NCAA gets eviscerated in the Supreme Court; what’s next? | Yahoo Sports College Podcast

Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss the NCAA’s huge loss in the Supreme Court, and what the decision may mean for the future of the NCAA’s ‘amateur model.’

Video Transcript


DAN WETZEL: The NCAA is now an extreme legal jeopardy. Quite comically, they fought this case all the way to the Supreme Court and risked such a thing as a justice basically telling every lawyer in the country, come back and see us with a broader case, and we may blow this whole thing to smithereens. Tactically, a terrible decision by the NCAA because now they are in hot water.

As we have said many times on this podcast, they have kicked the can on these issues for decades. They refuse to adapt. They refuse to compromise. They refuse to just evolve slowly and work together and make everybody happy to the point now where actually, I don't know what's going to happen. And there could be a lot of ramifications here that are unintended consequences that could greatly affect college athletics. But this is where they have put themselves in.

Pete, we'll start with you. Thoughts on the ruling Monday by the Supreme Court?

PETE THAMEL: Yeah, I think this is my basic thought on the ruling is that it is the ruling that opens up the floodgates for the rest of the rulings, right? It's like in "Swingers," the guy behind the guy. This is the ruling that is going to set the table for the rest of the rulings. And it does reinforce that the NCAA has had the legal strategy of Mississippi Valley State playing out of conference in basketball.

I mean, they've just gone on the road and gotten beaten and bludgeoned to continue to get paid, right? Because all they wanted to do is keep status quo. So they fought and they fought and they fought. Name, image, and likeness, which again, this is indirectly tied to, not directly tied to, first came up mid-2000s.

They had plans to address it. But they said, nope, we're just going to keep our money and keep on pushing, keep our money and keep on pushing. And so you get this video game, which is using the likeness of NCAA basketball players. And they're saying, nope, that's not really his likeness, even though it has the same tattoo, the same follow-through, the same uniform number, the same stats. It's not like this because we're a private association, so we say it's not likeness.

So to you, it may look like a duck and quack like a duck and smell like a duck, but to us, it's totally different. So keep the money flowing. This is a byproduct of pure greed and pure ineptitude from a leadership standpoint.

And you combine enough greed with enough incompetence, and you get de-pantsed in the Supreme Court. And your entire business model, which you could have kept a pretty strong version of if you just done a little compromise and you'd been a little less greedy and a little bit innovative and just shown a pinch of leadership-- you didn't need Winston Churchill here. You just needed somebody to say, OK, let's give up 10% of everything now that we're making billions. A little bit of compromise is all that would have been required.

PAT FORDE: Pete, as you said, this is the table-setting ruling. But boy, does it set a table for a banquet, a feast of people just sticking the knives into the NCAA here and carving it up. I mean, it's just astounding that a group that is headed by college presidents basically could be so stupid just to have not foreseen any of this coming in the proper way or the proper perspective and to just keep fighting and fighting and take this all the way to the Supreme Court, whereupon you get your ass kicked.

And while 9-0 rulings-- I looked into it a little bit-- they're not uncommon. But the Kavanaugh opinion that went along with this, it's not the official opinion, but it was an accompanying opinion, just absolutely smoked them and really kind of opened the gates here.

And Dan, your column was great. I mean, you said, basically, to avoid giving athletes laptops and access to other funds for academic purposes, you've now just invited everybody to come in and sue the shorts off of you. Good job.

DAN WETZEL: Yeah, except it's not funny. It's like when you know the Patriot League Championship game. And someone's winning. And they all start chanting, we want Duke. That's basically what the NCAA did here.