Daily Compliance Item- 9/30/13- Scouting

An assistant volleyball coach at Ocean State University (OSU) has a younger sister that plays volleyball at a nearby college.  The assistant coach would like to go watch her sister’s next game but the team is playing against an OSU future opponent.

Is it permissible for the coach to go watch her sister play in a game against a future opponent?

 

Yes.  NCAA Staff Interpretation- 9/27/13-  Coaching Staff Member who is Parent, Sibling or Spouse of Participant in Contest Involving Future Opponent (I) – states that the prohibition against off-campus scouting of opponents does not preclude a coaching staff member from attending a contest that involves a future opponent if the coaching staff member is the parent or legal guardian, sibling or spouse, of a participant (e.g., player, coach) in the competition.

 

[References: NCAA Division I Bylaw 11.6.1 (off-campus, in-person scouting prohibition); and official interpretation (11/10/94, Item No. 4) which has been archived; and staff interpretation (8/22/97, Item No. c) which has been archived]

Daily Compliance Item- 9/27/13- Current Event

EA drops football in ’14, settles cases as NCAA fights

USATODAY.com

 

On a day when legal wrangling over the use of college athletes’ names and likenesses prompted video game manufacturer Electronic Arts to announce it will not publish a college football game for at least one year and settle a series of related lawsuits, the NCAA vowed to keep fighting on the issue for as long as necessary.

 

EA announced Thursday afternoon it will not produce a college football game in 2014 and is “evaluating our plan for the future of the franchise.” Within hours, a court filing and lawyers representing former and current college football and men’s basketball players said an agreement had been reached to settle claims against EA in three presumptive federal class-action lawsuits.

 

Terms of the deal remained confidential pending their presentation to various courts, but it is likely to result in the landmark distribution of tens of millions of dollars to thousands of college athletes — including current athletes — whose names or avatars have been in EA games since the early 2000s.

 

The settlement also covered claims against the nation’s leading collegiate trademark licensing firm, Collegiate Licensing Co. That leaves the NCAA as the lone defendant in a case whose named plaintiffs include former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon, former Arizona State and Nebraska football player Sam Keller and five current football players.

 

Earlier Thursday, the NCAA’s chief legal officer told USA TODAY Sports the association is gearing up for that case with even greater resources and resolve than it has before.

 

Donald Remy said the association has retained one new law firm for the purpose of trial and another, featuring a former U.S. solicitor general, to handle appeals.

 

“We’re prepared to take this all the way to the Supreme Court if we have to,” Remy said. “We are not prepared to compromise on the case.”

 

Asked whether the likely cost of such additions to the NCAA’s legal team had been approved by association governing panels involved with oversight of the NCAA’s finances, Remy said: “This strategy has been discussed by all appropriate bodies and endorsed. The membership supports this handling of the case.”

 

The NCAA’s resolve seemed almost welcomed by lawyers representing the plaintiffs, who said they are looking forward to being able to concentrate their efforts on one case and one target.

“Fantastic,” Robert Carey said. “We’ll see them in court.”

 

Said Michael Hausfeld, another lead attorney for the plaintiffs: “The NCAA now stands alone in its hypocrisy. When you hire a new firm to deal with a trial and a firm to deal with an appeal, it doesn’t say a lot about your confidence in your position.”

 

Warren Zola, who teaches sports law at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management, said Thursday’s settlement leaves the NCAA in a difficult position.

 

“You are the last defendant standing in a case where everyone else felt that settling was the best solution,” he said.

 

EA’s decision to settle came days after its lawyers filed papers asking the Supreme Court to review adverse rulings it had received in a portion of the Keller-O’Bannon case and in a suit filed by former Rutgers football player Ryan Hart. Former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston more recently had filed yet another suit against EA.

 

NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn had no comment on the settlement because the association hadn’t seen the terms.

 

Zola pointed out that it is unclear whether active college athletes would be allowed under NCAA rules to immediately accept money from the settlement or whether the funds may have to be set aside until their college playing careers end.

 

As for EA, it is putting the brakes on a product that sells about 2 million units per year, according to stock analyst Michael Pachter. The FIFA soccer video game and Madden NFL game sell 12 million and 5.5 million units, respectively, CLC spokesman Andrew Giangola told USA TODAY Sports in July.

 

In July, the NCAA announced it would not renew its contract with EA after next year, citing business reasons and litigation costs. However, more than 150 colleges, conferences and bowl games approved a three-year contract extension with EA. The only impact at the time was the game would no longer be called “NCAA Football” but rather “College Football,” with each school or league continuing to decide whether to opt in or out through CLC.

 

“This is as profoundly disappointing to the people who make this game as I expect it will be for the millions who enjoy playing it each year,” Cam Weber, the general manager of American football for EA Sports, wrote in statement posted on the company’s website.

 

The statement went on to say: “We have been stuck in the middle of a dispute between the NCAA and student-athletes who seek compensation for playing college football. … The ongoing legal issues combined with increased questions surrounding schools and conferences have left us in a difficult position – one that challenges our ability to deliver an authentic sports experience, which is the very foundation of EA Sports games.”

 

This article was selected for educational purposes only.

Daily Compliance Item- 9/26/13- 13.1.1.1, 13.2.1- Staff Members’ Children Traveling with Team

The Ocean State University (OSU) football team is traveling to an away from home contest this weekend.  OSU has designated this trip as a family trip, so the sport administrator would like to bring his high school aged son.

Is this permissible?

 

Yes.  NCAA Staff Interpretation- 12/2/08- Prospect-Aged Child of an Institutional Staff Member Traveling with the Institution’s Team to an Away-From-Home Contest (I/II/III) – states that  it is permissible for an institution, at its discretion, to provide expenses related to travel (e.g., transportation, lodging and meals) to away-from-home contests to prospect-aged children of institutional staff members and athletics department staff members.

 

[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 13.1.1.1 (time period for off-campus contacts — general rule), 13.1.1.2 (two-year college prospective student-athletes), 13.1.1.3 (four-year college prospective student-athletes) and 13.2.1 (general regulation); NCAA Division II Bylaws 13.1.1.1 (high school prospective student-athletes), 13.1.1.2 (four-year college prospective student-athletes) and 13.2.1 (general regulation); and NCAA Division III Bylaws 13.1.1.1 (high school prospective student-athletes), 13.1.1.2 (four-year college prospective student-athletes) and 13.2.1 (general regulation)]

 

This legislation is applicable to Divisions I, II and III.

Daily Compliance Item- 9/25/13- 14.2.3.1.4- alumni game

Aerial is a field hockey student-athlete at Ocean State University.  Here is Aerial’s participation record:

2011-12- first year of enrollment- participated in the annual alumni game (exempted contest)

2012-13- 2nd year of enrollment- participated in all 20 contests plus 2 postseason contests

How many seasons of competition has Aerial used going into the 2013-14 academic year?

 

Aerial has used 1 season of competition.  NCAA Bylaw 14.2.3.1.4 states that a student-athlete may engage in outside competition in either one alumni game, one fundraising activity or one celebrity sports activity during a season without counting such competition as a season of competition, provided the event is exempted from the institution’s maximum number of contests or dates of competition as permitted in the particular sport per Bylaw 17. (Adopted:  1/16/10 effective 8/1/10)

Daily Compliance Item- 9/24/13- 12.1.2.1.6, 16.02.3- Extra Benefit vs. Preferential Treatment

DID YOU KNOW…

There is a difference between extra benefits and preferential treatment?

*The provision of extra benefits involve institutional staff members or boosters

*Preferential treatment occurs when institution does not have knowledge of the treatment, benefit or services being provided to the individual

Hole N. One is a golf student-athlete at Ocean State University (OSU).  Hole asks his coach to call the pro at a country club in his hometown, so that he can have some free time at the driving range during the Thanksgiving holiday.  The coach arranges for Hole to hit balls free of charge.  This country club offers student discount rates throughout the year.

Does this arrangement constitute a violation?

 Yes, other college students are not able to play for free.  They pay a discounted rate.

Is this an extra benefit or preferential treatment?

This arrangement is an extra benefit because of the coach’s involvement.

Would this arrangement still be a violation if the coach was not involved?

Yes, the violation would be preferential treatment.

12.1.2.1.6 Preferential Treatment, Benefits or Services.

Preferential treatment, benefits or services because of the individual’s athletics reputation or skill or pay-back potential as a professional athlete, unless such treatment, benefits or services are specifically permitted under NCAA legislation.

16.02.3 Extra Benefit.

An extra benefit is any special arrangement by an institutional employee or a representative of the institution’s athletics interests to provide a student-athlete or the student-athlete’s relative or friend a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation. Receipt of a benefit by student-athletes or their relatives or friends is not a violation of NCAA legislation if it is demonstrated that the same benefit is generally available to the institution’s students or their relatives or friends or to a particular segment of the student body (e.g., foreign students, minority students) determined on a basis unrelated to athletics ability.

Daily Compliance Item- 9/23/13- 11.01.4- Meals

Back Board is an undergraduate student assistant coach for the men’s basketball team at Ocean State University. Back attended a few meals with the coaches and recruits (official visits) over the weekend. The meals took place at the head coach’s house and on campus.

Was that permissible?

Yes. NCAA Staff Interpretation- 12/20/12- Graduate Assistant Coach or Undergraduate Student Assistant Coach Receiving a Meal with Prospective Student-Athletes on Official Visits (I)- states that a graduate assistant coach or an undergraduate student assistant coach may receive a meal with a prospective student-athlete during the prospective student-athlete’s official visit, within a 30-mile radius of the institution’s campus.

