Hunter Dickinson of Michigan More join the campaign calling for greater revenue sharing with athletes

Ten current college athletes have signed on to a public campaign calling for a more equitable allocation of athletic department revenue. Athletes are asking for a share of the revenue their teams earn—divided equally among all athletes on the team—as well as an expansion of the scholarships to six years, protecting existing freedoms from participation by Congress and the Ivy Athletes Scholarship Foundation. Here’s what you need to know.

  • The effort is being led by the National College Players Association, which has supported public campaigns in the past such as #NotNCAAProperty, in which athletes pushed for NIL rights and reform during March Madness in the spring of 2021.
  • This campaign focuses on restrictions limiting direct payment from schools and conferences to athletes, as well as possible congressional involvement in NIL regulations that would add restrictions around the opportunities athletes are allowed to pursue. The campaign will use the hashtag “FairRevShare” on social media.
  • Basketball player Hunter Dickinson and basketball player Pete Jamarius Burton will each wear an “S” for “share” written on their hand when their teams play the other in the men’s basketball game Wednesday night. Some of their peers will also wear an “S” during games.

what are they saying

“The S on our hands is a call for economic freedom and justice,” Dickinson said in a statement. “I may be gone before change happens, but I want to do my part to defend the freedoms of young athletes and future generations. It’s long overdue for a fair share of the revenue.”

How did we get here?

College sports have reached an inflection point, as they face outside pressure from Congress, the courts, and the National Labor Relations Board, any of which could radically reshape the financial model that underpins collegiate athletics. Do athletes end up as employees? Will conferences and/or schools have to share revenue with them? No one knows exactly what will happen, or which domino to fall will be the one that introduces a new economic reality.

The NCPA is an organization that has tried for years to put pressure on the NCAA and the system as a whole. Last month, the NCPA announced that it had filed a complaint with the US Department of Justice against the NCAA for illegally restricting college athletes’ compensation. CEO Ramoji Homma has been involved in other efforts to recruit players for teamwork, including Northwestern’s failed union effort in 2015.

The economic climate surrounding college sports has changed dramatically in the past decade or so, as salaries for coaches have grown exponentially and athletes themselves have spoken more about power imbalances within the industry. The US Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in the June 2021 decision that the NCAA cannot determine the academic merits of athletes. But the ruling itself, as well as a scathing favorable opinion written by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, indicates a willingness to tackle broader challenges to the university model. Now, high-level college officials are tracing the fallout from ongoing cases including Johnson v. NCAA and Housev. NCAAin addition to the Department of Justice’s complaint and efforts by the National Labor Relations Board to intervene regarding the status of sports personnel.

The pressure on the NCAA has never been greater, as the organization itself has tried to reform and decentralize some of its decisions to avoid antitrust issues. Athletes continue to speak out against the status quo, even though they have fallen short of organizing, unionizing, and/or striking. Auerbach

The significance of Dickinson’s involvement

Dickinson has a huge podium as a three-year starter and All-American returning. It is also an example of the way the NIL has transformed college basketball. Dickinson, a 7-foot-1 center from Alexandria, Virginia, tested the draft waters in the NBA after his freshman season and would likely play professionally if it weren’t for the NIL opportunities he got at Michigan. His involvement should give this revenue sharing campaign even greater reach.

Dickinson isn’t the first Michigan player to call for NCAA reforms. Forward Isaiah Livers took part in the notNCAAproperty hashtag campaign during the 2021 NCAA Tournament, and head football coach Jim Harbaugh said he supports sharing TV revenue with the players. – Meek

required reading

(Photo: Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)


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