Daily Compliance Item 1/31/14- Current Event

College athletes take steps to form labor union

USAToday.com

College athletes are ready to unionize.

Members of the Northwestern University football team, under the guidance of former quarterback Kain Colter, have signed a petition seeking to gain protections under the National Labor Relations Act. That would mean they would be recognized as employees in addition to being college athletes.

According to Ramogi Huma, president of the newly formed College Athlete Players Association, an overwhelming majority of the team has signed cards supporting a petition filed Tuesday at the Chicago regional office of the National Labor Relations Board to secure their labor rights and union representation through CAPA.

Jim Phillips, Northwestern’s director of athletics, said in a statement Tuesday afternoon, “We love and are proud of our students. Northwestern teaches them to be leaders and independent thinkers who will make a positive impact on their communities, the nation and the world. Today’s action demonstrates that they are doing so.”

He added, “Northwestern believes that our student-athletes are not employees and collective bargaining is therefore not the appropriate method to address these concerns. However, we agree that the health and academic issues being raised by our student-athletes and others are important ones that deserve further consideration.”

As a private institution, Northwestern employees are regulated by the NLRB. CAPA president and National College Players Association founder Ramogi Huma told USA TODAY Sports that if CAPA’s petition is granted, “Every FBS football player and Division I basketball player at the private schools will be classified as an employee and will be able to join CAPA.”

One of the most prominent goals of organizing is providing better medical protections and coverage for college athletes.

Huma said lawyers for the United Steelworkers are providing legal services for CAPA in-kind. “They are going to make the case that Northwestern players are protected by NLRB as employees,” Huma said.

To have the NLRB consider a petition to be unionized, at least 30% of the members of a group serving an employer must sign union cards.

The NCAA responded with a statement from chief legal officer Donald Remy.

“This union-backed attempt to turn student-athletes into employees undermines the purpose of college: an education,” the statement said. “Student-athletes are not employees, and their participation in college sports is voluntary. We stand for all student-athletes, not just those the unions want to professionalize. …

“Student-athletes are not employees within any definition of the National Labor Relations Act or the Fair Labor Standards Act. We are confident the National Labor Relations Board will find in our favor, as there is no right to organize student-athletes.”

Huma said of the NCAA, which has been discussing reform at the Division I level, said, “They had seven months to conceive a new model, and when they unveiled it, college athletes still did not have a seat at the table. They’re not offering details, and they haven’t even mentioned the word concussion. They’ve ignored us on these critical issues.”

Huma said Colter, who was one of the most prominent faces of the “All Players United” movement during the 2013 college football season, wanted to bring the idea of organizing to the Northwestern team following the season. No players from other schools involved in the APU movement, such as Georgia, Georgia Tech and Big Ten champion Michigan State, have been involved in the formation of CAPA, Huma said.

But United Steelworkers has been supportive since before the 2013 season. “They played a major role,” Huma said.

Northwestern’s players released the following statement Tuesday:

“We Northwestern football players are grateful for our opportunity to play football for a prestigious university and athletic program. However, just as other athletes who compete in multibillion dollar industries have done, we must secure and maintain comprehensive protections by asserting the rights afforded to us under labor laws. We are not taking these measures out of any mistreatment from Northwestern. However, we recognize the need to eliminate unjust NCAA rules that create physical, academic, and financial hardships for college athletes across the nation.”To remain silent while players are denied justice is to be complicit in inflicting injustice on future generations of college athletes.”

The players said they will comply with all Northwestern, Big Ten and NCAA rules and do not plan to comment further.

Phillips’ full statement:

“We love and are proud of our students. Northwestern teaches them to be leaders and independent thinkers who will make a positive impact on their communities, the nation and the world. Today’s action demonstrates that they are doing so.

“Northwestern University always has been, and continues to be, committed to the health, safety and academic success of all of its students, including its student-athletes. The concerns regarding the long-term health impacts of playing intercollegiate sports, providing academic support and opportunities for student-athletes are being discussed currently at the national level, and we agree that they should have a prominent voice in those discussions.

