NCAA President Baker Wants Congress To Regulate College Sports

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USF quarterback Byrum Brown (17) throws a pass against Alabama during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday in Tampa (AP Photo).

Help, we need someone. 

All Charlie Baker wants for Christmas is Congress to be a partner in regulating college sports. The NCAA president Baker sent a letter to members of Congress asking for help in keeping college sports from spiraling out of control. In the letter, Baker proposed creating a new subdivision for the wealthiest athletic departments to pay their athletes through an “enhanced educational trust fund”. The colleges will throw at least $30,000 per year to an undetermined number of male and female athletes. It is a word substitution because Baker wants to avoid having athletes classified as employees of their schools. It seems that Baker has finally acknowledged that so-called student-athletes need to be paid by the colleges and universities. But there is a problem.

Student-athletes can now get paid through a third party. The problem is that various states have laws governing the payments and the laws vary across the country. Baker, the former Republican Massachusetts Governor, is literally begging a dysfunctional United States Congress to come up with a federal law regulating the third-party payments to the student-athletes because if Congress does nothing college sports is in peril. The fear, student-athletes could become school employees and that would take away the veneer that these performers are playing for the love of their game and are just hired hands. But schools are aligning themselves in various conference configurations in order to get the most television and video streaming money possible. Baker claimed that student-athletes don’t want to be school employees and if Congress did not act, Division II and Division III schools would drop sports. The student-athlete label was an invention to deny athletes getting scholarships were really employees. It was an effort to deny benefits to students playing sports for a school.

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This is a headshot of NCAA president Charlie Baker