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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dividing the University Athletics Revenue Pie

We have previously posted on the National Labor Relations Board case involving interest among Northwestern U football players in forming a union.  The case turns on whether the athletes are de facto employees who are paid by their university in the form of scholarships, etc.  And we have noted that a former UCLA athlete has been a player (pun intended) in the union issue.

However, the Northwestern legal case is not the only one in which the distinction between student athletes and professional athletes is being challenged.

From the Chronicle of Higher Education:

For a case that was originally about video games and now focuses on the commercial use of athletes’ images in television broadcasts, there was an awful lot of talk about education during the opening day of testimony in the Ed O’Bannon trial here on Monday.  Mr. O’Bannon, a former UCLA basketball star whose federal antitrust lawsuit challenges the NCAA’s rules on amateurism, told a packed courtroom that he had gone to college with the goal of making it to the NBA and had spent little time on anything but basketball."I was an athlete masquerading as a student," Mr. O’Bannon testified...

Full story at http://chronicle.com/article/I-Was-an-Athlete/147003/

The LA Times has also picked up the story:
http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-obannon-trial-20140610-story.html#page=1

And Inside Higher Ed has an article:
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/06/10/amateur-model-core-suit-challenging-ncaas-policies-player-likenesses

Not surprisingly, when it comes to dividing up the athletics revenue pie, universities and the NCAA want the athletes to defer their gratification:
video
PS: The Daily Bruin doesn't seem keen on spending for new basketball facilities:
http://dailybruin.com/2014/05/29/editorial-proposal-for-new-basketball-facility-proves-wasteful/

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