“We are pleased to note that the Northwestern students involved in this effort emphasized that they are not unhappy with the University, the football program or their treatment here, but are raising the concerns because of the importance of these issues nationally.

“Northwestern believes that our student-athletes are not employees and collective bargaining is therefore not the appropriate method to address these concerns. However, we agree that the health and academic issues being raised by our student-athletes and others are important ones that deserve further consideration.”

This article was selected for educational purposes only. 

Daily Compliance Item 1/30/14- 12.4.2.1- Fee For Lessons

Mid Fielder is a women’s soccer student-athlete at Ocean State University.  Mid has some time in between the end of the fall season and the spring non—championship season, so she decides to teach lessons to earn some spending money.  Mid uses her name to advertise fee-for-lesson sessions. Specifically, Mid distributed brochures advertising private lessons using her name. Mid sought approval of the brochure after she had distributed to local club coaches via email.

Is this permissible?

No.  NCAA Bylaw 12.4.2.1 states that a student-athlete may receive compensation for teaching or coaching sport skills or techniques in his or her sport on a fee-for-lesson basis, provided: [R]

(a) Institutional facilities are not used; (Adopted: 4/25/02 effective 8/1/02)

(b) Playing lessons shall not be permitted; (Adopted: 4/25/02 effective 8/1/02)

(c) The institution obtains and keeps on file documentation of the recipient of the lesson(s) and the fee for the lesson(s) provided during any time of the year;   (Adopted: 4/25/02 effective 8/1/02)

(d) The compensation is paid by the lesson recipient (or the recipient’s family) and not another individual or entity; (Adopted: 4/25/02 effective 8/1/02)

(e) Instruction to each individual is comparable to the instruction that would be provided during a private lesson when the instruction involves more than one individual at a time; and  (Adopted: 4/2/03 effective 8/1/03)

(f) The student-athlete does not use his or her name, picture or appearance to promote or advertise the availability of fee-for-lesson sessions.  (Adopted: 4/2/03 effective 8/1/03)

This is an actual fact pattern for a secondary infractions case posted on LSDBi.  The institution requested reinstatement for the student-athlete and provided a rules education session for all coaches and student-athletes

Daily Compliance Item 1/29/14– CONTEST

Ocean State Basketball to raise money to help save the Orcas

Quahog, RI – Jimmy ‘Hawk’ Basketball (Freshman) will host a party at the Quahog Bar & Grill on February 1st from 4-11pm.  Jimmy will run a pool on the Super Bowl game and donate 50% of the proceeds to help save the famed pod of killer whales known as the “Rhode Island Orcas”.  The men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes will be at the bar to help collect bets.  The pool will take bets of $25, $50 or $100 on the winner of the game, as well as $50 over/under on the total score of both teams at the event.   To make sure there was enough money to cover all bets, Jimmy sold a basketball that was signed by the team after winning a preseason tournament in Hawaii.  Jimmy created flyers with his name and picture on them to help promote the event.  Additionally, Quahog Bar & Grill ran radio ads to promote the presence of the Ocean State University student-athletes.

Jimmy will also sell autographed photos of him in action for the Ocean State basketball team with 50% of those proceeds also going to the conservation effort.  Jimmy will keep the remainder of the money to help fund a trip this summer to London to play on an outside team.

Coach Overzealous will be there to help Jimmy in this endeavor to raise money for such a worthy cause. ‘With all the bad press in the news lately about the Orcas, this is a way to give back to the great state of Rhode Island.  We checked with our compliance officer, Bum Interps, and he said that because it’s for charity it would be OK.  Even Bud Sampson, owner of the Quahog Bar & Grill and proud member of Ocean State’s Tidal Waves booster club, will donate $1 for every beer sold to Jimmy’s event.  We at Ocean State are so proud of Hawk and thank him for participating in this event on such short notice and giving the citizens of Quahog a fun event surrounding the Super Bowl.’  As a thank you for their efforts, the Quahog Bar & Grill will give a discount to all Ocean State student-athletes and their families for the month of February.

