Dennis Dodd: ‘Not Going To Turn Off The Public’

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(Credit: Brett Deering/Getty Images)

(Credit: Brett Deering/Getty Images)

It’s been less than a week since U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled against the NCAA in the Ed O’Bannon case, and already people are claiming the decision conflicts with Title IX.

It doesn’t.

“You have to remember: The scope of the lawsuit was narrow,” college football writer Dennis Dodd said on The John Feinstein Show. “It was men’s basketball and football. It wasn’t Claudia Wilken’s charge to even consider Title IX. She was ruling on the merits of the suit. Yes, they will have to consider Title IX in distributing this money if and when it comes about for name, image and likeness – and they will. It’s a federal law. It’ll happen. It’s not even a discussion point. That’s why these ADs and (conference) commissioners are bunkered down right now trying to figure it out.”

The point is this: If Skylar Diggins is a big enough star at Notre Dame and her likeness is used in some way, she will benefit.

“She will get the money, that’s right,” Dodd said. “Maybe an equestrian person might not get it. There’s not much (marketing) value there for that. But that’s not the point. The point is, they will be taken care of. They’ve got lawyers and economists at these schools to figure out how much (it’s) going to take to possibly compensate these 450 athletes that (they’ve) paid to go to school.”

While the NCAA will appeal Wilken’s decision, John Feinstein wonders if that’s wise. After all, the NCAA got off relatively easy, right? Why not just go home, lick your wounds and be glad you dodged a bullet?

“Well, the appeal is a default setting. It’s a legal setting,” Dodd said. “I don’t know the wisdom of it, but they had to do it. The decision was kind of a narrow decision. I saw a lot of people write that it was an NCAA win, but it wasn’t a win. They changed the philosophical model of the collegiate amateur model. It’s no longer a collegiate model anymore.”

Contrary to what many are arguing, however, Wilken’s ruling will have no bearing on the number of fans who flock to stadiums and television sets every Saturday.

“They don’t care if Johnny Manziel is getting $20,000 for his autograph and a trust fund and the guy he’s throwing to is getting a thousand,” Dodd said. “That was the middle ground in this. The NCAA could have settled for probably a lot less money in saving their reputation a little bit, but they didn’t. No, this is not going to turn off the public.”

It’s also worth noting that the O’Bannon side could appeal the decision as well. They got some of what they wanted, but not everything.

“This may end up in the Supreme Court and the plaintiffs may sue, but that’s not the point,” Dodd said. “The point is, the seal has been broken. There’s seven lawsuits lining up behind this that go way beyond O’Bannon. The Jeffrey Kessler lawsuit says uncap everything; let them earn what they’re worth. That’s what (the NCAA is) really concerned about. If that somehow gets through, we’re talking about semi-pro sports – for the good or the bad of it. That’s what they’re worried about now. And (Wilken is) overseeing those trials, by the way.”

Moving onto the field, Dodd finds it deplorable that Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops is trying to take advantage of a technicality that would allow Dorial Green-Beckham, a Missouri transfer, to play in 2014 without sitting out a year. Stoops is invoking the “run-off” waiver, claiming that Green-Beckham losing his roster spot at Mizzou was out of his control.

“There’s so many layers to this,” Dodd said. “I have no problem with Dorial Green-Beckham transferring anywhere. I have a little bit of a problem with him transferring to Oklahoma just because Bob Stoops has a laudable track record for discipline and there’s an allegation of assaulting a woman. He was not charged. Let’s be fair. What I have a problem with is Oklahoma going to the wall for – and the NCAA considering – him being eligible right away with this guideline. It’s not a rule. It’s a guideline. It’s a run-off rule. It’s meant for schools that over-sign players and then run guys off because they need the scholarships. It’s not meant for guys to get by on technicalities (just) because he wasn’t charged and we can’t say there was discipline.”

Green-Beckham has been arrested twice for marijuana and has been investigated for burglary. Mizzou athletic director Mike Alden said Green-Beckham’s actions were inappropriate and detrimental to the program.

“If that’s not a criticism of his conduct, I don’t know what is,” Dodd said. “So this is a way, way right turn around the rules – and it’s not right.”

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