Everything College Sports

For those interested in all things college sports

The Race for the NCAA to Monitor Technology Advances

Let me first say, I am a huge NCAA fan from a business and sport competition perspective – but this seems to be a no win situation. Some of you may have seen a semi-humorous article in Bloomberg the other day. Well, it may not be funny if you work at the NCAA in Enforcement or if you are a coach that is not an early adopter of new technologies. Anyway, the Bloomberg Article, IPhone Athletes Race Past NCAA Cops,  is about the realities of trying to keep NCAA rules one step ahead of the athletes and coaches. Continue reading

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April 6, 2009 Posted by | Legislation, NCAA Compliance Issues, Recruiting, Rules Violations | | Leave a comment

What is wrong with Ohio courts? First O’Brien, now this…

Many of us subscribe to the need for reform in various areas of the NCAA’s management of student-athletes (SAs). The White v NCAA settlement a year ago was a strategic maneuver that provided for more funds to be disbursed to SAs, with the important inclusion of the opportunity, not mandate, to afford SAs Comprehensive Health Insurance, the same that we as Faculty receive by our employers.

It is true that during the present NCAA administration a more flexible, responsive, and preemptive approach to policy and litigation management has been initiated. The past few settlements have been received with criticism, arguing that the member institutions will bear the financial burden in years to come. Fair criticism has also been targeting the dangerous prospects of what some of these settlements and certain policy amendments could mean for possible future decisions in appellate courts. This concern is especially true pertaining to amateurism deregulation and commercialization, allowing for institutions to compete for more revenue. No one can deny, however, that these settlements made sense, avoiding any unforeseen mishaps in this nation’s Halls of Justice.

Let’s talk about the latter for a minute as Oliver v NCAA is rather problematic (the full opinion is embedded below this post).

Reform in intercollegiate athletics, when coming from the US system of Jurisprudence, should be founded on solid theory, convincing arguments, and research that regardless of constituents’ predispositions would make legal sense and would be respected for intellectual quality and practical clarity. We all have in our minds judges’ decisions that really shaped the way we look at things in legal, policy, socioeconomic, and political sense. What do you remember about such decisions that gave you goosebumps? This Ohio Ct. decision by Judge Tone probably fails in most aspects important and well cited decisions were able to muster.

As this decision is considered and the appeals prepared, the Amateurism Cabinet and various Committees in the new governance structure of the Association are figuring out ways to come up with either de-regulation, or legislative amendments that preemptively treat many of the cases US Courts or ADR bodies within the NCAA would hear. Regardless of recent settlements, I strongly believe the NCAA has every right and the duty to appeal, and appeal again, preserving amateurism, per President Brand’s recent State of the Association article. Here’s why, very briefly:

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February 14, 2009 Posted by | Baseball, Legislation, Reform, Rules Violations | , | 7 Comments

The Value of a Student-Athlete Education

I was fortunate enough to go to the NCAA Convention in Washington, D.C. a couple of weeks ago with a group of my classmates.  As many of them have already expressed, it was an amazing opportunity not only to network, but also to listen to the major issues that are currently occurring in college athletics.

A major theme throughout the weekend was the need to address rising commercial activity within intercollegiate athletics.  The State of the Association Address focused on this issue and the need to find the right balance–a balance that ensures that the principles and values of higher education are not compromised.

That got me thinking a lot about the topic of whether student-athletes should be paid.  Although this was not specifically addressed in the state of the association speech, I think that it is an indirect side effect of increasing commercial activity—it seems that in some ways commercial activities have contributed to an altering view of the student-athlete. The focus is being placed more on the athlete in student-athlete than on the student in student-athlete.

I am in complete agreement that some commercial activity is necessary and that it has been a critical driver in generating revenues for athletic departments.  Without it, facilities, salaries and the overall well-being of the department would suffer.  However, I think increasing commercial activity has also blurred the meaning and mission of a student-athlete.

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January 29, 2009 Posted by | Legislation, NCAA, NCAA Compliance Issues, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Bowl Gifts.. excessive?

For those of you who have not seen the list of bowl gifts being handed out this year- I think it is CRAZY.  Of course as a student-athlete it wouldn’t be so bad to receive one of these cool items or the shopping spree’s.

Sports Business Journal published a list of the bowl gift on Dec 8, 2008 and here are the highlights. These items are in addition to the traditional watches, sunglasses, hats, sweats, and other gear provided to the players. Plus, of course there will be championship rings for many of the winning teams provided by their school and per diem meal money as well as up to $20/day incidental expense money throughout their time at the bowl site up to 10 days AND an allowance for travel to and from the game for some schools that play close to Christmas ($800 cash at Oregon).

Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl- Wii System Bundle Package

Capital One Bowl- Party at Best Buy with a $400 shopping spree

Insight Bowl- 26″ LCD HD TV

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl – 8 gig iPod Touch

Rose Bowl presented by Citi- Sony DVD Camcorder

Independence Bowl- Trek Mountain Bike

FedEX BCS National Championship Game- $300 in Sony electronics

Here is the kicker, the limit on value for participant gifts varies between NCAA National Championships and Bowl Games (NCAA Award Chart search for Figure 16-1). Basically, a Conference Championship participant gift is limited to $325 (provided by the institution), a NCAA National Championship/Tournament is limited to $325 (from institution plus an NCAA unlimited value gift), and an All-Star game and Postseason Bowl is limited to $825 ($325 from institution and $500 from Bowl Mgt).

This is certainly not a new phenomenon and I do think that sponsor gifts are a legitimate reward for student-athletes at both Conference and National Championships. But, there seems to be some inequity here which seperates football from all other student-atheltes.

January 3, 2009 Posted by | BCS, Football, Legislation, Sponsorships and Sales, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment