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College Sports Law Blog



Texas A&M University School of Law, 2nd Annual Sports and Entertainment Law Society Symposium

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 14:34

On Friday, March 20, 2015, Texas A&M University School of Law will be hosting its Second Annual Sports and Entertainment Law Symposium.  The schedule provides for a great group of panelists and should provide for interesting discussion.  Texas A&M University School of Law is located at 1515 Commerce Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102.  The details for the program are as follows:

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The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: Syracuse University

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 21:26

The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee”) recently issued its findings and found that Syracuse University (“Syracuse”) committed violations of NCAA legislation. Over the course of a decade, the Syracuse set in motion or otherwise permitted Syracuse’s staff and persons associated with its athletics programs to engage in conduct contrary to established NCAA bylaws and Syracuse’s rules and procedures. The violations in this case centered on the Syracuse's men's basketball program, its student-athletes and staff. To a lesser extent, violations involved the Syracuse's football program and football student-athletes.

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Chavis v. LSU: Dispute Over Liquidated Damages Clause in Coaching Contract

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Monday, 09 March 2015 21:08

On February 27, 2015, Johnny J. Chavis (“Chavis”) filed suit against Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College (“LSU”) and Texas A&M University (“A&M”) is Brazos County, Texas. In his complaint, Chavis explains he entered into an employment agreement with LSU on January 1, 2009 to serve as the defensive coordinator and linebackers’ coach. The term of the original agreement was from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2011. On January 1, 2012, Chavis and LSU amended the employment agreement to extend his employment until December 31, 2014. On January 10, 2013, Chavis and LSU again extended his employment to conclude on December 31, 2015.

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The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: West Virginia University 2015

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Monday, 23 February 2015 13:33

The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee”) recently issued its findings and found that West Virginia University (“WVU”) 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.

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McNair v. NCAA: Court of Appeals Will Not Seal NCAA Records

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Monday, 16 February 2015 22:07

In the underlying matter, Todd McNair, former USC assistant football coach, sought to depose the lead investigator in the USC investigation, Committee on Infractions (COI) chairman, and COI director, and obtain copies of transcripts from COI and the Appeals Committee hearings, the entire investigative file, and drafts of the COI report, including all notes, and other writings discussing or referring to the drafts, and emails within the custody and control of the NCAA, by or to members of COI or the Appeals Committee staff that mentioned or related to McNair. The NCAA moved to seal 400 pages of records responsive to this request. The trial court ruled against the NCAA and, thus, the NCAA appealed the interim ruling. 

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The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: Wichita State University

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Thursday, 12 February 2015 17:15

The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee”) recently issued its findings and found that Wichita State University (“WSU”) committed violations of NCAA legislation.   This case centered on 21 baseball student-athletes who received impermissible extra benefits in the form of discounted athletics apparel and other clothing items. The student-athletes ordered the items through an account set up by the institution's athletics apparel provider. The case also involved the former head baseball coach and the former administrative assistant for baseball. The former baseball administrative assistant committed Level II violations of NCAA legislation when she allowed the student-athletes to order discounted items through the apparel account, which she controlled. Further, she committed Level III violations when she allowed the softball coach of a two-year institution to order discounted apparel for his team.

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Kent State University v. Gene Ford: Court of Appeals Upholds Liquidated Damages Provision

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Monday, 19 January 2015 17:55

In April 2008, Gene Ford (“Ford”) and Kent State University (“KSU”) executed an employment agreement making Ford the head men’s basketball coach at KSU for a period of four years with an option for a fifth year. The contract contained a liquidated damages provision that stated:

Read more... [Kent State University v. Gene Ford: Court of Appeals Upholds Liquidated Damages Provision]
 

Michigan Governor Signs Law Excluding Student-Athletes from the Definition of Public Employee for the Purposes of Collective Bargaining

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 15:39

In mid-December 2014, Michigan State Representative Al Pscholka introduced House Bill 6074 that was recently signed into law by Michigan Governor Rick Synder. Under Michigan law, a public employee is “an individual holding a position by appointment or employment in the government of this state, in the government of 1 or more of the political subdivisions of this state, in the public school service, in a public or special district, in the service of an authority, commission, or board, or in any other branch of the public service.” The new law excludes student-athletes from the definition by stating “[a]n individual serving as a graduate student research assistant or in an equivalent position, a student participating in intercollegiate athletics on behalf of a public university in this state, or any individual whose position does not have sufficient indicia of an employer-employee relationship using the 20-factor test announced by the internal revenue service of the United States department of treasury in revenue ruling 87-41, 1987-1 C.B. 296 is not a public employee entitled to representation or collective bargaining rights under this act.” Accordingly, student-athletes at public institutions (i.e., Michigan, Michigan State, Central Michigan, etc.) are not considered employees and, thus, not afforded the opportunity to join a union for the purposes of collective bargaining.

Read more... [Michigan Governor Signs Law Excluding Student-Athletes from the Definition of Public Employee for the Purposes of Collective Bargaining]
 

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.

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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]
 
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