NCAA Adidas Scandal

It seems that the NCAA is always in the news for controversies involving money and its players. In my first post, Freedom of Speech or Corporate Speech, I talked about Donald De La Haye and his money issues involving YouTube and violating the NCAA regulations. This week, my attention was drawn to an issue surrounding one of my favorite clothing brands, Adidas, and yet again the NCAA and their player regulations.

In September 2017 the NCAA found themselves in the middle of yet another scandal involving their players accepting monetary amounts that put them in violation of player contracts with the NCAA. This situation got pretty heated when big name schools got thrown into the mix.

The rumors started when senior Adidas executive Jim Gatto was arrested by federal investigators questions began to swirl about just exactly who was concerned in these deals. It was later released that he was arrested for agreements concerning certain unnamed players and universities with bribes of over $100,000.

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Jim Gatto – Senior Adidas Executive (Photo Courtesy of: NY Daily News)

The NCAA takes allegations very seriously and often two specific organization rules are brought up in debates. One, being the very strongly enforced “no compensation” rule for players. This rule I have talked about in both of my previous posts basically stating that the NCAA is an amateur organization with amateur players that are not allowed under any circumstances to accept any form of monetary compensation.

The other rule being what the New York Times called in their article titled, NCAA Coaches, Adidas Executive Face Charges; Pitino’s Program Implicated, the “one-and-done” rule which is an agreement between the NBA and its players implying an age restraint for NCAA players to join the NBA.

The NCAA is no stranger to this kind of allegation, however the “Adidas Scandal” as everyone is referring to it, happens to be one of its largest that they have had to deal with.

Sports Illustrated wrote a really good “what we know so far” article explaining the coaches involved, the legal cases (that we know of), and the schools that have been ousted in this mess. This article does a really good job of laying out all of the facts to show all of the alleged bribes.

With these types of deals and bribes being made all the time, some people say that the NCAA should just allow the players to sign deals for endorsements to end the long cases and steep legal fees, but I disagree.

An organization founded on amateurism and the pure love of the sport, I think that endorsement deals would start giving these players an ego the size of Mount Everest. Without endorsement deals and big time bucks, these boys and girls play their hardest to earn their spot in the professional leagues of their choosing. After all, they are still in school and while it might be contrary to popular opinion, sports are not all that should matter at this point in their life. I believe that they should be working hard to have a backup plan if sports, dare I say it, doesn’t work out for them.

What would you do if you were in the NCAA’s shoes? Would you change your rules to reduce your legal hassle? Or would you stay true to your organization’s founding ground.

What about Adidas? What if you were in their shoes? (No pun intended, haha.) Would you continue to make illegal agreements in order to potentially benefit your company in the long run?

Leave your thoughts in the comments below!


March Madness, MADNESS?

Written by: Angela Radesic

March Madness court

Photo courtesy of: FOX News

As we enter into arguably one of the busiest months for the NCAA, they are once again in hot water concerning their players. It seems to me that people constantly bring up the argument that student athletes should be paid for being a player affiliated with the NCAA but then eventually let their opinions go, but this time it got a little more heated than before.

The argument stems off of the facts about how much revenue is made off of NCAA sports in general, and just like any argument, there are two sides to this one as well. On one side of this disagreement, there are people in favor of these student-athletes getting paid. And on the other end, there are people that HATE the idea of these athletes ever getting paid.

I am one of the people that hates the idea of student-athletes getting paid.

My reasoning on this? They are student-athletes. Like I said in my last post, when these student-athletes sign on as an employee of the NCAA they sign away their rights. As an employee of a company or organization, they sign away some of their first amendment rights.

I also believe that as a student-athlete, they need to focus on academics. Yes, they are employees of a multimillion dollar organization, but they are also college students and I think that adding a dollar amount incentive will only discourage them from their school work and further take away from the fact that they are amateurs.

These student-athletes have their whole professional career to have money be the source of their motivation. And after all, the NCAA is about amateur sports and paying these athletes will take away from that amateur aspect of it.

While this argument seems like a conversation that any fan of sports can and will have an opinion about, this time the argument sparked the attention of NBA players in particular.

In February, Lebron James decided to place his opinions into the mix as well, causing a bit of an uproar and involving way more people than needed to be involved if you ask me. In my opinion, NBA players should stay out of the spotlight when concerning amateur players.

