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Friday, August 15, 2008
The NCAA is at it again

The NCAA is at it again, committing what a parent to a 20 year old college athlete calls “Gestapo tactics” by interviewing his son without an attorney late into the night prior to his getting ready to pitch in a crucial regional championship game. Hours before the game, and presumably as a result of the interview, Oklahoma State declared Andy Oliver ineligible.

Oliver has now sued the NCAA and his former “advisors” seeking to regain his eligibility so he can finish his college career and to recover compensation for his damages. The NCAA’s response is typical of the cartel that never understood the concept of due process: it says only the school can seek Oliver’s reinstatement and the pitcher has no standing to sue the organization.

It all started when Oliver was still in high school contemplating whether to be drafted by a major club or attend an institution of higher learning. Like other young men in his position, he had advisors, who were certified MLB player agents, who were supposed to help him make an informed decision about his future. The NCAA rules, always a lesson in absurdity, permit such advisors so long as they are not being paid and do not speak on the player’s behalf to Major League clubs.

Apparently, the advisors were present when representatives of the Minnesota Twins were trying to woo Oliver to join the ranks of professional athletes. Oliver chose not to. He attended Oklahoma State University where he soon became one of the top pitching prospects in the nation.

The trouble started when Oliver started consulting with another unpaid advisor, Scott Boras. When the first advisors learned they had competition, they sent Oliver and his family a bill for $113,000, which the family refused to pay, saying they had never agreed to compensate these advisors who had to be unpaid to comply with NCAA rules.

The NCAA and its member schools have made billions off its student athletes while serving as a free farm system for MLB, the NFL and the NBA. The least it can do when it conducts an inquisition into whether a student has violated its arcane and hypocritical rules is to allow that student the opportunity for legal counsel in the proper setting.


Gosh, they gathered evidence, asked questions, and then released him. This is the Gestapo as run by Major Hochstader, I presume?

("Presumably as a result of the interview" implies that Oliver's speech indicated his guilt; it seems more reasonable to presume that his responses to the questions did not exonerate him. Had he said nothing, the result is likely the same. [Oliver's having had Tim Baratta present at a meeting where the Twins made an offer to Oliver is a clear violation of NCAA rules.])

Looking at the article, it's difficult not to note that Oliver fired his advisor. ("Baratta submitted the bill after Oliver, one of the best college pitchers in the country, fired him and hired powerful baseball agent Scott Boras as his advisor.") And that he's claiming a monetary value to pitching in "a College Regional, Super Regional, or College World Series" game.

In such circumstances, describing him as if he were an indentured servant, and not someone who chose to "intern" as a college baseball player to enhance his financial prospects, seems disingenuous at best.

Blogger Ken Houghton -- 8/15/2008 1:02 PM  

If the OSU attorney that "interviewed" him didn't disclose that he was working solely for OSU and not looking out for Oliver's interests, wouldn't the disclosure of that information by OSU and the attorney equal some type of attorney-client privilege/fiduciary violation?

If this is the act that Baratta pulls, I can't believe he has any clients left.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 8/15/2008 2:04 PM  

This was covered a while ago:

Anonymous Anonymous -- 8/16/2008 11:28 AM  

Yes, this is quite old news and was covered in depth by Prof. Karcher over a month ago on this very site.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 8/16/2008 4:11 PM  

But there is a brand new development on this situation. Yesterday, the judge entered a TRO that extends for 28 days as follows:

"A. Enjoining the Defendant NCAA from trying to regulate the practice of law in Ohio;

B. Enjoining the Defendant NCAA from enforcing NCAA Bylaw;

C. Enjoining the Defendant NCAA from continuing to investigate the plaintiff;

D. Requiring the Defendant NCAA to vacate its findings underlying the indefinite suspension of the Plaintiff's athletic eligibility, and requiring it to reinstate the same immediately."

Blogger Rick Karcher -- 8/16/2008 5:47 PM  

Now, this is new news...but of course, its from Prof. Karcher, "Johnny on the Spot." BTW, gotta love, "trying to regulate the practice of law in Ohio." One could put that in different terms, in fact much more colloquial. Problem: does this really help Oliver at this point?

Anonymous Anonymous -- 8/16/2008 7:57 PM  

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