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Legal news and analysis of collegiate athletics.

Can the ACC Suspend Duke’s Grayson Allen for Tripping Opponents?

Last night, Duke’s Grayson Allen appeared to intentionally trip an opponent for the second time in less than 3 weeks. Can the ACC suspend him? Will they?

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Because I Said So: Paternal Court Rules Penn Student Athletes Are Not Employees

The United States District Court for the Southern Division of Indiana ruled on Berger vs. NCAA, in what was a very interesting, if unheralded decision. This particular case involved the questions of whether or not student-athletes are employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act and if so, whether or not the NCAA and its membership institutions were violating the FLSA by failing to pay the student athletes minimum wage.

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How to Fix The NCAA’s Initial Eligibilty Process

Initial eligibility is a good idea in principle that currently faces many flaws. The process is great in hindsight but doesn't allow much time to correct deficiencies, and is especially hard on international prospects. While academic certification is far from perfect for a small number of freshman student-athletes, a few simple changes might make initial eligibility exponentially better.

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Collegiate Athletes, Trademarks and O’Bannon: Closing the Door on the Olympic Model

College football season is in full swing, and that means a renewed interest in collegiate players trademarking their names and nicknames as well as increased conversation about pay-for-play. Unfortunately for players and proponents of compensating student-athletes, the Ninth Circuit’s decision in O’Bannon firmly shut the door on the possibility of the Olympic model.

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The Great Escape: The NCAA Receives a Tremendous Ruling for Now and The Future in The O’Bannon Appeal Decision

On Wednesday, September 30, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion on the NCAA’s appeal of O’Bannon vs. NCAA. The decision was a massive win for the NCAA, and for a number of reasons, the decision was a massive defeat for proponents seeking increased compensation for student athletes.

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Punting or Prudence: The NLRB Decision on Northwestern

On Monday, August 17, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board ruled against Northwestern football players on athletic scholarship, preventing them from forming a union. First, this decision did not rule as to whether or not they considered the student-athletes employees. What the NLRB decided is that it would decline jurisdiction on the matter, for not falling within the confines of the National Labor Relations Act.

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The NCAA’s Ill-Defined Role in Academic Fraud Cases

Academic misconduct in the NCAA has become a bit of a hot button issue in the last decade, as the NCAA is categorizing academic improprieties as an impermissible extra benefit. When looking at academic fraud involving NCAA student-athletes, the million-dollar question is “What should the NCAA’s role be in assessing and punishing academic fraud?”

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SILAS NACITA: WHEN ELIGIBILITY DECISIONS BREAK SOCIAL MEDIA

Today, the NCAA “declared” a Baylor football player ineligible for accepting housing, or at least that’s what was initially reported. After some time couch surfing and failing to find a concrete home, a concerned friend offered to help by providing an apartment. This provided apartment became the center of allegations of extra benefits. But is there more to the story?

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The Curious Case of Ed O’Bannon: How the NCAA Managed to Lose Almost Every Point in the Landmark Case and Still Avoid Having to Make Any Sweeping Changes.

On Friday, August 8, the first decision in a wave of litigation against the NCAA hit the shores. The decision by Judge Claudia Wilken of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California is both important and intriguing. The decision is the first time in major litigation that a court has not given deference to the NCAA’s commitment to amateurism when those regulations seem to conflict with antitrust laws. The decision has been hailed by many as “the death of amateurism;” however, a close analysis will show that statement to be a minor exaggeration. In reality, it will merely force the NCAA to make better and more reasoned arguments for what it does.

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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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