According to Sporting News, James said in an interview, “‘Obviously, I’ve never been a part of it, so I don’t know all the ins and outs about it,’ James said, and if only he’d quit there. ‘But kids getting paid is nothing new under the sun. You’ve all seen ‘Blue Chips.’ It’s a real movie, seriously … The NCAA is corrupt. We know that. Sorry. It’s going to make headlines, but it’s corrupt.’ ”

The corruption comes into play with millions of dollars being paid to these amateur players under the table. This kind of agreement between the players and these companies has formed a betrayal in the image of the NCAA.

NBA players getting involved has only stirred the pot more for the NCAA. I am positive that the NCAA will make the choice that will benefit their organization and their reputation.

I mean, you know what they say ‘In like a lion, out like a lamb.” Hopefully the month of March can play out just like this for the NCAA after this “lion” of a mess.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you think student-athletes should be paid? Would them getting paid take away from their amateur qualities? Is it fair that they aren’t paid? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Freedom of Speech, or corporate speech?

Written by: Angela Radesic

The NCAA is frequently in the middle of some pretty heated debates concerning their players and the game itself. Today I want to talk about one controversy that happened a while back.

In June of 2017, NCAA kicker for the University of Central Florida, Donald De La Haye was forced to choose between two of his favorite hobbies, making YouTube videos and kicking for UCF. It came to the UCF’s attention in early June that De La Haye may have been in some hot water concerning his video blog channel and NCAA regulations.

De La Haye created his YouTube channel to talk about his life as a UCF kicker and full-time college student. In a New York Times article, it was stated that, “N.C.A.A. rules prohibit student-athletes from profiting from their likeness or status as student-athletes because doing so violates principles of amateurism.”

The problem comes into play when De La Haye began making money off the ads that were displaying on his YouTube channel. With his YouTube channel being about his life as a student and UCF kicker, the income he was making from ad revenue was on behalf of his “likeness” or his name.

I agree with the actions taken by both the NCAA and UCF to make De La Haye choose between UCF and his YouTube career, but I see where the uproar came from. Today’s society revolves around technology, whether that be video, audio or social media. While YouTube and video blogging (vlogging) is all the hype right now, the NCAA has restrictions against making a profit off of a player’s own name. All of these rules are made clear to each player as they sign on to be an ‘employee’ of the NCAA.



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For De La Haye and his fans, this choice he was being forced to make was an issue with First Amendment rights which I get, BUT he knew the rules signing on to, and he made the choice to sign taking away all of his chances to make a profit off of his name as an amateur sports player.

Throughout my public relations law classes, we are taught that corporate speech is when you work for a corporation you are viewed as a “fictitious citizen” with certain first and fourteenth amendment rights. De La Haye represents both the NCAA and UCF, and as an “employee” for these organizations there are strict regulations concerning making a profit off of his or her own name. Creating a YouTube channel to vlog about your life as a student and NCAA player fits into these categories and puts De La Haye in the wrong.

The NCAA does not make these regulations for their own good, but rather to stay true to their organization’s reason for founding. The NCAA is all about amateur sports, and if players were to make a profit off of their name and start receiving funds because of it, the NCAA would not be about the sports itself anymore, but rather about the money and publicity of their players.

In this USA Today article it states, “The problem here is that the NCAA has built an entire brand on the theme that ‘most of us will go pro in something other than sports.’ And yet, when someone has the audacity to get a head start on that while in college, we have to strain it through so many bylaws and compliance interpretations that a kid at the end of a roster in the American Athletic Conference has to make a choice between his football scholarship and his slightly lucrative hobby.”

While this statement is true speaking in terms of what the NCAA stands for in its brand, the NCAA itself never made the first move to take action in this case, UCF did. Also, the school and the NCAA never required De La Haye to delete his account all together, just to stop accepting a monetary amount for his success. In the end, De La Haye chose Youtube over his NCAA kicking career.

Overall, I think this situation was resolved without too big of an uproar, but I am standing with UCF on this one because after all, he agreed to the terms of the contract when signing.

What do you think about this situation? Do you think the NCAA and UCF were right about their judgement? Do you think De La Haye should be able to make a profit off of his own name? Let me know in the comments below!