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Friday, April 04, 2014
My Reddit AMA on Kain Colter, College Players Unionizing, Age Eligibility Rules and the NBA D League

I hopefully covered a lot of ground on college players unionizing, high school players unionizing (that's right), legal challenges to the NBA and NFL age limits and radically revamping the NBA D League (a personal obsession of mine, right up with there NBA and NFL age rules) in my Reddit "Ask Me Anything." It was a lot of fun to do and I appreciate the great questions.

Here's an excerpt:

[–]Michigan Wolverinesmaxaiden

(1) Do you think Title IX is unconstitutional?

(2) What impact, if any, would Title IX have on a compensation scheme for college athletes?

(3) If the NBA’s draft eligibility age limit were challenged in court, how would you defend it?


1. I don't think Title IX is unconstitutional. That's not to say it shouldn't be reformed, but I believe it's a permissible use of governmental power, consistent with other civil rights legislation.

2. Title IX would likely require universities that pay male athletes as employees to pay women athletes as well. The leading Title IX experts make that point, and I don't see a way around it -- unless, that is, a school decides to spin off its athletic department as a for-profit business. There still may be Title VII (gender discrimination) issues but Title IX is likely off the table at that point. The downside to the school at that point would be it loses its tax exempt status for sports. So there would be a cost. But maybe it's cheaper than paying women athletes in order to comply with Title IX.

3. If I had to defend the NBA's age eligibility limit (and I wouldn't want to!) I would argue 1. It was collectively bargained and historically unions can negotiate on behalf of prospective employees and 2. It serves business purposes for the NBA in terms of player evaluation and in terms of marketing rookie players to fans. A player entering the NBA already being well-known is an advantage to NBA teams (take Carmelo Anthony being a household name while at Syracuse versus Al Jefferson from high school in Mississippi to Celtics and the average Celtics fan is not familiar with him). 

 For the rest, click here.


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