Archives: Amateur Sports

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NCAA To Address Historic Early Recruiting Legislation

Landmark reform to restrict colleges’ aggressive early recruiting tactics of student-athletes is on the agenda at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Council April 12-14 annual meeting. One item, Proposal 2016-26, could make lacrosse the pilot program for creating specific restrictions for the recruiting of high school athletes prior to the beginning of their … Continue Reading

Texas Spotlights Transgender Athlete Issues as Bill Progresses in Legislature

The Texas University Interscholastic League’s constitution requires that student-athletes compete according to the gender on their birth certificate. In February, a 17-year-old transgender male was required to wrestle against females, despite his preference to compete in the boys’ league. He went on to win the Class 6A 110-pound girls’state championship in Texas high school wrestling … Continue Reading

Players To Boycott Football Activities, Bowl Game, Over Suspensions Of Teammates

University of Minnesota football players announced on December 15 that they are boycotting all football activities, including their December 27 Holiday Bowl game against the Washington State Cougars, to protest the University’s decision to suspend 10 teammates over a sexual assault allegation, according to the Minnesota Star Tribune. The University adopted an affirmative sexual consent … Continue Reading

Moving Your Infractions Case Along and Avoiding the Next One

In the nine years I served on the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions (COI), we processed roughly 120 major infractions cases. Most were handled through in-person hearings, but a few were handled on paper, through the summary disposition process. To the extent university presidents and other institutional staff members felt bold enough to voice … Continue Reading

Georgia Court to Unseal USA Gymnastics Complaint Records, Testimony in Negligence Lawsuit

Saying the court would “err on the side of the sun,” Georgia Judge Ronald K. Thompson has granted the Indianapolis Star newspaper’s motion to unseal 54 sexual-abuse complaint files and 12 deposition transcripts related to a lawsuit filed by former gymnast Kelly Cutright against USA Gymnastics, the sport’s national governing body. The Star, not a … Continue Reading

Court Dismisses NCAA from Lawsuit Related to UNC’s Academic Fraud Scandal

District Court Judge Loretta Biggs has dismissed the NCAA from the putative class action filed by former UNC-Chapel Hill women’s basketball player Rashanda McCants and former UNC football player Devon Ramsay alleging state law claims against the NCAA and UNC. McCants, et al. v. NCAA, et al., No. 1:15-cv-176 (M.D. N.C. Aug. 12, 2016). The … Continue Reading

USCIS Proposal Clarifies Criteria for Athletes

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed new guidance for adjudicating O-1 visa petitions for athletes and other individuals of extraordinary ability in certain fields. If the proposal becomes effective, athletes will have greater flexibility in satisfying the O-1 visa criteria. Under current USCIS regulations, an athlete may qualify for an O-1 visa … Continue Reading

Transgender Locker Room Policy Eludes School District Facing Government Sanctions Under Title IX

An Illinois school district has violated anti-discrimination laws by not allowing a transgender student who identifies as female and is on her high school’s girls’ sports team to change and shower in the girls’ locker room, the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) has held. The OCR released its findings on … Continue Reading

U.S. SOCCER FEDERATION SETTLES YOUTH CONCUSSION LAWSUIT

The United States Soccer Federation released new guidelines banning the practice of heading a soccer ball by children under the age of 10. The new guidelines also prohibit children between the ages of 11 and 13 from heading soccer balls in practice, but permit it in games. The guidelines are part of a resolution reached … Continue Reading

Former Player Brings Antitrust Lawsuit against NCAA Transfer Rules and Scholarship Limits

Former Weber State football player Devin Pugh has filed a class action lawsuit in Indianapolis federal court challenging the NCAA transfer rule restrictions and the limit on the number of scholarships that can be offered by NCAA member institutions. The lawsuit claims that current NCAA mandates, requiring football players to sit out a year before … Continue Reading

DECISION ALERT-Ninth Circuit Rules NCAA Violates Antitrust Law-Strikes Down Proposed Remedy

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in San Francisco, affirmed in part and reversed in part Judge Claudia Wilken’s August 2014 district court decision that NCAA rules restricting payment to athletes violate antitrust laws. The Ninth Circuit agreed with Judge Wilken’s conclusion that NCAA rules restricting payment to athletes violated antitrust laws and … Continue Reading

NLRB’s Decision Roadblocks Union Effort – What’s Next for Student-Athletes?

After holding the potential “employee” status of Northwestern University’s grant-in-aid scholarship football players in abeyance for 16 months, the National Labor Relations Board’s decision not to assert jurisdiction left the parties still waiting for a “real” decision from the Board on the merits of whether college football players may someday be considered “employees” who can … Continue Reading

NLRB Declines to Exercise Jurisdiction Over Student-Athletes’ Attempt to Unionize – For Now

Concluding that its assertion of jurisdiction “would not serve to promote stability in labor relations,” the National Labor Relations Board has declined to exercise authority over the College Athletes Players Association’s (CAPA’s) petition to represent scholarship football players at Northwestern University. Northwestern University, 362 NLRB No. 167 (Aug. 17, 2015). Without deciding if the players … Continue Reading

Uniform Law Commission Approves Changes to Uniform Athlete Agents Act

The Uniform Law Commission (ULC) has approved significant changes to the Uniform Athlete Agents Act (UAA) at its recent annual meeting. The UAA, first adopted in 2000, has been enacted in 40 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Laws similar to the UAA have been enacted by several … Continue Reading

NCAA Changes Course, Proposes Rule Allowing Players to Reject NBA and Return to School

The NCAA men’s basketball oversight committee has proposed a significant rule change that would allow undergraduate basketball players to return to school and resume their playing careers after initialing declaring their eligibility for the NBA draft. This proposed amendment is a drastic change from existing NCAA rules which prevent a student-athlete from returning to school … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association To Implement Background Checks For Officials

Closing one of the last gaps in ensuring the safety of students from school workers in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) has approved an initiative requiring all high school referees to undergo criminal background checks by a unanimous vote of the board of the directors on February 25, 2015. The MIAA has indicated … Continue Reading

New Class Action Alleges NCAA and 11 Conferences Formed ‘“Monopsony’” Over College Athletes

Three former college athletes are the latest to file a class action lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), asserting the NCAA and its 11 conferences collectively share “monopsony” over college athletes. Kenyata Johnson, Barry Brunetti, and D.J. Stephens filed their class action complaint  in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of … Continue Reading

STRICTER HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT-ATHLETE TRANSFER RULES EXAMINED

While the NCAA appears to be loosening restrictions on student-athletes transferring between colleges, the governing body for New York public high school athletics is examining ways to make it more difficult for their student-athletes to transfer between high schools. This fall, the 22-member executive committee of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association … Continue Reading

Colleges and Universities Must Address Sexual Violence Against Students

The University of Connecticut (UConn) has agreed to pay nearly $1.3 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed by five current and former female undergraduates who claimed the university  mishandled their complaints of sexual assault. UConn was accused of mishandling rape cases and refusing to condemn or intervene following  reported harassment of female students, in … Continue Reading

NCAA Board Endorses More Autonomy For Five Largest Conferences

In an effort to restructure the Division I legislative system, the NCAA Board of Directors has endorsed a proposal that would give more power to schools in the five largest conferences in the NCAA. The endorsement was presented as Northwestern University’s 76 voting eligible scholarship members of the football team prepared to participate in a … Continue Reading

NLRB Grants Review in Northwestern Case; Election to Be Held and Ballots Impounded

As expected, the National Labor Relations Board has granted Northwestern University’s Request for Review of the Regional Director’s March 26, 2014 decision finding the scholarship football players at the University to be “employees” within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act “as it raises substantial issues meriting review.” While, the election will take place … Continue Reading

Recommendations for Ensuring Academic Integrity in Athletic Programs

That academic misconduct often does not result in punitive action from the NCAA has always been a complicated matter for the NCAA enforcement staff and Committee on Infractions (COI).  This is in part due to legitimate claims of academic freedom and the NCAA membership’s view that member institutions should have autonomy and responsibility to determine … Continue Reading

If NCAA Scholarship Football Players Are Employees, What Are Coaches?…Supervisors?

The decision of the Regional Director of Region 13 of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) that scholarship football players at Northwestern University are “employees” under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) has created an interesting question for all colleges and universities: Are members of coaching staffs now considered to be supervisors under the NLRA? The answer … Continue Reading

NCAA Initiates Formal Changes to Student-Athlete Well-Being Rules

The NCAA Legislative Council has approved proposals for “student-athlete well-being rules.” One proposed rule change would provide Division I student-athletes (both scholarship athletes and walk-ons) with unlimited meals and snacks in conjunction with their athletics participation.  Under current NCAA rules, schools can provide three meals per day or a stipend for those meals to scholarship … Continue Reading
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