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The NCAA Paid $68 Million in Legal Fees Fighting to Keep Their Athletes Broke and Gave Themselves Raises While Their Money Dried Up

Years from now, when the Barstool Athletics head count is in the hundreds of thousands instead of the thousands it's grown to in just its first three weeks of existence, remember this time in our nation's history. Both what a pure good it is that college athletes have finally won some degree of financial freedom, and what got us to the point this fight was ever necessary. 

Mostly though, never, ever forget the insipid, pervasive, rapacious and utterly shameless greed from the ones in charge that preceded. It's been going on for over a hundred years. And like most unjustifiable systemic abuses of power, it was getting worse the longer it went on. 

There may never have been better examples of how the NCAA has been conducting its business than in this report that just came out:

Source -  NCAA president Mark Emmert made $2.9 million during the 2019-2020 fiscal year, a period when pandemic-related closures caused the organization's revenue to drop by more than 50%.

The organization brought in $521 million between Sept. 1, 2019, and Aug. 31, 2020, down from more than $1 billion in revenue the previous fiscal year, according to tax returns provided to ESPN Monday. ...

Emmert and other top officials at the NCAA reported a slight increase in pay during the year. Donald Remy, who was recently confirmed for a position in the Biden administration, made $1.7 million as the NCAA's chief operating officer during the 2019-20 year. Executive vice president Stan Wilcox made $1.3 million. 

The NCAA paid more than $68 million for legal counsel and $500,000 to lobbyists during a year in which its amateurism rules were under fire from both the judicial and legislative branches of government. An NCAA spokesperson said roughly half of the legal fees were related to an accrual in the recently decided NCAA v. Alston case.

The Supreme Court's unanimous ruling in the Alston case made clear that the NCAA was not exempt from antitrust law due to its academic underpinnings. The court's opinion has prompted many college sports leaders, including Emmert, to acknowledge that a significant change in the NCAA governance system may be necessary.

"A significant change in the NCAA governance system may be necessary?" Ya think? But then again, those are bold words coming from an organization that just pissed $68 million into the storm drain fighting to keep things exactly the way they are. 

And just to illustrate what they got for all that legal expertise, I'll let UNH law professor Michael McCann (full disclosure, he was a regular on my old terrestrial radio show and we're in the same documentary) provide the run down:

In other words, the NCAA's position was so indefensible that the team they gave almost 70 million buck to defend it were the 2016 Cleveland Browns (1-15)  in the lower courts and the 2017 Browns (0-16) in front of the Supreme Court. They got shut out in front of nine justices who can't agree on what a 16-word Amendment means or what pornography is. But they had no problem coming together on how wrong the NCAA has been all these decades. 

I repeat, just keep this in mind the next time you're watching college football and they run those self-serving promos with a diverse group of young scholars in lab coats looking at a beaker through goggles while the voiceover spews some high-minded rhetoric about the leaders of tomorrow having a positive impact on the future of our later generations with futurely tommorrowishness or some such bullshit. That it has never been about anything for these kleptocrats at the top of the organizational chart but getting themselves rich. And the one time they did actually face a financial crisis, with the big revenue sports canceling a tournament and shortening the seasons they did have and sacrifices were called for, they congratulated themselves on a job well done and cut themselves fat pay raises. 

How many lab coats, beakers and goggles do you think that $68 million or Mark Emmert's bump in pay could've paid for? More to the point, how many athletes could've helped their families through the economic collapse with the money that went to these empty suits? Especially the non-scholarship kids. But instead, Emmert fought to the death to make it so they can be kicked out of athletics for selling merch with their own bloody names on it. The fact he lost every battle in the war he conducted gives me hope our republic still has enough justice that it can survive. 

But enough about me on the matter. Let's hear from noted authori-tah Eric Cartman, in one of the most brilliant moments in his show's proud history of brilliant moments: