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College Sports Law Blog



The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: University of Georgia

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Tuesday, 16 December 2014 20:32

The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee”) recently issued its findings and found that the University of Georgia (“UGA”) committed major violations of NCAA legislation.   This case involves the head women's and men's swimming and diving coach's provision of an impermissible benefit to a men's student-athlete and that coach's failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance at UGA. The Committee considered the record, including the parties' submissions, presentations and information developed at the October 16, 2014, hearing. The Committee concluded that the head coach provided an impermissible benefit to a student-athlete in his program and failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance.

Read more... [The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: University of Georgia]
 

The Coaching Carousel Begins

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Wednesday, 03 December 2014 14:55

College football coaching jobs are opening right and left with some of the top programs in the country searching for new coaches.  The lawyers' role in today's coaching searches has certainly grown in recent years.  Lawyers are preparing clients for open jobs by creating marketing materials, working the phone lines, and providing coaches with information on institutions, involved individuals, and the locale of the institutions.  Then, if the coach is selected for and accepts the job, the lawyer is asked to negotiate the terms of agreement.  Coaching contracts have grown from handshake deals to extensive documents that require knowledge of contract law, tax law, intercollegiate athletics, NCAA and conference rules, and a plethora of other matters and areas of law.  In 2008, I drafted "There Are No Handshake Deals in College Coaching Contracts," which is an article that discusses the major topics addressed in coaching contracts including compensation, termination provisions, due process provisions, and other considerations.  This article provides a good overview of the matters to consider when negotiating a college coaching contract.

Read more... [The Coaching Carousel Begins]
 

The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: University of Alaska Fairbanks (Division I and Division II)

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 17:25

The University of Alaska Fairbanks (“UAF”) is a member of Division II of the NCAA and also sponsors Division I men’s ice hockey. As a result, this matter is a cross-divisional case. The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions and NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions (collectively “Committees”) recently issued their findings and found UAF committed violations of NCAA legislation. After the investigation concluded the case was submitted to the Committees through the summary disposition process, which is an alternative to a formal hearing before the Committees that may be utilized when the NCAA enforcement staff, the member institution, and involved individuals agree to the facts of an infractions case and that those facts constitute violations of NCAA legislation. UAF requested an expedited hearing to challenge some of the Committees’ proposed penalties.

Read more... [The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: University of Alaska Fairbanks (Division I and Division II)]
 

Leach v. James, ESPN, and Spaeth Communications: Amarillo Court of Appeals Affirms Dismissal

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 22:03

Current Washington State University head football coach Mike Leach (“Leach”) filed suit against Craig James, ESPN, and Spaeth Communications (collectively “Defendants”) alleging the Defendants “uttered falsehoods against him as they endeavored to terminate or otherwise interfere with his contractual relationship” with Texas Tech University (“Tech”).  This matter resulted from Leach ordering Craig James’ son, Adam James, to stand in a dark room during practice after suffering a concussion. Craig James became incensed and contacted Tech administrators and members of the board of regents to complain of Leach’s behavior. After an investigation and subsequent disagreements, Leach was terminated by Tech. Following his termination, Leach sued the Defendants and set forth claims for defamation, tortious interference with a contract, and civil conspiracy to tortuously interfere with his contract. The trial court dismissed his claims against the Defendants and the court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling.

Read more... [Leach v. James, ESPN, and Spaeth Communications: Amarillo Court of Appeals Affirms Dismissal]
 

The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Monday, 24 November 2014 22:47

The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee”) recently issued its findings and found that the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (“UAPB”) committed violations of NCAA legislation. After the investigation concluded the case was submitted to the Committee through the summary disposition process, which is an alternative to a formal hearing before the Committee that may be utilized when the NCAA enforcement staff, the member institution, and involved individuals agree to the facts of an infractions case and that those facts constitute violations of NCAA legislation. UAPB contested two of the penalties proposed by the Committee, thus an expedited hearing was as it relates to the penalties.

