a small salary and then a massive marketing deal as an endorsement. There are definitely agreed to by laws on what and how you can get endorsements to play in a league.

I think most people believe a large portion of the NIL money is through these NIL collectives which are essentially just fronts for the universities giving money.
That's true...but unless you can actually prove they are there is not much you can do to stop it. Plus even if they could the NCAA couldn't stop say Target from paying someone to keep them around.

This is so...blah.
 

Question for those with more legal knowledge than me - how would courts view a scenario where the school a player is transferring TO is forced to pay a "finder's fee" to the school the player is transferring FROM?

To explain where I'm coming from - I agree with the general sentiment of this thread that a salary floor/cap will never happen. I just don't see this ever evolving to a situation where athletes are considered employees and allowed to unionize. Due to this, it's inevitable that we will move further and further into a "have vs have not" college sports world.

Further, I agree with what another user said that eventually the donors behind NIL are going to realize that paying 5-star freshman is ridiculously stupid. 1st round NFL draft picks bust all the time even with tons of film against quality competition to judge from. 5-star 17 year-olds bust even more.

All things considered, where I see the future going is schools like Minnesota are essentially going to become JUCOs for the Bucky Irvings of the world to showcase their skills for 1 - 2 years before earning a fat paycheck from a powerhouse. If this is where the game goes, the only solution is to pay the schools a "finder's fee" for identifying and developing talent. My question is whether this would also be viewed as somehow limiting a player's earning potential.
 

Pro sports has contracts which is what makes it all work. There are rules against tampering and the whole financial system is very controlled.

College football and basketball are dealing with young, unrestricted free agents, being offered pay for play money with little to no restrictions or monitoring.

Not hard to see how this mess came about.
 




Top Bottom