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College Sports Law Blog



Oregon State Pitcher Suspended for Advisor’s Communication with Philadelphia Phillies

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Thursday, 13 March 2014 15:03

Oregon State University (“OSU”) pitcher Ben Wetzler was recently suspended 20% of OSU’s baseball contests. Wetzler was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 5th round of the 2013 major league draft. Such suspension occurred after an advisor for Wetzler had direct communications with the Philadelphia Phillies. The agent/advisor dynamic has created its share of problems for student-athletes over the years and has produced several litigated matters. The pertinent bylaws are as follows:

Read more... [Oregon State Pitcher Suspended for Advisor’s Communication with Philadelphia Phillies]
 

Alston v. NCAA: The Reincarnation of White v. NCAA

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Thursday, 13 March 2014 14:13

In 2006, in White v. NCAA, a group of student-athletes filed suit against the NCAA on antitrust grounds seeking to recover damages for the difference between the full cost of attendance and the NCAA’s version of an athletic scholarship (i.e., tuition, fees, room and board, and books). The difference between full cost of attendance and full grant-in-aid as defined by the NCAA is generally $1,500.00-$6,000.00 depending on the locale of the institution. In 2008, the NCAA and the plaintiffs reached a settlement that allowed student-athletes in the class to have access to funds for educational purposes. Since the settlement, the NCAA has proposed legislation to increase full grant-in-aid to allow for a stipend to be provided to the student-athletes. Legislation to that effect has been defeated.

Read more... [Alston v. NCAA: The Reincarnation of White v. NCAA]
 

Duke Sports & Entertainment Law Society -- 4th Annual Symposium

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 15:45

On February 7, 2014, Duke Law School will be hosting its 4th Annual Sports Law Symposium.  I will be speaking on Law of Sports Betting panel.  If you are in the area, please come by for a good discussion on sports law topics.

Read more... [Duke Sports & Entertainment Law Society -- 4th Annual Symposium]
 

Northwestern University Athletes Seek to Unionize

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 15:42

For the first time, a group of student-athletes at Northwestern University have sought to unionize and have filed a petition with the Chicago, Illinois office of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”). Under federal labor law, the NLRB will conduct a vote of potential members to determine whether there is the requisite support (i.e., 30%) to have the National College Players Association serve as the union overseeing their interests. The NCAA has argued that student-athletes are not employees, which is supported by case law (Waldrep v. Texas Employers Insurance Association). However, that decision does not forbid the NLRB from finding that student-athletes are employees under the National Labor Relations Act.

Read more... [Northwestern University Athletes Seek to Unionize]
 

THE NCAA COMMITTEE ON INFRACTIONS HAS SPOKEN: CLARK ATANTA UNIVERSITY (Division II)

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 15:08

The NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions (“Committee”) recently released its findings and found that Clark Atlanta University (“CAU”) committed major violations of NCAA legislation. At issue in this case were allegations that the assistant coach and the former volunteer coach provided impermissible extra benefits to men’s basketball student-athletes. The case also involved a failure by the former head coach to monitor the assistant and the volunteer coach, who reported directly to him. Specifically, the assistant coach and the former volunteer coach arranged for or directly provided approximately $5,500 to $6,250 in cash, an airline “buddy ticket” and meals. The case also involves the institution (CAU) allowing three student-athletes to compete while ineligible and failing to monitor its athletics program.

Read more... [THE NCAA COMMITTEE ON INFRACTIONS HAS SPOKEN: CLARK ATANTA UNIVERSITY (Division II)]
 

Yempabou Palo v. Iowa Board of Regents: Is Athletic Participation a Right or a Privilege?

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Monday, 03 February 2014 15:05

Yempabou Palo (“Palo”) was a member of the Iowa State University (“ISU”) men’s basketball team. On September 18, 2012, he was formally charged by the Story County, Iowa Attorney with sexual abuse in the second degree as a result of an alleged incident that occurred in May 2012. Subsequently, in January 2013, the Story County, Iowa Attorney dropped the charges against Palo. Palo was suspended from participation on the ISU men’s basketball team while the charges were pending, but was reinstated with 17 games remaining in the 2012-13 season following the dismissal of the charges.

Read more... [Yempabou Palo v. Iowa Board of Regents: Is Athletic Participation a Right or a Privilege?]
 

Paterno Suit May Move Forward Against the NCAA

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Friday, 17 January 2014 15:30

The Court of Common Pleas of Centre County, Pennsylvania entered an order granting preliminary objections set forth by the NCAA and denying others. In pertinent part, the Court ruled that it would be “unjust” to rule on Pennsylvania State University’s (“Penn State”) agreement with the NCAA (i.e., the Consent Decree) and, thus, concluded that any and all claims associated with the Consent Decree were dismissed. The Court also sustained objections to claims for intentional interference with prospective contract, but will allow the Plaintiffs the oppportunity to replead the cause of action. However, the Plaintiffs may move forward on various defamation and civil conspiracy claims.

For any questions, feel free to contact Christian Dennie at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

US Supreme Court Will Not Hear the NCAA’s Appeal to Intervene in the Electronic Arts Settlement

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Friday, 17 January 2014 15:14

The NCAA recently filed a Motion to Intervene relating to the First Amendment claims addressed in Electronic Arts v. Keller. The NCAA requested the opportunity to be heard on the issues presented to "ensure that [the NCAA's] membership is properly protected” in light of the settlement reached by the Plaintiffs and Electronic Arts. The United States Supreme Court has decided against hearing NCAA’s argument seeking to intervene in the lawsuit. Accordingly, the case will likely soon come to a conclusion.

Read more... [US Supreme Court Will Not Hear the NCAA’s Appeal to Intervene in the Electronic Arts Settlement]
 

Maryland Countersues the Atlantic Coast Conference

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Friday, 17 January 2014 15:07

The University of Maryland (“Maryland”) has filed a $157 million countersuit against the Atlantic Coast Conference (“ACC”) in a North Carolina state court. In the lawsuit, for the first time, Maryland is claiming that the ACC attempted to recruit two Big Ten institutions to leave the Big Ten after learning of Maryland’s plans to depart from the ACC. Maryland claims the ACC’s $52.3 million buyout is a penalty to “deny Maryland athletic, academic and financial benefits…expected to [be] derived from joining the Big Ten….” In turn, Maryland claims the exit fee and provision is anticompetitive and, thus, seeks trebled damages under antitrust laws. Maryland seeks damages for more than $16 million that has been withheld by the ACC, $157 million (three times the $52.3 million buyout fee), and punitive damages.

Read more... [Maryland Countersues the Atlantic Coast Conference]
 

The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: Southeastern Louisiana University

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Friday, 13 December 2013 15:31

The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee”) recently issued its findings and found that Southeastern Louisiana University (“SELU”) committed major 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 major violations of NCAA legislation.

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