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College Sports Law Blog



The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: Mississippi Valley State University

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Monday, 03 April 2017 15:07

The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee” or “Panel”) recently issued its findings and found that Mississippi Valley State University (“MVSU” or “Institution”) committed violations of NCAA legislation. This case involved improper eligibility certifications at MVSU. It also involved a former head cross country coach directing student-athletes to compete under assumed names. The Panel considered this case through the cooperative summary disposition process in which all parties agreed to the primary facts and violations, as fully set forth in the summary disposition report (“SDR”). The Panel proposed further penalties to the Institution and the former head coach. Because the parties agreed to the proposed penalties, there is no opportunity to appeal.

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The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: Southeast Missouri State University 2017

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Tuesday, 28 March 2017 21:45

The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee” or “Panel”) recently issued its findings and found that Southeast Missouri State University (“SEMO” or “Institution”) committed violations of NCAA legislation. This case involved academic misconduct by a former assistant men's basketball coach at SEMO. The Panel considered this case through the cooperative summary disposition process in which all participating parties agreed to the primary facts and violations, as fully set forth in the summary disposition report (“SDR”). The Panel proposed additional penalties to the Institution and the former assistant coach. The Institution agreed to the additional penalties proposed by the Panel and therefore has no opportunity to appeal. The former assistant coach, after not initially participating in the SDR process, contested the length of his proposed show-cause penalty at an expedited hearing. The Committee retained the contested penalty in part. Pursuant to NCAA Bylaw 19.6.4.5, the former assistant coach has the opportunity to appeal his penalty.

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Deppe v. NCAA: Motion to Dismiss and Strike Granted in Part and Denied in Part

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Friday, 10 March 2017 22:27

Peter Deppe (hereinafter “Plaintiff”) filed suit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (hereinafter “NCAA” or “Defendant”) under Section 1 of the Sherman. The suit was filed on March 8, 2016 in the United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division (“Court”). Recently, the NCAA moved for dismissal in accordance with Rule 12 and to strike certain pleadings. The Court granted the request in part and denied in part.

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The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: Morehead State University

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Monday, 20 February 2017 20:27

The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee” or “Panel”) recently issued its findings and found that Morehead State University (“MSU” or “Institution”) committed violations of NCAA legislation. This case involved progress-toward-degree violations in several sport programs at MSU. The Panel considered this case through the cooperative summary disposition process in which all parties agreed to the primary facts and violations, as fully set forth in the summary disposition report (SDR). The Panel proposed further penalties to the Institution, including probation. Because the Institution agreed to the violations and penalties, there is no opportunity to appeal.

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Memo of the NLRB Office of the General Counsel: Student-Athletes are Employees under the NLRA

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Monday, 13 February 2017 17:53

On January 31, 2017, Richard F. Griffin, Jr., General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”), issued Memorandum GC 17-01 (“Memo”).  The Memo is titled “General Counsel’s Report on the Statutory Rights of University Faculty and Students in the Unfair Labor Practice Context.”  The Memo addresses a few different cases; however, this blog will focus on the discussion made in reference to student-athletes.

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Alston v. NCAA: The Parties Settle for in Excess of $208 million

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Monday, 13 February 2017 17:01

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 White plaintiffs reached a settlement that allowed student-athletes in the class to have access to funds for educational purposes.  The White settlement was in excess of $210 million.

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The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: Baylor University 2016

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Monday, 16 January 2017 22:49

The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee” or “Panel”) recently issued its findings and found that Baylor University (“Baylor” or “Institution”) committed violations of NCAA legislation. The case involved the football program at Baylor.Specifically, two assistant football coaches exceeded the limitations on evaluations and contacts of two prospective student-athletes in the spring of 2015 and another assistant football coach personally attended a contest in which a future opponent competed. The violations occurred because the coaches thought they had found "loopholes" that allowed them to count only evaluations of prospects they intended to watch, rather than those they actually watched, and to engage in brief, "fan-like" exchanges with the prospects. The Panel concluded the violations regarding excessive evaluations and contacts are Level II violations. When the third assistant football coach personally observed part of a football contest involving a future opponent of the Institution, he committed a Level III violation. This case was limited to those issues, and the Panel did not consider any other information.

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The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: California State University, Northridge

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Tuesday, 03 January 2017 22:25

The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee” or “Panel”) recently issued its findings and found that California State University, Northridge (“Cal State” or “Institution”) committed violations of NCAA legislation. This case involved the men's basketball program at Cal State. The men's basketball violations centered on academic misconduct and the provision of impermissible academic benefits by the former director of basketball operations. The former director of basketball operations also acted unethically by knowingly committing academic misconduct on behalf of ten (10) men's basketball student-athletes. The Institution also failed to investigate and monitor the activities of the former director of basketball operations.

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The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: Appalachian State University

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Friday, 30 December 2016 22:28

The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee” or “Panel”) recently issued its findings and found that Appalachian State University (“App State” or “Institution”) committed violations of NCAA legislation. This case involved a text message violation committed by a former assistant football coach at App State. The Panel considered this case through the cooperative summary disposition process in which all parties agreed to the primary facts and violations, as fully set forth in the summary disposition report (SDR). The Panel proposed further penalties to the Institution and the former assistant coach. Because they agreed to the violation and penalties, there is no opportunity to appeal.

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Will the NCAA Consider Cheerleading a Sport?

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Thursday, 29 December 2016 17:35

A common question when addressing Title IX is whether cheerleading is a sport. Colleges and universities have argued that cheerleading is a sport for the purposes of Title IX and, specifically, have argued  competitive cheer teams are engaged in intercollegiate athletic competition.  In Biediger v. Quinnipiac University, the United States District Court, District of Connecticut (“District Court”) ruled and the Second Circuit affirmed that the thirty (30) roster positions for competitive cheerleading members could not be counted for Title IX purposes because the activity did not “yet” afford women genuine participation opportunities in a varsity sport.  The District Court stated “acro lacks what every other varsity men’s team sponsored by Quinnipiac enjoys: the chance to participate in an NCAA-sponsored championship.”  The District Court further stated acrobatics and tumbling are not recognized by the NCAA as a sport or an emerging sport. 

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