The Quahog Bar & Grill is located at 123 Main St. and ample parking in rear.

CONTEST!!!!!

The first 10 people who properly identify 5 violations from this fact pattern and picture will win an Ocean State University Orcas hat or T-shirt.  Tweet the answer using the hashtag #DCIContest.  One winner per institution will be awarded.

I will follow up with the winner(s) list and the violations Ocean State University has committed.

DCI Pic

 

 

Daily Compliance Item 1/28/14- 14.6.1.3- Outside Competition

Scissor Kick is a men’s soccer student-athlete at Ocean State University (OSU).  Scissor wants to participate on an outside team this spring.  Which of the following must occur in order for his participation to be permisible?

A.  Scissor may not begin participating before May 1st.

B.  Scissor may not miss any class time for practice or competition

C.  No more than 4 OSU teammates may participate on Scissor’s team (total limit of 5 OSU student-athletes)

D.  All of the above

The answer is DNCAA Bylaw 14.6.1.3 states that in soccer, women’s volleyball, field hockey and men’s water polo, a student-athlete may compete outside of the institution’s declared playing and practice season as a member of an outside team in any noncollegiate, amateur competition, provided: (Adopted: 1/14/97 effective 8/1/97, Revised: 4/22/98 effective 8/1/98, 1/12/99 effective 5/1/99)

(a) Such participation occurs not earlier than May 1;

(b) In soccer, women’s volleyball and field hockey, the number of student-athletes from any one institution does not exceed the applicable limits set forth in Bylaw 17.28.2;

(c) The competition is approved by the institution’s director of athletics;

(d) No class time is missed for practice activities or for competition; and

(e) In women’s volleyball, all practice and competition is confined to doubles tournaments in outdoor volleyball, either on sand or grass.

Daily Compliance Item 1/24/14- Current Event

Ed O’Bannon lawyers: New NCAA rules support benefits

USAToday.com 

Lawyers for the plaintiffs in an anti-trust lawsuit against the NCAA concerning the use of college athletes’ names and likeness reiterated in a filing Friday night that they will use recent, and proposed, changes to the NCAA’s rules about what athletes can receive for playing sports to attack one of the association’s defenses in the case.

The new filing was made in conjunction with the plaintiffs’ effort to obtain more draft documents like one they included Friday night from an NCAA committee that said, in part, recent small additions to the benefits athletes can receive, like medical expenses, do “not appear to be disrupting fair competition opportunities either in recruiting or on the playing field.”

The draft document goes on to say “substantial (athletic) revenue increases are expected by a third of the Division I membership by 2015” and schools’ evaluation of whether to more significantly increase what Division I athletes can receive for playing sports would not be “contrary to reasonable standards of ‘Fair Competition’ or ‘play for pay’ Amateurism principles.”

The plaintiffs are seeking to obtain a legal ruling that would stop the NCAA from placing limits on what athletes can receive in exchange for colleges using their names and likenesses – essentially an end to limits on what schools can give athletes for playing sports.

The NCAA has argued that its amateurism rules enhance competitive balance among schools, and that those considerations are sufficient justification for the limits on what athletes might otherwise receive if they were able to offer themselves to schools in an open market.

Friday night’s filing came as part of a dispute over the plaintiffs’ access to NCAA documents pertaining to deliberations about recent changes in NCAA rules that have made some new benefits available to athletes and proposals that could add even more benefits – especially for athletes who play for schools in the five richest conferences: the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pacific-12 and Southeastern.

Changes in the NCAA’s governance structure that could give those conferences greater autonomy in setting rules relating to areas including athletes’ compensation were a major topic of discussion at this week’s NCAA convention in San Diego.

The plaintiffs argue that they are entitled to a wide range of documents, in part, because they are relevant to the NCAA’s defense of the need for its athlete-compensation limits.

“The NCAA argues that its ‘amateurism’ … rules are the least restrictive rules conceivable,” the plaintiffs’ lawyers wrote Friday. ” . . . The documents sought here all relate to recent changes and proposed changes to ‘pay’ as defined by the NCAA.”

The NCAA maintains that the plaintiffs’ document request is overly broad and that the process of locating and producing everything the plaintiffs seek would place an unfair burden on the association.

“The lawyers for the plaintiffs are on an unsupported and unsupportable quest to professionalize college sports, and the request for more discovery is just a tactical attempt to drive up the costs of this litigation,” the NCAA’s chief legal officer, Donald Remy, said in statement Friday night.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins is scheduled to hold a hearing on the dispute on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, each side has asked U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken to decide the overall case in its favor without a trial – a matter on which Wilken is scheduled to hold a hearing on Feb. 20.

The draft document the plaintiffs included with Friday night’s filing came from work in April 2013 by the NCAA’s Student-Athlete Well-Being Working Group, a panel that, according to the plaintiffs, was “the lead group behind the efforts to institute a ‘stipend’.” The group included college presidents, conference executives, a coach and a member of the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Panel, and it had been working on what was titled “Preamble Statement for the Evaluation of a Possible Increase in the Value of a Grant-in-Aid.”

A “grant-in-aid” is NCAA parlance for what is commonly known as an athletic scholarship – an award that, at present, can cover only the costs of tuition, fees, room, board and required course books. (A variety of other benefits are available to athletes, including access to funds that can be used to pay for an array of other needs.) But it is widely acknowledged within college sports that, on average, an athletic scholarship in its current form falls several thousand dollars short of covering the full cost of attending school – costs such as transportation to and from school.

The Student-Athlete Well-Being Working Group draft document said:

“The recent commitment to ‘fair competition’ over ‘competitive equity’ fostered by the Rules Working Group project recognizes that there are differences among institutions due to factors such as geography, resources and facilities, which may also support abandonment of a one-size fits-all solution to financial aid, especially if such a change would not substantially upset opportunities for fair competition among Division I members. Examples of benign increases in student-athlete assistance include former prohibited “extra” benefits that are now considered incidental to a student-athlete’s participation in intercollegiate athletics (e.g. medical expenses), and which are now permitted at the discretion of the institution. Such permissive legislation does not appear to be disrupting fair competition opportunities either in recruiting or on the playing field.

“Substantial revenue increases are expected by a third of the Division I membership by 2015, while most other members of the division will see only modest increases through NCAA distributions in the foreseeable future. The growing revenue and expense gaps will increase stresses on spending and debates about necessary and appropriate benefits to individuals, student-athletes and athletics programs. …

“Accordingly, evaluation of possible enhancements to the value of a grant-in-aid that might cover additional educational expenses up to the applicable cost of attendance is neither contrary to the ‘Collegiate Model’ of intercollegiate athletics where education is paramount, nor contrary to reasonable standards of ‘Fair Competition’ or ‘play for pay’ Amateurism principles.”

This article was selected for educational purposes only.

Daily Compliance Item 1/23/14- 13.11.2.1- MBB On-Campus Evaluations

The men’s basketball coaches at Ocean State University (OSU) will be conducting on-campus evaluations with several prospects later this spring.  Because of the head coach’s busy schedule, he would like to conduct one hour of the evaluation on the first day of the visit and the other hour on the second day.  Is this permissible?

No.  NCAA Educational Column- 1/23/13- NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball On-Campus Evaluations (I)- includes the following questions and answers that are intended to assist the membership in applying NCAA Division I legislation as it relates to on-campus evaluations in men’s basketball.

Question No. 1: May an institution publicize the on-campus evaluation of a prospective student-athlete?

Answer: No. NCAA Bylaw 13.10.5 specifies that an institution shall not publicize (or arrange for publicity of) a prospective student-athlete’s visit to the institution’s campus.

 

Question No. 2: May an institution conduct an on-campus evaluation with a prospective student-athlete who has graduated from high school and is enrolled in a preparatory school?

Answer: Yes, provided the institution has not previously conducted an on-campus evaluation with the prospective student-athlete (e.g., during senior year of high school); the evaluation is conducted at the end of the prospective student-athlete’s season; and, after he has exhausted preparatory school eligibility in basketball.

