NCAA Against College Fantasy Football and Beer Ads

NC NighthawkAnalyst IAugust 8, 2008


Fantasy football has reached the collegiate level, and it appears there is little or nothing the NCAA can do about it, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"We are concerned and not pleased at the direction it has taken," NCAA president Myles Brand said Thursday.

A college football fantasy league—and the court ruling that made it possible—is forcing the NCAA to rewrite its bylaws forbidding the use of players' names for commercial purposes, Brand said.

The NCAA has a history of acting aggressively to prevent its athletes or outside entities from cashing in on use of an athlete's name or likeness. Even the EA Sports video games, licensed by the schools, were not allowed to use individual players' likenesses and names.

But the rules are changing after the U.S. Supreme Court this summer let stand a lower court ruling that players' names and statistics are public knowledge and free to be used by fantasy leagues. The court case involved Major League Baseball, but it had implications for the NCAA.

"Our bylaws are not consistent with the decision of the 8th Circuit [Court of Appeals]," Brand said, adding that the organization will have to update those bylaws to allow for wider use of an athlete's name.

"We are studying what our options might be," said University of Georgia President Michael Adams, who chairs the NCAA executive committee.

In another action, the executive committee rejected calls to ban beer advertisements from college sports broadcasts. More than 100 college presidents and athletic directors signed a letter requesting the ban, and the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse made a similar request.

Adams said the NCAA has a "very conservative" policy of limiting alcohol ads to one minute per hour and requiring the ads to include admonitions to drink responsibly, and only when of legal age. An advertising ban, he said, would be like Prohibition.

"We tried that one time, and that didn't seem to work very well," Adams said.

NCAA against college fantasy football, beer ads |