Coaches Corner - UNIVERSITIES AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING
Thomas A. Baker III, John Grady, and Jesse M. Rappole, Consent Theory as a Possible Cure for Unconscionable Terms in Student-Athlete Contracts, 22 Marq. Sports L. Rev. 619 (2012). College student-athletes are required to sign standard-form contracts to be eligible to participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). These contracts include complicated legal terms, including the release of publicity rights. The student-athletes must either sign the contracts or forfeit their ability to participate in NCAA-sanctioned sports. This article examines how the doctrine of unconscionability might apply when most of the student-athletes signing these contracts do not understand the implications and are not represented by legal counsel. The author suggests that the NCAA take measures to ensure that student-athletes understand the contract by educating them on the terms of the contract, encouraging them to obtain legal advice, and informing them of the implications of forgoing the waiver of their publicity rights.
Josephine R. Potuto, They Take Classes, Don't They?: Structuring a College Football Post Season, 7 J. Bus. & Tech. L. 3 1 1 (201 2). This article explores the idea that the proposed change to post-season football, which includes an increase in the number of games and lengthens the season, would be detrimental to the academic lives of the players. The author examines the current academic performance of student-athletes during the regular athletic season and argues there is a likelihood of decreasing academic performance due to the structure of the proposed post-season play. The emphasis put on college athletes by fans, universities, and commentators to become "playmakers" makes it even more likely that a longer, high-pressure, high-stress season will adversely affect the true academic nature of college athletics.
Catherine F. Pieronek, The 2010 "Dear Colleague" Letter on Title IX Compliance for College Athletic Programs: Pointing the Way to Proportionality . . . Again, 38 J.C. & U.L. 277 (2012). This article explores the history of participation opportunities for female students in college athletics since the enactment of Title IX of the Education Amendments in 1972. The author examines the tests established to evaluate whether an educational institution has effectively accommodated the athletic interests of its female students. In examining the changes to these tests that have come about with the differing presidential administrations over the past few decades, the author argues that the current tests will drive the athletic programs to rely on substantial proportionality, making actual interest irrelevant.
Patrick J. McAndrews, Keeping Score: How Universities Can Comply with Title IX Without Eliminating Men 's Collegiate Athletic Programs, 2012 BYU Educ. & L.J. 111. This article discusses the development of Title IX of the Education Amendments and how universities' use of the substantially proportionate test has led to more men's teams being eliminated than there are female teams created. The author explains how male athletes have unsuccessfully contested Title IX's application by seeking constitutional protection through injunctive relief. The article concludes with the author's alternative solutions to comply with Title IX, which include simple roster management and the creation of an effective survey to measure female students' interest and abilities in athletics.
Student Work: Articles, Notes, and Comments
Davis Walsh, All a Twitter: Social Networking, College Athletes, and the First Amendment, 20 Wm. & Mary Bill Rights J. 619 (201 1). In this article, the author illustrates the new challenges for college athletic programs created by student-athlete social media use. Athletic departments must balance the First Amendment rights of the student-athletes while preventing violations of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules. While Congress and the courts agree that internet speech should be afforded the same protections as traditional speech, the NCAA is a private entity and may punish athletes even if the students were exercising their constitutional rights. …