 

Question No. 3: May an institution conduct an on-campus evaluation with a prospective student-athlete during his senior year in high school and another while he is enrolled in a preparatory school during the following year?

Answer: No. An institution may conduct one on-campus evaluation with a prospective student-athlete while he is enrolled in high school or preparatory school and one after the prospective student-athlete enrolls full time in a collegiate institution.

 

Question No. 4: What activities are counted toward the permissible two hours of on-campus evaluation activities?

Answer: Any activities that are considered countable athletically related activities would count toward the permissible two hours.

 

Question No. 5: May an institution provide a prospective student-athlete access to locker and shower facilities during an on-campus evaluation?

Answer: Yes.

 

Question No. 6: May an institution conduct an on-campus evaluation with a two-year college transfer prospective student-athlete who has withdrawn from the two-year institution?

Answer: An on-campus evaluation may not be conducted with a two-year college transfer prospective student-athlete until he has exhausted two-year college eligibility in basketball. Once such a prospective student-athlete is considered to have exhausted his two-year college eligibility, he may participate in an on-campus evaluation.

 

Question No. 7: May an institution conduct an on-campus evaluation with a high school prospective student-athlete or two-year college transfer prospective student-athlete who is not a participant on his institution’s basketball team?

Answer: An on-campus evaluation may not be conducted with a high school prospective student-athlete or a two-year college transfer prospective student-athlete until he has exhausted his high school or two-year college eligibility in basketball, respectively. Once such a prospective student-athlete is considered to have exhausted his eligibility, he may participate in an on-campus evaluation.

 

Question No. 8: How does the exhausted eligibility standard apply to an international or home-schooled student who is not a participant on his institution’s basketball team?

Answer: For purposes of conducting an on-campus evaluation, an international or home-schooled student who is not a participant on his institution’s basketball team is deemed to have exhausted eligibility at the time of graduation from high school (or the international equivalent).

 

Question No. 9: May an institution conduct an on-campus evaluation with a four-year college transfer prospective student-athlete who has withdrawn from the four-year institution or who is not a participant on his institution’s basketball team?

Answer: An on-campus evaluation may not be conducted with a four-year college transfer prospective student-athlete until the conclusion of the prospective student-athlete’s basketball season. If the prospective student-athlete has withdrawn from the institution or is not a participant, then his season is considered to be concluded. Therefore, he may participate in an on-campus evaluation (permission to contact must be granted by the previous institution if the individual met the definition of a student-athlete at that institution).

 

Question No. 10: May an institution’s coach observe a prospective student-athlete participating in a pick-up game that includes the institution’s current student-athletes and count the observation as an on-campus evaluation?

Answer: If the evaluation occurs during the academic year (e.g., skill-related workouts), it is permissible if the student-athletes are eligible for practice. If the evaluation occurs in the summer, it is permissible if the student-athletes are eligible to participate in summer athletics activities (e.g., enrolled in summer school or meet the exception to summer school enrollment). Such participation counts toward each student-athlete’s limitation of eight hours of required athletics activities per week with not more than two hours of skill-related instruction (academic year or summer).

 

Question No. 11: May an institution’s coach observe a prospective student-athlete participating in a pick-up game that includes the institution’s current student-athletes and current student-athletes from another collegiate institution and count the observation as an on-campus evaluation?

Answer: No. If student-athletes from other institutions participate, the activity would not meet the requirements of the required summer athletics activities legislation.

 

Question No. 12: If an on-campus evaluation occurs during a period in which there is a limit of four on the number of student-athletes who may be involved with a coach in skill-related instruction at the same time, may four student-athletes and the prospective student-athlete participate in the activity?

Answer: Yes. The prospective student-athlete is not included in the limit of four student-athletes who may be involved at any one time in skill instruction.

 

Question No. 13: If an on-campus evaluation occurs during the summer, may student-athletes participate?

