the BigAmateurism monologues

A series of events over the last 18 months—some unforeseeable—have created a perfect storm that will change college sports forever. The NCAA's bait an…
Oct 11th, 2022 | 1:14:39

135: The Power 5’s Secret Congressional Playbook

The Power 5 are now in overdrive in their congressional campaign to eliminate the athletes’ rights movement. I will be publishing episodes over the next few weeks that synthesize recent evidence of a massive push by the Power 5 for the same federal protections and immunities (preemption of state laws, federal and state antitrust immunity, and a declaration that athletes can’t be employees) they sought in 2019, 2020, and 2021. The Power 5 campaign is sophisticated and well-organized. As a prelude to my congressional analysis, I am reprising for this an episode (36) I published on July 7th, 2021, titled “Are Power 5 Conferences Prepping for New and Improved Senate Campaign?” Set forth below is my original description of that episode. Episode 36: With the Senate in recess until September, it is safe to assume that the Power 5 are reframing their strategy in Congress. This episode reflects on how the Power 5 planned to pursue and disguise their interests in the Senate in late 2019 and into 2020. Through secret discussions in December 2019, Power 5 commissioners, presidents, and chancellors orchestrated a congressional influence campaign independent of the NCAA national office and Mark Emmert. In documents memorializing their stealth campaign, the Power 5 laid the framework for asserting their interests in the Senate under the NCAA banner. The execution of their plan was a fiasco and exposed the lack of leadership within the NCAA national office and the Power 5 conference commissioners’ offices. The Power 5 stressed the appearance of unity among all in-system stakeholders, particularly between the Power 5 and the NCAA. The NCAA’s/Power 5’s failure to achieve antitrust immunity, preemption of state laws, or the non-employee status of athletes has undermined BigAmateurism’s credibility in Congress and public opinion. How will the Power 5 retool its strategy in Congress? The Senate Commerce Committee will likely decide the future of college sports in the next congressional session. Expect the Power 5 to lead the charge to reassert their interests and protect their revenue streams.