Sporticast: Deshaun Watson Punishment Talks, NIL Hits One-Year Mark

·1 min read

On the latest Sporticast episode, hosts Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams discuss some of the biggest sports business stories of the week, including the latest in the ongoing Deshaun Watson saga.

The Cleveland Browns quarterback, who recently signed the largest guaranteed contract in NFL history, is awaiting punishment from the league after dozens of women accused him of various forms of misconduct (Watson has denied wrongdoing and settled at least 20 of the lawsuits). It’s the first major test of the NFL’s new discipline process, in which the initial suspension comes from a neutral disciplinary officer.

Watson, whose camp includes notable sports lawyer Jeffrey Kessler, is likely to argue that a handful of NFL owners have faced limited punishment following accusations of abuse or misconduct. The NFL is likely to argue that other players in the league have faced many-game suspensions for similar allegations of misconduct.

The hosts also discuss the NBA’s latest push into video games—a partnership with Niantic, which is developing an augmented reality NBA game in the mold of its smash hit Pokémon Go. As it was did with NFTs via NBA Top Shot, the NBA is choosing to be an early sports trailblazer in a new form of fan engagement.

Lastly, the hosts discuss the one-year anniversary of the start of the NIL era in college sports. On July 1, 2021, NCAA athletes gained a host of new marketing rights that will likely forever change the billion-dollar business of college sports.

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