Answer: Yes, provided the student-athletes are eligible to participate in summer athletics activities (e.g., enrolled in summer school or meet the exception to summer school enrollment) and such participation counts toward the limitations of eight hours of required athletics activities per week and two hours of skill-related instruction.

 

Question No. 14: If an institution is conducting an on-campus evaluation with a prospective student-athlete during the prospective student-athlete’s unofficial visit, may it provide the prospective student-athlete with food and/or beverages?

Answer: The institution may provide water and/or electrolyte replacement drinks (e.g., Gatorade, PowerAde) to the prospective student-athlete; however, it is not permissible to provide food to the prospective student-athlete during an unofficial visit.

 

Question No. 15: May an institution record video of an on-campus evaluation for further review after the actual evaluation?

Answer: Yes.

 

Question No. 16: May more than one prospective-student-athlete participate in an on-campus evaluation at the same time?

Answer: Yes. There is no limit on the number of prospective student-athletes who may participate at the same time.

 

Question No. 17: May the two hours of an on-campus evaluation be divided and conducted on two different days of the prospective student-athlete’s visit?

Answer: No. Conducting evaluations (or portions of an evaluation) on different days would constitute different, separate on-campus evaluations.

 

Question No. 18: What constitutes the “conclusion of a prospective student-athlete’s season” for purposes of conducting an on-campus evaluation?

Answer: The “conclusion of a prospective student-athlete’s season” refers to the conclusion of the prospective student-athlete’s scholastic season. A prospective student-athlete’s season is considered concluded when his scholastic season ends, even if he will be participating in an all-star contest at a later date.

 

Question No. 19: Pursuant to Bylaw 17.1.6.7, a student-athlete who has exhausted his eligibility, but is eligible for practice under the five-year rule, is not subject to the time limits of Bylaw 17.1.6. Is it permissible for such a student-athlete to participate in more than one on-campus evaluation in a week?

Answer: Yes. The two-hour limitation on skill-related instruction does not apply to such student-athletes.

 

Question No. 20: Is a student-athlete who has exhausted his eligibility but is eligible for practice under the five-year rule subject to the prohibition on conditioning and skill-related instruction from one week prior to the institution’s final exam period through the conclusion of the student-athlete’s final exams?

Answer: Yes.

 

[References: Bylaws 13.10.5 (prospective student-athlete visit), 13.11.2.1 (on-campus evaluations — men’s basketball), 13.11.2.6.1.2 (exception — on-campus evaluation — men’s basketball), 17.02.1 (countable athletically related activity), 17.1.6 (time limits for athletically related activity), 17.1.6.2.1.1.4 (summer athletic activities — men’s basketball), 17.1.6.2.1.1.4.1 (exception to summer school enrollment — academic requirements — men’s basketball), 17.1.6.2.1.1.4.1.1 (application to transfer student-athletes), 17.1.6.2.2 (skill instruction — sports other than baseball and football) and 17.1.6.7 (exception — eligibility exhausted)]

Daily Compliance Item 1/21/14- 15.5.2.3- Mid-Year Replacement

Net is a volleyball student-athlete at Ocean State University (OSU) who graduated this past December.  Although she has exhausted her eligibility for volleyball, Net is going to enroll this spring in a graduate program and participate on the women’s track team.  The volleyball team is currently using all 12 scholarships.  If OSU continues to provide her with athletic aid, can the coach use the mid-year replacement legislation and provide a scholarship to a freshman that just initially enrolled spring 2014?

Yes.  NCAA Staff Interpretation- 4/22/11- Midyear Replacement of a Multisport Participant (I)- states that an institution may replace a football or women’s volleyball student-athlete who graduates at midyear or who graduated during the previous academic year (including the summer) with another counter (who, in football; shall count as an initial counter), even if the student-athlete being “replaced” remains enrolled as a graduate student receiving athletically related financial aid and/or participates in another sport.

[References: NCAA Bylaws 15.5.2.3 (midyear replacement – women’s volleyball), 15.5.6.3.5 (midyear replacement) and official interpretation (6/3/98, Item No 1), which has been archived]