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College Sports Law Blog



Western Athletic Conference v. Mountain West Conference: The Parties have Reached a Settlement

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Thursday, 28 October 2010 21:59

In mid-September, the Western Athletic Conference (“WAC”) filed suit against the Mountain West Conference (“MWC”), the University of Nevada (“Nevada”), and California State University, Fresno (“Fresno State”) indicating that the WAC would be irreparably harmed if Nevada and Fresno State left the WAC prior to the conclusion of the 2011-2012 academic year.  Earlier today, it was announced that the parties settled the dispute at issue. 

Read more... [Western Athletic Conference v. Mountain West Conference: The Parties have Reached a Settlement]
 

Agnew v. NCAA: Scholarship Limitations are under Attack Again

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Thursday, 28 October 2010 16:38

The NCAA has been hit with yet another antitrust lawsuit in accordance with Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act.  In Agnew v. NCAA, the Plaintiff, Joseph Agnew, attacks 1) the prohibition on multi-year athletics-based scholarships (Plaintiff’s petition calls scholarships discounts) and 2) caps on the athletics-based scholarships that can be awarded by member institutions.  Recently, the NCAA has been hit with a rash of antitrust litigation relating to athletics-based scholarships.  It appears this line of lawsuits is attempting to piggyback on the substantial settlement provided in White v. NCAA and the United States Justice Department's announcement that it was investigating the NCAA to determine whether the NCAA's prohibition on multi-year scholarships was a violation of antitrust laws.

Read more... [Agnew v. NCAA: Scholarship Limitations are under Attack Again]
 

Leach v. Texas Tech University: Arguments before the Court of Appeal in Amarillo, Texas

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 20:50

On October 7, 2010, oral argument was held in Coach Leach’s lawsuit in which he alleges he was wrongfully terminated by Texas Tech University (“Tech”).  The central issue before the Court is whether Tech is entitled to sovereign immunity.  In Texas, the concept of sovereign immunity embraces two principles: 1) immunity from suit and 2) immunity from liability.  Immunity from suit bars an action against the state unless the state expressly consents to the suit (i.e., it is a jurisdictional bar).  Immunity from liability, on the other hand, protects the state from judgment even if the legislature has expressly consented to the suit.

Read more... [Leach v. Texas Tech University: Arguments before the Court of Appeal in Amarillo, Texas]
 

The University of South Carolina’s Appeal for Federal Trademark Protection of the “SC” Logo has come to the End of the Line: The United States Supreme Court has Denied Review

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Tuesday, 05 October 2010 13:57

In 1997, the University of South Carolina (“South Carolina”) began using the interlocking “SC” logo on baseball caps.  In turn, South Carolina sought to register the mark for use on clothing, hats, baseball uniforms, T-shirts, and shorts.  The University of Southern California (“Southern Cal”) opposed registration of South Carolina’s mark and cited it had priority over South Carolina’s proposed mark and registration of the proposed mark would create a likelihood of confusion with Southern Cal’s preexisting “SC” marks.

Read more... [The University of South Carolina’s Appeal for Federal Trademark Protection of the “SC” Logo has come to the End of the Line: The United States Supreme Court has Denied Review]
 

University of California, Berkeley Will Cut 5 Sports Effective in the 2011-2012 Academic Year

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Thursday, 30 September 2010 13:46

In July 2010, a panel of professors and alumni criticized the administration of the University of California, Berkley (“Berkley”) for substantial spending on athletics programs.  Currently, the Berkley athletics department has expenses of $69 million, yet revenues total only $57 million.  The $12 million shortfall is bridged by student registration fees and the chancellor’s discretionary fund.  Last summer, Berkeley announced it will provide no more than $5 million per year of support for the athletics department beginning in 2014.

Read more... [University of California, Berkeley Will Cut 5 Sports Effective in the 2011-2012 Academic Year]
 

The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: University of Tennessee – Chattanooga

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Wednesday, 29 September 2010 00:00

The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee”) recently issued its findings and found that the University of Tennessee—Chattanooga (“Chattanooga”) committed major violations of NCAA legislation.  The case primarily pertains to 137 impermissible text messages sent to prospective student-athletes and 74 impermissible telephone calls.  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: University of Tennessee – Chattanooga]
 

The Athlete Agent Act: Marvin Austin Testifies Before the North Carolina Secretary of State

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Friday, 24 September 2010 00:00

In 1997, a substantial push was made by a variety of entities and individuals involved in athletics to codify legislation to protect student-athletes and institutions of higher learning from unscrupulous athlete-agents.  After significant review and revisions, in 2000, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws introduced the Uniform Athlete Agent Act (“Agent Act”).  Subsequently, thirty-nine (39) states adopted the Agent Act and three (3) states currently have existing non-Agent Act legislation (California, Michigan, and Ohio).  Additionally, the federal government codified the Sports Agent Responsibility and Trust Act (“SPARTA”) in 2004.

Read more... [The Athlete Agent Act: Marvin Austin Testifies Before the North Carolina Secretary of State]
 

Bush Returns the 2005 Heisman Trophy

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Friday, 24 September 2010 00:00

The Heisman Trophy (“Trophy”) is one of the most highly regarded awards in all of college athletics.  The Trophy was first awarded in 1935 to Jay Berwanger, a running back from the University of Chicago.  Since its inception, the Trophy has been bestowed upon legends like Davey O’Brien (1938), Doc Blanchard (1945), Doak Walker (1948), and Roger Staubach (1963) and more recent college football icons, Tim Tebow (2007) and Sam Bradford (2008).  It goes without saying that the Trophy has a rich history in fabric of intercollegiate athletics and has been awarded to student-athletes who personify the values of the Heisman Trophy Trust (“Trust”) and add special meaning to the term student-athlete.

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Western Athletic Conference v. Mountain West Conference: Conference Realignment – The Legal Showdown Begins

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Friday, 24 September 2010 00:00

It appears the discussions of realignment in intercollegiate athletics are just beginning and, now, the legal showdown begins.  Last week, the Western Athletic Conference (“WAC”) filed suit in state court in Colorado against the Mountain West Conference (“MWC”) and former members California State University, Fresno (“Fresno State”) and the University of Nevada (“Nevada”).

Read more... [Western Athletic Conference v. Mountain West Conference: Conference Realignment – The Legal Showdown Begins]
 
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