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College Sports Law Blog



The Saga that is Cam Newton

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Monday, 06 December 2010 20:13

Cam Newton has led Auburn University (“Auburn”) to a perfect season, but a severe case of heartburn for Tiger fans seems like only days away.  Last week, Cam Newton was rightfully declared ineligible for competition by Auburn after the NCAA determined it had enough information to find that Newton’s father, a Georgia minister, shopped him to Mississippi State University (“MSU”).  The employment of a scholarship agent is prohibited by NCAA Bylaw 12.3.3.  As a result of the alleged employment of a MSU alum to secure $180,000.00 in exchange for Cam Newton’s signature on a National Letter of Intent, Auburn pulled Cam Newton from competition in accordance with NCAA Bylaw 14.11.1 and, subsequently, sought reinstatement of his athletic eligibility.  As has been heavily reported, Cam Newton’s eligibility was quickly reinstated and he went on to lead Auburn to a SEC Championship.  At this point, there is no evidence linking Cam Newton to the alleged pay for play scandal other than a report that he told a recruiter in an emotional telephone conversation that he was going to Auburn because “the money was too much.”  As such, the NCAA felt that Cam Newton was not a culpable party at this stage of the investigation.

Read more... [The Saga that is Cam Newton]
 

United States 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Finds that NCAA Regulations on Lacrosse Sticks are Not Anticompetitive

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 20:50

Warriors Sports, Inc. (“Warrior”) set forth an antitrust claim against the NCAA in accordance with Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The case involves the NCAA’s regulations relating to lacrosse stick heads that may be used in collegiate play.  Warrior alleged that these rules are particularly influential because they not only govern the sticks that may be used in collegiate lacrosse, but they are also adopted by most of the sports’ governing bodies, such as the National Federation of High School Sports.

Read more... [United States 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Finds that NCAA Regulations on Lacrosse Sticks are Not Anticompetitive]
 

NCAA Denies the University of Kentucky’s Request for Reinstatement for Enes Kanter

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Monday, 15 November 2010 21:31

Enes Kanter is a Turkish national who was rated one of the top men’s basketball recruits in the country and he chose to join Coach Calipari at the University of Kentucky.  Prior to arriving in the United States, Enes competed for Fenerbache, a Turkish club team, from 2006 to 2009.  Enes primarily competed for the under-18 junior team, but did compete on the club’s senior team during the 2008-2009 season.  According to the information reported by multiple media outlets and the NCAA, Enes received $33,033.00 more than his reasonable and necessary expenses. 

Read more... [NCAA Denies the University of Kentucky’s Request for Reinstatement for Enes Kanter]
 

The NCAA is Working with the NFLPA and NFL: Penalties for Student-Athletes after Entering the NFL?

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Tuesday, 09 November 2010 00:05

It has been widely reported that the NCAA has been in communications with the NFL and NFLPA relating to potential penalties for student-athletes who accepted benefits from an athlete-agent during their enrollment at an NCAA institution.  Although the verdict is still out on whether the NFL will adopt such penalties, athlete-agents and players are not so sure the proposed penalties are a step in the right direction.  In fact, the NFLPA stepped out late last week and indicated the players would be opposed to such penalties.  There are many questions that still remain, but a fundamental question is whether such a term is a mandatory subject of collective bargaining.

Read more... [The NCAA is Working with the NFLPA and NFL: Penalties for Student-Athletes after Entering the NFL?]
 

The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: University of Michigan

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Monday, 08 November 2010 15:35

The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee”) recently issued its findings and found that the University of Michigan (“Michigan”) committed major violations of NCAA legislation.  The case relates to violations of playing and practice season limitations, exceeding limitations on the number of coaches, failure to monitor by Michigan and the head football coach, and the unethical conduct of a former graduate assistant coach.  After the investigation concluded the case was submitted to the Committee for hearing.  The NCAA enforcement staff and Michigan were in substantial agreement as it relates to the violations committed, but disagreed on a charge indicating the head football coach failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance and the institution failed to monitor.

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

Recent Study on Athletics-Based Scholarships

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Friday, 29 October 2010 15:10

Ramogi Huma, President of the National College Players Association (formerly Collegiate Athletes Coalition), has been pounding the pavement to improve student-athletes’ rights.  One of the primary matters of concern for Mr. Huma and the National College Players Association (“NCPA”) has been to increase the awareness of athletics-based scholarships and the perceived shortfall between full grant-in-aid[1] and cost of attendance.[2]  NCPA played a contributing role, along with help from the United Steelworkers, in White v. NCAA and the Student-Athletes’ Right to Know Act that was recently signed by Governor Schwarzenegger in California.

Read more... [Recent Study on Athletics-Based Scholarships]
 

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]
 
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