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Here are some 2024 College Sports Industry Predictions:

NIL? Legal developments? Here are some things to look for:

Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.

Since I launched this thing way back in 2020, I’ve filed a New Year’s Prediction post. If you want to see what I predicted for 2023…we can all point and laugh here. I was very wrong about the Pac-12 and about some of my realignment projections, but i think I deserve at least partial credit for the legal and NIL stuff. I didn’t do much better in 2022.

That’s fine. This is for fun. If I actually had a working crystal ball, this newsletter would be called “a lengthy and in-depth analysis of Nick Saban’s coaching tenure, since he just retired.” I’d certainly charge more than eight bucks for the newsletter. But I do know enough to make a few educated guesses about some industry trends.

Let’s start with some political and legal predictions:

  • Despite a valiant effort by the lobbying teams of the NCAA and various power conferences, Congress is unable to pass an NIL or college sports reform bill in 2024. The biggest reason for this isn’t so much a lack of commonality among lawmakers as it is simply a function of the legislative calendar. There might have been a deal to be had if the NCAA pushed for something less expansive earlier in 2023, but in an election year, and with leadership instability in the US House, there simply isn’t enough time before all but the absolutely most essential legislative activity stops.

  • The legal battles won’t end here, but in 2024, I think the NCAA will be dealt early losses in both the NLRB investigation into the employment status of USC athletes, and in Johnson V NCAA. The NCAA’s appeals in both will stretch into 2025, but early decisions will encourage more labor organization efforts, more class-action lawsuits, and a deeper sense of urgency in Indianapolis and Washington D.C. to reach a more permanent solution before the Federal Court system does.

  • House v NCAA isn’t scheduled to go to trial until 2025, but after a string of legal setbacks and pressure from membership, I think the NCAA will look to settle the case in 2024. The big legal drama will then focus on whose money is used to fund the significant settlement. Cash on hand in the NCAA’s coffers likely won’t be sufficient, and low-major D-I members won’t want to spend their own money on the legal bills mostly incurred by power conference programs. Everybody will want to protect their own athletic revenues, and especially their endowments. That could get very messy.

  • The IRS will stubbornly refuse to offer additional clarifications or investigations into the non-profit status of many NIL collectives, despite an earlier memo (and statements from many tax professors) suggesting NIL activity should not be considered tax-exempt. By the time anybody from the beleaguered agency is ready to start a full-fledged investigation, the players will have graduated, trophies awarded, and many collective operators long gone.

NIL/Player Compensation tyle predictions:

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