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Thursday, February 19, 2009
Catching Up with Some Links

* Oliver v. NCAA: Last week, Alan Milstein blogged on an Ohio state court's ruling in favor of Oklahoma State University star pitcher Andrew Oliver, who had been suspended by the NCAA. The NCAA had suspended Oliver after learning that, years earlier, Oliver had met with Minnesota Twins representatives with his attorneys while contemplating whether to retain his amateur status and attend college or turn pro after high school. A few days ago, Southern Illinois University Professor Tassos Kaburakis blogged on the same subject on the National Sports and Entertainment Law Society's blog. Alan supports the decision, while Tassos disagrees with it. I'd check out both posts (though I'd read the decision in its entirety first).

* Darren Rovell's Sports Biz on CNBC: Always a great website to check out, Darren has had some particualrly interesting posts of late, including on commissioners' salaries and the NCAA's efforts to ban certain vitaminwaters.

* National Sports and Entertainment Law Society Blog: has some excellent posts up, including on age limits in pro sports -- this blog has been generating very good content. And the Society's main website is also worth checking out.

* Free Miguel Tejada?: Aaron Zelinsky of Yale Law School and The Huffington Post makes the case that the prosecution construction's of 2 U.S.C. 192 was over-broad and should not include congressional staffers on off-site investigations.

* Crowd Noise and Refereeing: Are referees unknowingly biased by crowd reaction? Even if they try to be fair and tune out hostile and unruly crowds who are yelling at them, does statistical data suggest they often fail? The Situationist has some links on the topic.

* Training Athletes to Safely Use Guns: On Sports Agent Blog, Darren Heitner wonders if it makes sense to train athletes on how to use a gun.

* Sonny Vaccaro to speak at Indiana (Indianapolis) Law School: On Wednesday, March 4th, Sonny Vaccaro will present at Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis on the NCAA's treatment of student-athletes, particularly male basketball players, and the relationship between those players contributions to their universities and the income generated by those universities from sports TV contracts and related revenue sources. He will also address the NBA's age limit and the possible trend of teenage star basketball players who are ineligible for the NBA due to age going to play pro hoops abroad (like Brandon Jennings is doing in Italy). For more information about Sonny's talk, click here.

* Sports Law Review Article Submissions: If you have written a sports law paper that may be worthy of publication in a law review, keep in mind that there are many sports law reviews and journals seeking submissions. Just consider those listed in our "Sports Law Resources" link section on the left-hand side of our blog (and yes, we know we have to update our links). One law review that has emailed us of their interest in subsmissions is the Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Journal. For more information, contact Lauren Paull, Articles Development Editor, at lpaull[at]


It is nice to see some debate on the Oliver decision. Both Alan and Tassos make good points. I have a commentary in The Jurist (University of Pittsburgh) about the Oliver decision in Ohio. Unfortunately, the editors translated OSU to mean Ohio State and not Oklahoma State (Oliver's alma mater), but it works either way.

Despite Oliver ruling to allow legal counsel for student athletes more reform at NCAA needed
1:37 PM ET

Timothy Liam Epstein [Chair, Sports Law Practice Group, SmithAmundsen LLC]: "The Oliver opinion is a major victory for student athletes who find the process of testing the market increasingly difficult without jeopardizing their amateur status, especially with recognition of third-party beneficiary status to the relationship between the NCAA and a member institution. Surely the NCAA needs work, from the National Letter of Intent to Bylaw to Bylaw 19.7, but I would like to see more of the reform come from within the NCAA itself.

Member institutions like OK State University find themselves in awkward positions of having to comply with NCAA rules while protecting the interests of its student athletes, which in a case like Oliver, creates a potential conflict. Furthermore, allowing student athletes to negotiate with professional teams without a lawyer, but not placing the same restriction on the professional team creates an unbalanced negotiation. While Bylaw 12.3.2 provides for lawyer assistance in review of a proposed contract, not allowing the lawyer in the room during negotiations of the same contract can be unworkable (what if mom/dad/guardian is a lawyer?). Keep in mind that the aforementioned contract lawyer must be compensated by the student athlete or his family. Some argue that pro-sports counseling panels are an available tool for use during negotiations (see Bylaw 12.3.4), but these panels are reported as underused. Finally, assuming the student athlete's allegations in the factual record to be true, the conduct of the Baratta's/Icon Sports speaks to the need for better agency regulation."

Blogger Tim Epstein -- 2/19/2009 2:50 PM  

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