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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
The Fallacy by Mark Adkins is a non-fiction sports book that covers the controversial name, image, and likeness rights surrounding college athletes under the National Collegiate Athletic Association. As it were, under NCAA rules an intercollegiate athlete would be deemed ineligible for play if any form of payment were made to them for use of the name, image, or likeness [NIL]. This rule encompassed all aspects of a player's potential for income while playing for any college, going so far as not allowing the hiring of an agent to scout future prospects and draft inquiries. Coincidentally, the rules did not apply to the colleges and universities themselves, who have turned intercollegiate sporting events into lucrative franchises, selling merchandise and licensing products that run deep into the names, images, and likenesses of the players themselves.
I picked up The Fallacy with absolutely no idea how intercollegiate sports were regulated with the exception of knowing that players couldn't be paid. Mark Adkins unleashed a completely unexpected tsunami of information, detailing how players have been exploited for decades while the schools they play for hold all the cards. Some of the background provided by Adkins with case precedent were infuriating, while others are just heartbreaking. Players dying only for the widows to be denied compensation, an Ivy League law school priding itself on diversity while photos of black scholars are defaced, and the inequitable power of the NCAA, a multi-billion dollar per year association where none need be. Adkins has written a timely book that is worth a study. It's concise and well written with pages of legal precedent, real stories, and Adkin's own conclusions that I'm privileged to have read.