Law & Policy: Governing Bodies
Opinion: NCAA Brought Legal Battles on Itself
by Andrew Cline April 2014
Current and former college athletes have lawyered up and gone after the NCAA for the exploitative contract it requires athletes to sign in exchange for competing in a college uniform. As a result, the NCAA's financial empire is beginning to fracture. The results could -- and should -- change college athletics forever. Wednesday's ruling by the National Labor Relations Board's regional director, Peter Sung Ohr, is the second crack in the foundation of the multibillion dollar enterprise in recent months. Ohr ruled that Northwestern University's football players are paid to perform a service, playing football, and are therefore employees. Employees can unionize.
Unionization Effort Brings Hard-to-Answer Questions
by Kevin Trahan, Special for USA TODAY Sports March 2014
Ever since the National Labor Relations Board announcement last week that Northwestern's football players had been deemed employees by the regional director of the board's Chicago office, the phrase "unintended consequences" has been cited by many who question what might lie ahead for college athletics. What about taxes? What about Title IX? Won't this cost the players more money than it's worth?
Opinion: NCAA Should Enforce Student-Athlete Rules
by Mike Jensen; Inquirer Columnist March 2014
No more two-a-days. That's one suggestion to help put the student in student-athlete. The NCAA has legislation on the books calling for no more than 20 hours a week involved in any "athletically-related activities." How about enforcing it?
Opinion: NFL Efforts to Improve Culture Deserve Kudos
by Jarrett Bell, firstname.lastname@example.org, USA TODAY Sports March 2014
Several months away from the first training camp fight, the vibe was so upbeat regarding the NFL initiative to re-establish respect as the league meetings concluded Wednesday.
Athletes' Unionization Attempt Scores Major Victory
by Michael Gaio March 2014
In their attempt to unionize college athletes, the Northwestern football players and the recently formed College Athletes Players Association scored a major victory on Wednesday.
Opinion: $45M NFL Donation to USA Football Is Desperate
by Thom Loverro, THE WASHINGTON TIMES March 2014
The NFL drove its creepy station wagon up to the playground Monday, rolled down the window, and said to the kids nearby, "Want a piece of candy?"
Goodell Wants Evaluation of Dolphins Before Discipline
by Lindsay H. Jones, @ByLindsayHJones, USA TODAY Sports March 2014
The three offensive linemen named in the Miami Dolphins locker room harassment investigation will be subject to medical evaluations before being subject to potential discipline, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday.
HS Baseball Player with Rare Disease Deemed Eligible
by Nick Daniels March 2014
Competing in sports at the high school level is no easy feat, but for one Louisiana high school student becoming eligible to compete has been a challenge in itself.
The Louisiana High School Athletic Association ruled that 18-year-old Sean Thiel was ineligible to participate in spring baseball this season after missing too many days of school. The absences were caused by a rare medical condition from which Thiel suffers known as achalasia. The disease affects the esophagus’s ability to move food to the stomach, which led to a number of absences — including a surgery at the Mayo Clinic to stabilize his condition in early March.
According to The Advocate, after filing a federal suit against the LHSAA March 3, Thiel was finally granted a hardship waiver that allowed him to begin playing earlier this month.
"I commend the LHSAA for taking another look at this. We have no ill will. We're just happy they re-evaluated the situation," Michael Thiel told The Advocate Friday. "It is a positive story for a change. It's the right result.”
"It reinforces your faith in humanity."
Hardship waivers are used in high school sports to help make a student eligible for competition if he has a condition that causes him to not meet the requirements for eligibility. As a part of the lawsuit that brought Thiel’s situation to the LHSAA’s attention, Thiel’s family claimed that the LHSAA had violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by not allowing Thiel to play baseball even though he met the requirements for a hardship waiver.
After Thiel became eligible to play, Thiel’s family dropped the suit March 18.
As part of the agreement with the LHSAA, Thiel — a high school sophomore — must meet all future eligibility requirements if he wishes to continue playing high school sports in his junior and senior seasons.
Thiel’s father told The Advocate his son has already recorded a couple of hits in two games since his reinstatement on the team.
NCAA Surplus Exceeds $60M for Third Consecutive Year
by Steve Berkowitz, @ByBerkowitz, USA TODAY Sports March 2014
The NCAA recorded a nearly $61 million surplus for its 2013 fiscal year, according to an audited financial statement the association released Thursday. While the surplus is smaller than those the association had in each of its two previous years, this is the third consecutive year in which the annual surplus has exceeded $60 million. This increased the NCAA's year-end net assets to more than $627 million, just less than double where they stood at the end of its 2007 fiscal year.
Locker Room Slurs on Agenda of Upcoming NFL Meetings
by Hal Habib Palm Beach Post Staff Writer March 2014
It could become a bit easier to make the playoffs and a bit harder to make extra points in the NFL, but one virtual certainty is it will be significantly tougher for anyone to get away with using some of the language heard in the Dolphins' locker room last season.