Facing an onslaught of challenges to its long-held rules enforcing student amateurism, the National Collegiate Athletic Association is going pro in the lobbying arena. After hiring an outside firm, the NCAA has been doling out record amounts on K Street this year.
The association is responding to a string of cases that have placed student athlete compensation back on the table. On Monday, the association said it would appeal its latest defeat in a suit brought by retired professional basketball player and former college hoops star Ed O’Bannon. A federal court in Oakland ruled Friday that the NCAA couldn’t bar certain student athletes from receiving compensation for the promotional use of their names and images. In March, the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago inflicted the first major blow to the NCAA by ruling that Northwestern University football players had the right to unionize.
Soon after that, the association enlisted an all-star team to step up its advocacy efforts in Congress. In April, it hired outside lobbyists for the first time since 1998, recruiting Elizabeth Gore, Marc Lampkin and five other mainstays at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.Some data: