College Athletics

‘College Athletics’

Since an ancient College Athletics convention is on the verge of extinction after a century, and student-athletes are ready for a complete cross-country journey, the responsible lawyer for these drastic changes says he’s not at all pleased with it.

College Athletics

Andrew Quotes, that lawyer, who had persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court in 1984 to allow universities to maximize football revenue, causing the proliferation of televised money grabs and today’s widespread turmoil, now looks back with regret at the historic case he successfully argued.

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Quotes recently told NCA News regarding his role on the Board of Regents of the NC-AAE vs. University of Oklahoma, “I think I killed college football on the entire board because I think the case did that.”

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Quotes’ clients, stating that the governing body of intercollegiate athletics cannot impose restrictions on schools and their conferences’ commercial rights.

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Now, the once-stable world of college football has transformed into a nearly non-stop sweepstakes, with universities continuously switching conference affiliations in search of more lucrative TV deals. As a result, the Pac-12, a 108-year-old conference, will contract to four schools and likely dissolve entirely.

Due to these massive deals, the value of television college football games has skyrocketed in recent decades, primarily impacting the value of student-athletes who regularly travel thousands of miles for regular-season games, often within a short plane or bus ride.

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A “totally disastrous”

At the start of this week, Notre Dame’s Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick called the conference realignment an “absolute disaster.”

He told “The Dan Patrick Show” on Wednesday, “I think what’s lost in this is the focus on the student-athlete and what’s best for them, and the way decisions are made in this regard is completely lost.” “I’m more a proponent of more regional scheduling. I think it makes a lot of sense.”

While the 1984 case was related to football on TV, the practical impacts are felt across all sports — imposing a similar or even greater burden of long travel on non-revenue and Olympic sport athletes.

Oregon softball player Paige Sinek recently triumphed in embracing the new reality of distant convention sports, a cross-country trip she hadn’t signed up for when she committed to Dartmouth.

Sinek recently shared on the X platform, “I committed to play in a high-level softball convention where my parents could come watch my games because it was close to home.” “It’s unfortunate to hear that I will be playing at senior year for Rutgers and other East Coast schools.”

“Just hoping all the student-athletes get taken care of in terms of all the travel, time zone changes, and hours on the road that we will experience weekly!” she wrote in another post.

Marshall University announcer Ben Westphal, the voice of Thundering Herd soccer, volleyball, baseball, and softball, said decision-makers of non-revenue sports aren’t thinking enough about the athletes bearing the brunt of long travel.

Starting his first academic year in the Conference USA, Westphal, based in New Orleans, is part of a league now sprawled as far west as San Marcos, Texas.

Westphal wrote on X, “This is much more than money, and the redistricting affects not only football and basketball. It affects everyone, especially athletes. It’s sad to see what’s happening to college athletics.”

The pay-to-play path was paved by Quotes and his clients, leading to 24/7 football and conference instability on TV. An array of conference realignments emerged that maximized marketing potential but thoroughly confused cartographers.

Unknown Fact

The most notable seismic shift was announced 13 months ago when both the AAC and UIC confirmed they would join the 14-school (soon to be 18) Big Ten in Rosemont, Illinois, in 2024.

The AAC and UIC’s game-changing swap emerged as a tug of war that has potentially undone the Pac-12’s 2024-25 Big Ten swap, shifting the century-old PAC-12 with Oregon and Washington to Oregon and Washington following their LA counterparts. Likely has to be destroyed. This hot summer, Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, and Colorado announced that they were leaving PAC-12 and will join Big 12 after a year.

The remaining four PAC-12 schools – California, Stanford, Washington State, and Oregon State – are now in limbo due to the likely demise of their league, which was launched in 1915 by founding members California, Washington, Oregon, and then-Oregon State as the PCC, or Pacific Coast Conference. Oregon Agriculture College (now Oregon State).

It’s a surprising new reality for college sports enthusiasts that the NCAA can now play several games with Penn State while Stanford might rarely be seen on the field. Or that the historic rivalry between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State could fade into obscurity.

At 88 years old, a person who is still studying law at the University of Oklahoma, their alma mater, and who served as the mayor of Oklahoma City from 1983 to 1987, remarked, “You feel bad about how far it has come. But I don’t think anyone could have predicted what would happen.”

This individual, let’s call them “Quotes,” mentioned that their side, which included co-defendants from the University of Georgia, wanted to negotiate outside of court with the NCAA, granting television negotiation rights to the Central College Athletic Association. However, after a high court decision, all major financial decisions were handed over to conferences and schools, leading to substantial upcoming changes. The NCAA didn’t respond to a request for comments from NBC News on Friday.

Even after the legal action involving Oklahoma/Georgia failed, Professor Thompson from Syracuse University stated that the drive for more high-profile, cross-conference matchups was always on the table.

Thompson humorously commented, “I’ll go along with his [Quotes’] claim that he, by debating that case and winning it, ruined college football.” “But I’ll also say, if he wasn’t there to ruin it, there would’ve been a line of plenty of other people waiting to do it.”

Denis Crawford, a historian of College Football Hall of Fame, agreed that change in the game’s form is inevitable without caring about power struggles.

Crawford said, “If you look at the expansiveness of college football, you’ll always see it evolving.” “Change will continue to be inevitable, and whether you see it as good or bad, its impact will be felt by individual consumers.”

In 1984, the court delivered a 7-2 verdict in favor of Oklahoma and Georgia with Justice Byron “Whizzer” White and William Rehnquist dissenting.Quotes recalled that a few months after the decision, they met White during a social event. White, a former college football star in Colorado and an associate justice, had called them prophetic words.

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