Free Speech or Illegal Recruiting?

By Batista, Paul J. | JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, November-December 2007 | Go to article overview

Free Speech or Illegal Recruiting?


Batista, Paul J., JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance


Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association v. Brentwood Academy

U.S. Supreme Court

127 S.Ct. 2489

June 21, 2007

The Brentwood case has traveled a long and winding road over the last 10 years, leading it to the door of the U.S. Supreme Court on three separate occasions. This dispute involved constitutional issues of free speech and due process relating to an anti-recruiting rule adopted by the state athletic association. The Supreme Court granted certiorari twice and rendered opinions on both occasions. With the most recent decision, it appears the litigation has finally concluded.

The Parties

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) is a nonprofit corporation responsible for administering, coordinating, and regulating the junior and senior high school athletic programs in Tennessee (TSSAA, 1999). Brentwood Academy is a coeducational, independent, college-preparatory school (Brentwood Academy, n.d.). Brentwood voluntarily joined TSSAA, and its teams regularly participated in athletic contests sponsored and regulated by TSSAA (Brentwood Academy vs. TSSAA, 1998). By joining the association, Brentwood agreed to abide by the constitution and bylaws of the association (TSSAA, 2007).

Facts of the Case

In 1997, rival public high school coaches alleged that Brentwood violated the TSSAA rule against recruiting prospective student-athletes. The recruiting rule, found in Article II, Section 17 of the TSSAA bylaws, prohibited the use of undue influence on a student by any person connected with the school to secure or to retain a student for athletic purposes (TSSAA, 2007). Enforcement of the rule was spelled out in Article III, Section 3, which authorized the TSSAA "to suspend, to fine, or otherwise penalize any member school for the violation of any provisions of the Constitution or Bylaws ..." (TSSAA, 2007, p. 19).

After conducting an investigation, TSSAA concluded that Brentwood had committed three offenses: (1) Brentwood's basketball coach conducted a forbidden off-season basketball practice, (2) Brentwood's football coach provided free football game tickets to a junior high school coach who used the tickets to take two prospective student-athletes to a Brentwood game, and (3) Brentwood's football coach sent a letter in violation of the TSSAA recruiting rule. This third allegation became the focal point of this case.

The Brentwood head football coach sent a letter and made phone calls to the male eighth-grade students who, along with their parents, had signed contracts expressing their intention to enroll the following fall as high school freshmen at Brentwood. The letter invited the boys to attend spring football practice sessions, encouraged them to get involved as soon as possible because it would be to their advantage, and advised them that by enrolling in Brentwood they would be allowed to participate in spring football practice pursuant to TSSAA rules. The Brentwood high school football coach signed the letter as "Your Coach." By sending the letter inviting the students to attend, Brentwood violated the recruiting rule, according to the TSSAA.

Based on the results of their investigation, TSSAA concluded that Brentwood had violated the recruiting rule. Consequently, TSSAA imposed sanctions, which Brentwood unsuccessfully challenged through the internal appeal process set forth in the TSSAA bylaws.

Brentwood I (2001) -- State Actor Issue

Having exhausted its administrative appeals, Brentwood filed suit against TSSAA and its executive director in federal court under the authority of 42 U.S.C. [section] 1983, the federal civil rights statute. Brentwood alleged that TSSAA had violated Brentwood's First Amendment free speech guarantees, Fourteenth Amendment due process and equal protection rights, and numerous other federal and state statutes. To prevail under [section] 1983, a plaintiff must allege and prove two things: (1) that the plaintiff was deprived of a right provided by the U. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Free Speech or Illegal Recruiting?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.