More O’Bannon

Two more twitter accounts worth following:

SI’s Andy Staples and CBS’ Jon Solomon.

Dr. Ellen Staurovksy, a sports management professor at Drexel University and long-time critic of the NCAA has been testifying today. The NCAA tried to have her disqualified as a witness before she took the stand, but Judge Wilken denied. Staurovsky has been arguing that college football and basketball are essentially pro sports enterprises. One interesting moment came during discussion of compensation for coaches. Nike says it does not pay coaches – only schools. Staurovsky is arguing otherwise, apparently to the surprise of Judge Wilken. According to a report referenced during Staurovsky’s testimony, it appears that when Nike pays a school to use its apparel, a portion of that money is specifically designated for the coach. In the case of Ohio State, for instance, the school apparently pays Urban Meyer $1.4 million per year “as part of its contract with Nike.”

Of interest here is another instance of the layers of opacity when it comes to big-time collegiate athletics and financial accounting. The NCAA is loathe to acknowledge that personalities drive the product at all and, relatedly, that some are paid very handsomely for being brands in and of themselves. This particular indirect payment seems to be of a piece with that larger effort to obscure the true nature of the business relationships that are the foundation of collegiate athletics.




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