Oct 29, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 459 words, 2-minute read.

Situational awareness: The impeachment rules have arrived. Read them here.

1 big thing: California forces the NCAA's hand

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The dam has officially cracked on college athletes benefiting from their own likenesses — now the question is how much ground the NCAA is actually willing to give.

Why it matters: California's landmark law, plus the threat of other states passing their own, has succeeded in forcing the NCAA to back away from its nuclear threats around player benefits.

  • The group's board of governors voted today to consider letting players benefit from their own names, images and likenesses.
  • What they're saying: Board chair Michael V. Drake said in a statement, "We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes."

Between the lines: Exactly what the NCAA will be giving up is far from clear, as Bloomberg helpfully notes.

  • The "NCAA stopped short of saying athletes would actually get paid."
  • "[G]etting paid to play isn’t on the table."
  • “The board of governors voted to allow players to ‘benefit’ from use of their name, image and likeness,” said NCAA players association executive director Ramogi Huma. “This is not a green light to receive ‘compensation.’"

The big picture: The NCAA is surrendering, Axios Sports editor Kendall Baker emails.

  • This was always going to happen. It was just a matter of when and how messy it was going to get with various states involved.

What to watch: As details are ironed out, expect a battle over control of college athletes’ licensing rights, Kendall tells me.

  • The NFLPA and NCPA (National College Players Association) signed a partnership yesterday.
  • The deal directly undercuts the NCAA and could provide a rubric for who goes to market with the licensing rights for athletes in major sports.
Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director for European Affairs at the National Security Council, arrives at the Capitol to testify in the impeachment inquiry against President Trump.

2. What you missed
  1. Jared Kushner told Axios contributor Barak Ravid during an exclusive interview with Israel's Channel 13 News that many of his efforts since he started working at the White House were focused on "cleaning up the messes that Vice President Biden left behind." Go deeper.
  2. Kushner also claimed Trump's "record of accomplishments is unimpeachable" — and that "he hasn't done anything wrong." Video.
  3. Murray Energy has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It's the country's largest privately held coal company and third largest U.S. coal producer. Go deeper.
  4. A federal judge has temporarily halted Alabama's abortion ban from taking effect on Nov. 15. Go deeper.
3. 1 🛒 thing

Photo: Cyrus McCrimmon/Denver Post/Getty Images

Delivery couriers have taken over supermarkets, as the WSJ recounts in a memorable story headlined: "Feel Like You’re the Only One at Whole Foods Buying Your Own Groceries? Possibly."

The big picture: "Since Amazon.com Inc. bought the natural grocer in 2017, Whole Foods stores have been flooded with what the company calls Prime Now shoppers, under pressure to accurately fill grocery orders for customers to arrive in as little as an hour."

  • "As these hired shoppers dash through aisles and bang carts into shelves of quinoa, there is less room for the niceties that many customers felt justified the chain’s 'whole paycheck' reputation for high prices."

Worthy of your time (subscription)

Mike Allen