Yesterday marked NCAA President Mark Emmert’s turn on the stand for the Ed O’Bannon class-action antitrust suit against the NCAA. He stated, according to reports, that amateurs served as the heart of college athletics, and said that paying players would cause some schools to pull sports or refuse to play other schools that do pay. He went on to claim that competition would be undermined in a system where some conferences offer payment for an athlete’s name and likeness while others do not and that schools would stockpile players and make competition even more challenging for smaller schools.
“To convert college sports into professional sports would be tantamount to converting it into minor league sports,” Emmert said. “And we know that in the U.S. minor league sports aren’t very successful either for fan support or for the fan experience.”