Oct 11th, 2022 |
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.
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.