Read more... [The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff]
 

The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: Northeastern University

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Monday, 24 November 2014 22:14

The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee”) recently issued its findings and found that Northeastern University (“NU”) committed violations of NCAA legislation. After the investigation concluded the case was submitted to the Committee through the summary disposition process, which is an alternative to a formal hearing before the Committee that may be utilized when the NCAA enforcement staff, the member institution, and involved individuals agree to the facts of an infractions case and that those facts constitute violations of NCAA legislation.

Read more... [The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: Northeastern University]
 

Federal Judge Issues Injunction Barring New Jersey’s Latest Sports Betting Plan

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Monday, 24 November 2014 16:19

Late last Friday, U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp issued a permanent injunction prohibiting New Jersey from implementing its latest attempt to legalize sports betting. The NCAA and the major sports leagues (“Leagues”) were again successful in upholding the standards of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PAPSA”), a federal law signed by President George H.W. Bush that was designed to prevent athletes and coaches from purposely affecting the outcome of games. In short, Judge Shipp ruled states can repeal their prohibition on sports betting (following the Third Circuit decision indicating there is a way around PAPSA) and are permitted to “decide the exact contours” of how to prohibit sports betting within the confines of any given state. Judge Shipp further stated:

Read more... [Federal Judge Issues Injunction Barring New Jersey’s Latest Sports Betting Plan]
 

The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: Weber State University

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 20:01

The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee”) recently issued its findings and found that Weber State University (“WSU”) committed violations of NCAA legislation. The case involved academic fraud at WSU. It also involves a former developmental math instructor. WSU, the math instructor and the NCAA enforcement staff substantially agreed academic fraud violations occurred during spring 2013. Specifically, the parties agreed the math instructor completed online quizzes, tests and exams for five student-athletes, resulting in fraudulent academic credit. While the parties agreed the violations occurred, they disagreed over the appropriate violations level. The Committee considered the record including the parties' submissions, presentations and information developed at the September 12, 2014 hearing. The Committee concluded academic fraud occurred; however, the Committee did not conclude WSU failed to monitor.

Read more... [The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: Weber State University]
 

McAdoo v. UNC (again): Sues for Failing to Provide a Quality Education

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 21:29

Following Kenneth Wainstein’s report on classes offered by the Afro-American Studies department at the University of North Carolina (“UNC”), former football student-athlete Michael McAdoo (“McAdoo”) filed suit alleging that UNC failed to provide a quality education. McAdoo previously sued UNC and the NCAA for failing to reinstate him to play on the football team following the NCAA academic fraud investigation. McAdoo claims, during recruitment, UNC football coaches guaranteed he would be provided a good education. Specifically, McAdoo stated UNC coaches “enticed these football student-athletes to sign the agreements with promises of a legitimate UNC education.” Further, McAdoo claims he was funneled to a specific major because it worked with his football team responsibilities. McAdoo seeks to certify a class of more than 3,100 students and student-athletes who took part in fraudulent classes.

Read more... [McAdoo v. UNC (again): Sues for Failing to Provide a Quality Education]
 

Oklahoma State v. Wickline: Fight Over Play-Calling Duties

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Thursday, 23 October 2014 15:42

Joe Wickline, co-offensive coordinator at the University of Texas (“UT”), was recently sued by Oklahoma State University (“OSU”) and he, then, filed a countersuit. OSU, Wickline’s former employer of nine years, argues it is entitled to liquidated damages in the amount of $593,487.00 because Wickline breached his contract when exiting for UT. Under the terms of his contract with OSU, Wickline was permitted to leave OSU without penalty if he accepted an offensive coordinator job with “play-calling duties” or received a job in the National Football League. Charlie Strong, UT’s head football coach, also hired Shawn Watson to serve as co-offensive coordinator. OSU argues Watson is calling the offensive plays for UT, thus Wickline must meet the liquidated damages requirements of his contract. To the contrary, in his countersuit filed in Travis County (Austin, Texas), Wickline argues he is calling plays for UT. In sum, if a settlement is not reached, the court will have to determine whether Wickline has play-calling duties.

Read more... [Oklahoma State v. Wickline: Fight Over Play-Calling Duties]
 
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