By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If you’ve started college as an NCAA athlete with images of being the next Doug Flutie, you could be right in at least one way.
There’s no fan of college football who hasn’t seen the footage of Flutie’s Miracle in Miami Hail Mary pass. And for all those highlight reels, Flutie has been highly praised – but not paid. When he agreed to play college football, the NCAA forms he signed gave them the right “to use your name or picture to generally promote NCAA championships or other NCAA events, activities or programs.” And guess what? If you’re thinking of playing college sports, you’ll agree to the same deal, unless a lawsuit now making its way through the courts succeeds.
The antitrust lawsuit has been filed by a class of athletes trying to prove that the NCAA and colleges conspired to fix the compensation for the use of the athlete’s likeness at zero dollars to the athlete.
They say it’s a violation of antitrust laws and they want to take a look at the books of NCAA to see how much NCAA has profited from the use of the images, rebroadcasts, television rights, and so on.
It’s a multibillion dollar industry. And from all that money, the college athlete makes nothing. This lawsuit could be a game changer if the athletes win, but for now, they’ll play for the love of the game, not the lure of any money.