Monthly Archive: March 2014

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Guilty By Association: Joint Employer Doctrine and Why the NCAA Should Tread Lightly Regarding the Northwestern NLRB Decision

So the Chicago regional office of the NLRB ruled that Northwestern is an employer and that its football players are employees who may elect to form a union. The decision however did not directly address the NCAA. At first glance the NCAA may not be bound by this decision since it is not labeled as the “employer.” However, what is to stop the NCAA from deploying its nuclear option and simply creating a bylaw stating that any player in a union or any player who is an “employee” is ineligible for competition. Well, there are two main obstacles, one from a practical perspective, and another from the legal side. Let’s begin with the legal element.

Kain Colter 0

Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner: Why the NLRB Decision is a Far Cry From Taking Down the NCAA

The National Labor Relations Board decided in favor of Northwestern football players’ right to unionize by saying scholarship players are “employees” under the National Labor Relations Act. While this has been considered a Midway-esque victory in what could be a shift in the landscape of college athletics under the NCAA banner, we are still far off from realizing a college athlete union.

Standing in the way of scholarship athletes and “complete victory” are: (1) State-labor laws, (2) an appeal by Northwestern (3) Title IX, (4) the U.S. Tax Code, and of course, (5) the NCAA itself. Before you celebrate the demise of the current NCAA model, consider the difficult road ahead and the possibility that the Board’s decision will be overturned or severely limited.

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You may have never heard of Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) of Utah. If you have heard of him, then you likely know his general stance on taxes.

I have heard of him…in fact, I met him once in Washington, D.C. And I can tell you from personal experience, a more ardent supporter of the anti-tax Tea Party movement there is not.

But Chaffetz’s general stance on taxes did not stop him from recently introducing H.R. 3965, a bill which would revoke the tax exempt status of all professional sports organizations, including the National Football League, National Hockey League, and the Professional Golfers Association.