Law & Policy: Governing Bodies
Bill: Award Public Funding to Worthiest Stadium Projects
by JAMES L. ROSICA; Tribune staff February 2014
House Speaker Will Weatherford has said the only way public money should go to sports stadiums is through a competition, with teams fighting it out among themselves over who has the most worthy project.
MLB Softens Stance in Home Plate Collision Rule
by Jorge L. Ortiz, @jorgelortiz February 2014
In a compromise with the players association, which was concerned there wouldn't be enough time to train runners and catchers before the season started, baseball implemented a rule Monday aimed at protecting catchers while allowing most collisions.
NFHS Adopts Football Targeting, Defenseless Player Rules
by Jim Leitner, sports editor February 2014
The National Federation of State High School Associations took more steps last week to make its most popular sport safer. In an effort to reduce contact above the shoulders, the NFHS Football Rules Committee introduced rules that will define "targeting" and will be penalized as illegal personal contact. The group also defined a "defenseless" player. Beginning this fall, new Rule 2-43 will read as follows: "Targeting is an act of taking aim and initiating contact to an opponent above the shoulders with the helmet, forearm, hand, fist, elbow or shoulders."
Judge Sends O'Bannon Class Action Against NCAA to Trial
by Emily Attwood February 2014
Remember Ed O'Bannon, the former UCLA basketball player who filed suit against the NCAA more than four years ago, alleging it was profiting off of O’Bannon and other NCAA athletes’ likenesses found in EA Sports video games? After a long and winding road, a federal judge has okayed the class-action suit to go to trial, setting a start date of June 9.
While it is still possible a settlement between the NCAA and the plaintiffs will be reached prior to the start of the trial, the outcome of the lawsuit could have drastic consequences for the NCAA, college athletic conferences and television networks. At the heart of the lawsuit is the NCAA rule that prohibits student-athletes from profiting off of the use of their name, likeness or image.
"We're not asking for any money to be paid," said Michael Hausfeld, attorney for the plaintiffs, during a summary judgment hearing on Thursday. "We are asking for the restraint to be removed ... and then the market will determine how it plays out."
In January 2013, the lawsuit expanded to allow current athletes to join, as well as target other entities profiting off of athletes’ likenesses, including conferences and television networks. The plaintiffs are in the process of working out settlement details in their suit against EA Sports.
Thursday’s hearing took into account various arguments by both sides, including the NCAA’s assertion that the First Amendment protected it from requiring athletes’ permission to broadcast their appearances at games. U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken also called into question whether the NCAA’s no-pay rule violated antitrust laws.
"Up to this point you always heard the NCAA argue that these restraints are lawful -- purportedly," Hausfeld said. "We're done with that. There's no presumptions. This court is saying if we go to trial, you're going to have to prove that."
Should a jury rule in favor of the plaintiffs, the results could bankrupt the NCAA, though a lengthy appeals process would first ensue. A less drastic outcome could result in concessions from both sides, with restrictions on athletes’ ability to profit from their likenesses removed or lessened, or schools agreeing to set aside a portion of revenues for athletes.
Another Olympics, Another Figure Skating Controversy
by Christine Brennan, email@example.com February 2014
One of the nine judges who picked a young Russian skater over two more refined competitors for the Olympic gold medal Thursday night was suspended for a year for trying to fix an event at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano.
In West Virginia, a Move to Legislate Healthy Lifestyles
by WHITNEY BURDETTE, DAILY MAIL CAPITOL February 2014
A bill moving through the West Virginia Legislature is intended to make it easier for communities to help residents lead healthy lifestyles.
Paper: OU Reported Excess Pasta Servings to NCAA
by TOM MAHON; Daily News Staff Writer February 2014
Universities self-report all kinds of violations to the NCAA, the Big Brother of collegiate athletics. But the University of Oklahoma recently took things to extremes.
NCAA to Allow South Carolina to Host Tournament Games
by Ryan Wood; firstname.lastname@example.org February 2014
South Carolina will be allowed to host NCAA tournament games for women's basketball next year without the Legislature removing the Confederate battle flag from the Statehouse grounds.
In Virginia, Budget Amendments Target Athletics Fees
by JIM NOLAN AND MICHAEL PHILLIPS February 2014
A pair of proposed amendments to Virginia's two-year budget target fees paid by public college and university students to subsidize school athletics programs.
NFL Execs Vow Action to Regulate Locker-Room Culture
by Super User February 2014
Now that the NFL knows the scope of the racially charged Miami Dolphins bullying scandal, the league has been left to grapple with what its next steps should be.