I’ll admit I don’t know that much about Ed O’Bannon, and for all I know, he’s a pretty nice guy who’s a loving husband and father and devotes his free time to incredibly admirable causes.
With that said, I don’t think I’ll ever forgive the former basketball player for suing the NCAA a decade ago to fight for what I’ll happily admit is an admirable cause: allowing college athletes to get paid.
As you probably know, O’Bannon won the lawsuit and in turn assured that 2015’s installment of NCAA Football would be the last game in the franchise, and while people are doing what they can to give us our fix—including the team behind Madden—there’s no sign we’ll be treated to a new game any time in the near future.
The NCAA seems to enjoy dicking players over as much as humanly possible, but last month, they finally succumbed to pressure to allow student-athletes to be paid for their name and likeness when they announced they were forming an exploratory committee (an admittedly small step but a step nonetheless).
However, the game was really changed when a bill was recently passed in the California Senate that would finally allow college players in the state to get compensated (they wouldn’t get paid directly by the schools but could make money off of endorsement deals).
The bill is yet to be signed into law but it appears that the NCAA isn’t thrilled about the prospect of that happening.
According to USA Today, organization president Mike Emmert has decided to essentially blackmail the state by writing a letter in which he threatened to ban any universities in California from competing in championships if the bill becomes law because Emmert is kind of a dickhead.
Here’s what he had to say while issuing the ultimatum:
“We recognize all of the efforts that have been undertaken to develop this bill in the context of complex issues related to the current collegiate model that have been the subject of litigation and much national debate.
Nonetheless, when contrasted with current NCAA rules, as drafted the bill threatens to alter materially the principles of intercollegiate athletics and create local differences that would make it impossible to host fair national championships.
As a result, it likely would have a negative impact on the exact student-athletes it intends to assist.”
At this point, it seems like it’s a matter of when student-athletes will start to get paid as opposed to if but it’s good to see the NCAA is still as useless as a poop-flavored lollipop.