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Sean Dotson

Sean currently works in the Athletics Compliance Office at Appalachian State University. He graduated from Tulane University School of Law with a certificate in Sports Law in 2012, and graduated from Tulane University with a B.A. in History in 2009. Sean has previously worked with multiple sports agents, and as a law clerk in workers’ compensation court.

The Conveniently Timed Barcelona Trade Embargo

In April, FIFA sanctioned FC Barcelona for violating regulations regarding the international transfer and registration of minors (U-18 players). Barcelona originally appealed FIFA’s decision, during which the FIFA Appeal Committee granted a stay of the initially imposed transfer ban. All aspects of FIFA’s initial ruling were upheldon Wednesday, including fines and a transfer ban that will prevent the club from signing any players in the next two windows (January 2015 and Summer 2015). While the decision has finally arrived, how much affect will it actually have? The FIFA Appeal Committee delayed the ban just late enough for Barcelona to get a majority, if not all, of the club’s current transfer business done for the upcoming season.

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A New (and Improved?) NCAA Governance

In a landmark 16-2 vote today, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors voted to give the Power Five Conferences (the 65 schools of the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, PAC-12, and SEC) more autonomy and the ability to make their own decisions over certain aspects of the collegiate model.[i] These conferences will now be able to initiate legislative changes of their own, which could start as soon as October 1 to get into the legislative cycle for April voting.

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Hungry for Victory: Luis Suarez Strikes Again

On Wednesday, FIFA announced that it has charged Uruguay forward Luis Suarez with biting an Italian opponent and has opened disciplinary proceedings in the incident. What are the possible penalties? What is the precedent? Sean Dotson explains.

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Dr. Enforcement: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love NCAA Interpretive Flexibility

The NCAA announced a new interpretive philosophy. If this philosophy works, everyone wins. Student-athletes will likely receive more minimal participation benefits without having to pay back paltry amounts. Compliance offices can actually say yes to coaches and staff members more often, without the NCAA second-guessing the institution. Lastly, the NCAA’s small and overburdened enforcement staff can relax in the knowledge that they will see less violations (stupid or just minimal) cross their desks. But if the philosophy doesn’t work, the NCAA could devolve into interpretive chaos, and just become another thorn in the organization’s side.

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Shabazz Napier: The Agent of Change (Not Quite)

Among a number of new proposals adopted on Tuesday, the NCAA has approved unlimited snacks and meals as a benefit incidental to participation for student-athletes.[1] Many are looking at this new legislation as a panicked response to Shabazz Napier’s speech against the NCAA after the National Championship. The NCAA isn’t sitting up there, sweating (well they are, but not over this), thinking “Oh no, a visible figure in one of our money sports has exposed an unjust chink in our armor!” This change has been long in the making, starting with the infamous fruits, nuts, and bagels interpretation.

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FC Besieged Barcelona: FIFA’s Hammer of Justice

In a season where FC Barcelona is already dealing with adversity, the soccer[i] gods are deciding to pile it on. Not only is the club facing the loss of multiple key players that have been mainstays for a decade (Puyol, Valdes), they are also in the midst of the closest title race in La Liga in years (THREE whole teams within three points). On the business side of the club, Barcelona and Real Madrid are also fighting against a potential new regulation on the sport that would decrease their television revenue advantage over the other clubs. FC Barca LogoCurrently the two clubs make as much as 6.5 times as much as the smallest clubs on television deals, while this new law would shrink that to max out the disparity at a fourfold difference (a likely loss of approximately one third of their current share).

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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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Down the Rabbit Hole: The Unlikely and Fantastical Theory of a College Sports Union

Northwestern and the NCAA have both made statements regarding this attempt to unionize, with vastly different tones and acceptances. Northwestern offered the opinion that its students are “leaders and independent thinkers.” They subtly show their hand in approving the move by throwing out that they are proud of their students and this action exemplifies the institution’s teachings (well, either that or they are trying to solely emphasize the word independent in a way to say “NCAA leave us out of this, it isn’t us).

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Allow me to start by saying that the NCAA is by no means perfect. With countless calls for reform, mostly involving amateurism and deregulation of a handbook that could be about a hundred pages shorter, the writing is on the wall that a number of people have issues with the …

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