[References: NCAA Bylaws 11.01.3 (coach, graduate assistant — bowl subdivision football and women’s rowing); 11.01.4 (coach, undergraduate student assistant); 13.1.2.3 (general restrictions – staff members and governing board); 13.6.7.5 (student host); 13.6.7.5.1 (multiple hosts); 13.6.7.7 (meals on official visit); an official interpretation (10/14/1998, Item No. 35), and a staff interpretation (9/29/1999, item a), which have been archived]

Daily Compliance Item- 9/20/13- Current Event

Billy Donovan and Tom Izzo bring pay-for-play discussion to the forefront

 

Never before has the topic of amateurism in college sports coursed so pervasively throughout the sports-watching community. It’s not just writers and intellectuals weighing in, but also fans and players, all of whom seem to believe the system is somehow unfair, or headed for change, or at the very least won’t survive the impending Ed O’Bannon lawsuit without some type of meaningful update.

Coaches are sharing their thoughts too, and in the past week, two of college basketball’s most prominent head men have spoken up about the changing athletic climate revenue-producing Division I athletes inhabit today. Florida coach Billy Donovan understands the apparent paradox baked into amateurism’s core philosophy. When athletic departments are guzzling at the fire hose of football and television-related revenue, and student-athletes receive nothing more than the thousands covering their room, board and tuition, a disconnect is not only obvious for outsiders. It’s difficult to reconcile even for the student-athletes, who for years accepted college sports’ wage-fixing mechanism as an ironclad part of the collegiate athletic experience.

 “There is a feel by a lot of families that here you have these huge athletic departments, you have arenas, stadiums filled up and these kids are told, you can’t go out and you can’t take a free meal, you can’t take anything,” Donovan said. “A lot of times for those kids, I think it’s very difficult to swallow that.”

That quote comes from The Gainesville Sun, who recorded Donovan’s words while he spoke at the Capital City Area Gator Club last week.

At a different public speaking event in Birmingham on Monday – note to high-profile college basketball coaches who have agreed to speak in a public forum, it’s best to assume every word coming our of your mouth will not only be recorded and transcribed, but disseminated across the Internet and published in tomorrow’s paper – Michigan State’s Tom Izzo gave his opinion on a more specific issue related to player compensation in college sports: the $2,000 stipend NCAA president Mark Emmert proposed, but failed to garner the amount of votes required for passage. “I think something should be done, but I think it should be done for the right reasons,” Izzo said. “I like the theory of some type of stipend and if they graduate it, they get it. I don’t want it to be where some of the local stores, like Best Buy, gives a kid more money.”

Izzo also spoke about the transfer epidemic in college basketball, including the seeming disconnect wherein coaches are allowed to switch schools without penalty, but student-athletes must receive “permission to contact” before even reaching out to the schools they may be interested in transferring to – the range of which comes at the discretion of coaches, who typically limit potential destinations to a small list rarely inclusive of shared conference membership. Read the rest of Izzo’s thoughts from AL.com reporter Jon Solomon’s Monday article.

These comments are interesting in and of themselves, two of the game’s best coaches acknowledging the philosophical and practical hitched laced into college sports’ modern governing model. They also coincide with comments from Emmert, who while speaking at a forum at Marquette’s law school Monday (and expressly shooting down the idea of a “pay-for-play” professional-type model) said the NCAA could revisit the idea of a $2,000 stipend for student-athletes as early as spring 2014. When the stipend proposal was voted down in December, members expressed concerns about a potential escalation in costs – about how it would widen the gap between the so-called “haves,” who could afford paying their student-athletes an extra $2,000 for weekend meals and travel expenses, and the “have-nots,” who feared the inability to provide student-athletes the same reward would further diminish their ability to compete and recruit against wealthier schools. Others feared the disbandment of non-revenue producing sports. When 160 schools voted against implementation in December, they merely tabled the idea, much less eliminated it from future consideration, demanding more details before future reevaluation. Based on Emmert’s comments, meaningful discussions could resurface as early as next spring, but will that be too late? Will the organization settle with O’Bannon’s group of plaintiffs before then, to spare the possibility of a complete implosion while accepting modifications instead? Will college sports have changed so drastically before Emmert can readdress the issue? Maybe the most pressing question: Will Emmert still have his job six or eight months from now?

The summer was overrun by discussion – most notably involving conference commissioners at their leagues’ respective football media days – about seismic change to the NCAA’s organizational structure. The creation of a “Division IV” was a popularized notion, an idea centering around the separation of big conference schools into their own league, governed by rules better equipped to address the monetary and institutional realities of major conference athletics. Basically, bigger schools want to have the freedom to clear ideas like stipends for student-athletes without worrying about the possibility of small-conference programs voting them down. The timeline for change is unclear, but NCAA leaders are expected to discuss every possibility at the organization’s convention in January. Mass institutional construction, including everything from Division 4 to stipends, could be the next step.

This is where the climate Izzo and Donovan speak of has led us: to the brink of significant change. The system is so flawed, and so outdated, so as to be untenable – coaches like Donovan and Izzo are simply describing what’s been made painstakingly obvious as the problems intrinsic to college sport’s current governing model have become impossible to ignore. Izzo and Donovan recognize the disturbing realities, the nebulous future on the horizon, and are elevating the discussion, as only two esteemed championship-winning coaches can.