Entrepreneurs with that inventive genius will discover inspiration anyplace and everywhere they look. But what Vaccaro stated in 2001 was correct then, and it’s true now: corporations offer you income so they can profit from the glory of college athletes, and the universities grab it. In 2010, despite the faltering economy, a single college athletic league, the football-crazed Southeastern Conference (SEC), became the very first to crack the billion-dollar barrier in athletic receipts.
He merely asked the federal court to strike down an NCAA rule, dating to 1973, that prohibited colleges and universities from providing any athletic scholarship longer than a one-year commitment, to be renewed or not, unilaterally, by the school—which in practice signifies that coaches get to decide each and every year whose scholarships to renew or cancel.
The Knight Foundation, a nonprofit that requires an interest in college athletics as part of its concern with civic life, had tasked them with saving college sports from runaway commercialism as embodied by the likes of Vaccaro, who, considering that signing his pioneering shoe contract with Michael Jordan in 1984, had constructed sponsorship empires successively at Nike, Adidas, and Reebok.
About 1 percent of NCAA men’s basketball players and two percent of NCAA football players are drafted by NBA or NFL teams,” stated the 2001 report, basing its figures on a evaluation of the preceding 10 years, and just becoming drafted is no assurance of a successful professional career.” Warning that the odds against skilled athletic achievement are astronomically higher,” the Knight Commission counsels college athletes to steer clear of a rude surprise” and to stick to standard research.
Considering that Paxton was planning to go back to school and not accept their draft provide, the Blue Jays no longer had any incentive to safeguard him—indeed, they had each incentive to turn him in. The Blue Jays’ president, by telling reporters that Boras had negotiated on Paxton’s behalf, demonstrated to future recruits and other teams that they could use the NCAA’s rules to punish college players who wasted their draft picks by returning to college.