Pay for Play: New Orleans attorney weighs in on NCAA stance

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (WVLA/WGMB) — The debate surrounding whether college athletes should be paid remains a hot button issue. In October, California passed the “Fair Play to Pay Act.” The law allows college players in California to sign endorsement deals and hire agents. By the end of October, the NCAA Board of Governors announced they are making new rules to allow students to earn compensation, details of which are still unclear.

Fritz Metzinger, attorney at Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann in New Orleans, has been following the issue for several years. Metzinger sat down with FOX 44’s Kelly Anne Beile to discuss what has happened in the courtrooms and what this could mean for the future of college athletics. In his opinion, the bottom line is that anyone calling the announcement a “great victory for players” or a “transformative event,” is ‘putting the cart before the horse.’

On Thursday, Memphis basketball star James Wiseman, the No. 1 recruit at the beginning of the season, withdrew his lawsuit against the NCAA and is in the process of resolving his eligibility. The suit stemmed from an approximately $11,500 payment made by booster (now head MBB coach) Penny Hardaway to Wiseman’s mother, Donzaleigh Artis, in the summer of 2017. That payment was used to supplement the family’s move to Memphis.

Since the withdrawal of the lawsuit, Memphis announced that it has ruled Wiseman ineligible. The school is now applying for reinstatement and will withhold Wiseman from competition until further notice.

Metzinger commented on the issues surrounding Wiseman’s case while in the FOX 44 studio, of which the full interview can be seen in the above video.

Metzinger is a respected expert in the field having authored an article titled, For the Love of the Frame: How Behavioral Economics Helps Explain the NCAA Grant-in-Aid Cap’s Perplexing Antitrust Vitality for the Tulane Law Review.

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