Schools and universities should be informed that Title IX enforcement in the area of campus sexual assault might be scaled back or even eliminated under the new Trump administration. This is particularly significant for athletic directors, coaches, and conference commissioners who are focused on the proper role of collegiate athletic departments in combating and eradicating incidents of sexual violence perpetrated by athletes. Since 2011, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has issued detailed guidance documents and conducted investigations at more than 200 institutions involving allegations of this nature. Continue Reading »
Proud to attend the excellent panel presentation at the NACWAA Rally yesterday, featuring my Shumaker colleague Dana Drew Shaw, along with a packed room of women athletic administrators. The topic, Legal Aspects of Sport Supervision, led to an important discussion and analysis of the major areas of legal concern in collegiate athletic departments today, together with constructive solutions.
The panel clearly outlined legal issues involving Title IX sexual assault compliance, alleged abuse by coaches, and student-athlete welfare, as important areas of concern. Significant takeaways from her presentation include the necessity for education and training of coaches and administrators in these areas, clear written policies and procedures, as well as open and enhanced communication among administrators, coaches, and student-athletes regarding conduct and expectations. Our Shumaker team can assist with legal review and guidance in all of these areas.
The lawsuit against the NCAA over whether Division I men’s basketball and football players can be compensated for the commercial use of their names, images and likenesses came to an abrupt end on Monday as the U.S. Supreme Court denied petitions by both O’Bannon and the NCAA to review the case.
The Supreme Court’s decision not to hear O’Bannon (made without comment or explanation) leaves in place the September 2015 ruling of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that (1) NCAA regulations are subject to antitrust scrutiny, and rules that prohibited student-athletes from receiving more than the value of a full grant-in-aid scholarship (tuition, fees, room, board and books) violated antitrust laws; and (2) while antitrust law requires that schools be allowed to provide student-athletes full cost of attendance scholarships, it does not require payments “untethered to educational expenses.” While the O’Bannon case ran its course through the appellate courts, the NCAA voluntarily increased the value of an athletic scholarship to include full costs of attendance beginning in the Fall of 2015, but the NCAA was adamant that compensation for student-athletes beyond education expenses threatened its amateurism system. Continue Reading »
On September 26, 2016, Senator Bill Coley (R-West Chester) introduced S.B. 356, which if enacted would amend Ohio gambling law to expressly define daily fantasy sports (“DFS”) and e-sports contests that charge a commission known as a “rake” as a “scheme of chance.”
During his press conference introducing S.B. 356, Senator Coley made it clear that it is his view S.B. 356 will not change existing Ohio law. Senator Coley stated that the inclusion of a “pool conducted for profit” in the existing definition of “scheme of chance” in section 2915.01(C) of the Ohio Revised Code already covers DFS contests that charge a rake, such as contests offered by companies like FanDuel and DraftKings. He stated that DFS contests that charge a rake are “illegal under existing Ohio law.” Continue Reading »
Until recently, all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (“LGBTQ”) student-athletes, collegiate coaches, and administrators were expected to keep their sexual orientation or non-conforming gender identity hidden. Social views of LGBTQ individuals are slowly becoming more tolerant and positive and it is becoming less acceptable, even illegal, to harass or discriminate against LGBTQ student-athletes, coaches and administrators which can include making anti-LGBTQ comments or slurs. Although transgender issues have recently received significant attention, associated LGBTQ issues have rarely been adequately addressed by intercollegiate athletic programs. Educational institutions and athletic programs must respond to these realities. They must meet this emerging equal opportunity vacuity head on and address the existence and needs of LBGTQ student-athletes seriously. Continue Reading »
Scandals, Investigations, and Media Scrutiny – The Need for Proactive Policies and Procedures in Athletics Departments
With the college football season set to kick off, most attention will turn to wins and losses rather than the off-field issues that place universities and athletic departments in the media spotlight. However, with the increase of internal investigations stemming from Title IX issues of abuse and harassment, matters of student-athlete welfare, and discrimination allegations in today’s litigious society, it is prudent for institutions and their athletics administrators to review their current policies and procedures in order to assure that these problem areas in the collegiate athletic arena are effectively addressed. Continue Reading »
The fight over pay-for-play rules steamed ahead this month as the NCAA joined the O’Bannon plaintiffs’ request that the United States Supreme Court reconsider the ruling of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, albeit for different reasons.
In March, O’Bannon sought review of the part of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling that found the NCAA did not have to pay student-athletes deferred compensation for the use of their name, image, and likeness. On May 13, the NCAA asked the Supreme Court to reconsider the Ninth Circuit’s ruling that found it violated antitrust law, stating that the Ninth Circuit failed to follow decisions of the Supreme Court and other federal appeals courts “under which rules that define the character of NCAA athletics, and are thus essential for the NCAA’s distinct product to exist, are upheld,” including the 1984 Supreme Court ruling in NCAA v. Board of Regents, where the Supreme Court ruled that “in order to preserve the character and quality of the [NCAA’s] ‘product,’ athletes must not be paid, must be required to attend class and the like.” Continue Reading »