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Professor Charles Grantham Featured in Harvard Journal of Sports & Entertainment Law, and Media Across the Nation  

Charles Grantham 320 picProfessor Charles Grantham, former executive director of the National Basketball Players Association and director of the Center for Sport Management in the Stillman School of Business, was featured in the Harvard Journal of Sports & Entertainment Law as well as in media throughout the country, including USA Today; Sports Business Journal Daily; Brigham Young University radio"s "The Lisa Show"; and on "The Zone," a leading CBS Sports talk radio affiliate in Miami.

In the Harvard Journal of Sports & Entertainment Law, Professor Grantham published "It is Time to Share Revenue with Collegiate Athletes." The journal notes that Grantham was the "first Executive Vice President of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) from 1978 to 1988 and the NBPA"s first Executive Director from 1988 to 1995, where he was one of the architects of the NBA/NBPA revenue-sharing business model, the first in professional sports."

Regarding revenue sharing with collegiate athletes, Grantham argues that "in order to truly protect players, lawmakers need to understand how, and to what extent, players are being exploited, and this information is easily obscured by special interests. The current push, for example, surrounding name, image and likeness, from the NCAA, is to grant players individual access to "Name, Image and Likeness." This is a negotiating tactic, and will do nothing to help those who most need it. Players need collective access to "Name, Image and Likeness.'"

To that end, Professor Grantham offers revenue sharing as the basis from which to equitably proceed. He concludes,

Revenue sharing can be accomplished as a remedy to the NCAA and its conferences" dispute with the students regarding names, images, and likenesses. The NCAA and its conferences use their group, player, and university likenesses to acquire enormous rights fees from their broadcast partners. They can resolve the dispute as we have at the professional level: provide a guaranteed percentage of revenue to the student-athletes; however, in this case, the compensation would be in the form of individual trust funds: each athlete, would be entitled to the trust for the use of his likeness. It would only be accessible upon graduation. The value would be equal for all athletes based on revenue. It would be an incentive for athletes to complete their education and would act as a quality-of-life benefit to include continued medical insurance for latent injury.

The point is that far too many student-athletes in big power conferences leave colleges with nothing: no degree and no job on the professional court, field, or anywhere else in the sports industry. Many, as young Black athletes, are denied the right to set the price for their talent, not just by the NCAA, but by public sentiment. That this issue is just now coming to light after decades is an expression of exactly how entrenched racism is, and has been, in collegiate sports.

For USA Today, Professor Grantham spoke about the origin of activism among athletes on the "Weekly Pulse." In the video interview he notes that there are a long line of Black athletes that have contributed to the cause of justice, some by speaking out (such as Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), but others such as Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens and Kurt Flood by historically taking actions that put themselves in jeopardy for the greater good. Regarding the current activism of athletes and the perils of "a comfortable silence," he noted that "The challenge today, as I see it, is that the platforms that the players are using now need a boost from the political power and strength of those who own teams. And that silence that I see is annoying. And that silence is really what is preventing the two groups from getting together."

The interview with USA Today, "Understanding the Origins of Athletes Activism" starts at 3:34 of the video.

For Sports Business Journal Daily, Professor Grantham engaged in a two part interview entitled "Charles Grantham On The Evolution Of NBA Labor Relations: Q&A Part I" and "Charles Grantham On Social Activism In The NBA: Q&A Part II." 

For BYU Radio, Grantham appeared on "The Lisa Show," and spoke about "How Racism Affects the NBA, and What Is Being Done to Make a Change."

On the CBS Sports Radio Miami affiliate "The Zone," Professor Grantham appeared on "The Defo Show" and spoke about labor negotiations in major league sports, and how the revenue sharing model can represent "common ground" for players and owners (the interview starts at 23:00). 

Harvard Journal of Sports & Entertainment Law, "It is Time to Share Revenue with Collegiate Athletes." 

Categories: Business

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