Amateur Sports Law Outline – Spring 2004

 

I. Legal Relationships in Sports

  • NCAA Structure
    • Within the NCAA, there are separate divisions for members
      • Three Divisions: Division I, Division II, and Division III
    • Division I is composed of the major athletic powers in the country, as well as many other institutions that choose to compete at the major college level
      • Division I is divided into Division I-A and Division I-AA for purposes of regulating football
    • The members govern the organization through the establishment of rules designed to further its purposes and goals
    • The operating structure is that of three federations:
      • Day to day operation of the organization is overseen by the 20 member Executive Committee
        • Composed of institutional CEOs charged with ensuring that each division operates with the purpose, policies and principles of the association
      • NCAA also has a permanent professional staff, with individual departments for administration, business, championships, communications, communications, compliance service programs, legislative services and publishing
  • Jurisdiction and Responsibilities of the NCAA
    • Duties include athlete eligibility, recruiting, championships, rules of competition, and enforcement
    • The professional staff administers the rules and regulations of the association
    • Membership Services oversees the bulk of the administration
    • The enforcement department handles the investigation and prosecution of violation of the rules
    • Two concepts of the NCAA:
      • (1) Those relating to amateurism
        • All NCAA student athletes are to be amateurs and the association’s regulations set out explicit definitions of amateurism and specific prohibitions on the acceptance of extra benefits
        • Getting “paid” involves more than just the obvious salary or stipend
          • It is a violation of the rules for benefits to be provided to parents or close relatives of student athletes
        • Amateur status is forfeited when an athlete retains an agent or declares himself eligible for a professional sports draft (Note: NBA Draft)
        • There are also restrictions on promotional activities that benefit athletes because of their athletic abilities
        • There are restrictions on employment for athletes on full scholarship
      • (2) The importance of education
        • The associations establishes standards for initial eligibility of athletes entering the institutions, including specific thresholds for standardized tests and satisfactory completion of a minimum number of core courses in high school
        • NCAA also sets forth specific requirements for “satisfactory progress towards a degree” that athletes must maintain
          • Student athletes typically have four years of eligibility, and must complete them in five years
    • NCAA Rules limit recruiting
      • Number of visits by coaches, the number of visits to campuses by athletes, number and types of contacts made by coaches, the times of year that contacts may be made
      • Restrict the participation of alumni in recruiting
    • NCAA restrictions once athlete enrolled at institution
      • Number of hours for practice, times of year for competition, number of contests
  • NCAA bylaws require that each members control its program in a manner consistent with the rules and regulations of the association (The CEO of the institution has this ultimate responsibility)
    • The most serious violation the university can commit is “failure to maintain institutional control”
  • Athletes Rights
    • Rights Arising from the Athletic Scholarship
      • NCAA regulates the number of scholarships available and the terms of the scholarship
      • Taylor v. Wake Forest University
        • Facts: Taylor went to play football at Wake.  He received terrible grades, and told his coach he would miss practice so he could study.  His scholarship was terminated.  Taylor sued for recovery of education expenses after his scholarship was terminated.
        • Rules/App:
          • Taylor knew his scholarship was awarded for academic and athletic achievement
          • In consideration of this scholarship, Taylor agreed to maintain his athletic eligibility, and this meant both physically and scholastically
          • As long as his grades equaled or exceeded the requirements, he was maintaining his scholastic eligibility
          • Participation in and attendance at practice were required to maintain his physical eligibility
          • When Taylor refused to practice in the absence of any injury or excuse other than to devote more time to studies, he was not complying with his contractual obligations
        • Held: For Wake Forest
      • Ross v. Creighton University
        • Facts: Ross, a poor high school student took a basketball scholarship to Creighton.  The school promised he would receive a “meaningful education.”  Ross had a D average at the school, while taking many meaningless courses.  He alleges the Athletic department advised him to take these courses, and his work was done for him.  Ross asserts that the school failed to provide him with sufficient and competent tutoring, as it had promised. When he graduated he had skills equivalent to a child. He is suing the school for negligence and breach of contract in failing to educate him.
        • Ross’ Theories:
          • (1) Educational Malpractice
            • Courts defer to the schools’ decisions regarding academic qualifications of the students
            • The court bars any attempt to repackage an educational malpractice claim as a contract claim
          • (2) Creighton negligently inflicted emotional distress on him for employment after college
          • (3) Negligent Admission
            • Rejected by court because there are no adequate standards against which to measure such a claim
          • (4) Breach of Contract in failing to educate him
            • The basic relation between a student and a university is contractual in nature
            • To assert this claim, he must point to an identifiable contractual promise that the school failed to honor
        • The appeals court disagreed with the trial court, and held the allegations of the complaint are sufficient to warrant further proceedings
          • The court recognized that courts should not take on the job of supervising the relationships between colleges and student athletes
          • Further, the court noted that a formal university contract is rarely employed, and the terms of the agreement are usually implied from university publications, custom and usage
          • But the court believed Ross’ specific and narrow claims that he was barred from any participation in and benefit from the University’s academic program could be decided by the district court without second-guessing the professional judgment of the school
      • Jackson v. Drake University
        • Facts: Drake hired Tom Abatemarco as their head basketball coach, without being aware of an SI article alleging his reputation as a recruiter.  Abatemarco recruited Jackson, and emphasized he would receive an education, including a tutor provided to Jackson.  The coach scheduled practices during Jackson’s study time and tutoring successions. The coach made Jackson go to practice, with threats his scholarship would be taken away.  The coach offered people to do Jackson’s work and for him to take easy classes, which he declined.  During practices the coach singled out Jackson, and Jackson quit the team.  His scholarship was then taken away
        • Breach of Contract
          • The court concluded that the financial agreement do not implicitly contain a right to “play” basketball
        • Negligence (Educational Malpractice)
          • Reasons for not recognizing this claim (from Moore case):
            • 1. A lack of a satisfactory standard of care by which to measure the defendant’s conduct
            • 2. To recognize this claim would result in enormous litigation
            • 3. To recognize this claim would force the courts blatantly to interfere with the internal working of a school
            • 4. It has been recognized that academic freedom thrives on the autonomous decision-making of the academy itself
          • Jackson’s claim asks the court to pass judgment on the manner in which Drake runs its basketball program, which does have an academic compartment.
          • The court does not recognize this Jackson’s negligence claim
      • Notes:
        • NCAA defines an amateur student athlete as one who engages in a particular sport for the education, physical, mental and social benefits derived therefrom and to whom participation in that sport is an avocation.
    • Workers’ Compensation
      • Injured employees give up their rights to pursue common law tort claims in exchange for a more certain, recovery under the workers’ compensation act
      • A WC claim makes the employer strictly liable for an injury to an employee that occurs in the course of employment
      • An employee is defined as a person in the service of another under a contract of hire, written or implied
      • Test: Whether particular worker is an employee or an independent contractor
        • Two Categories:
          • 1. Nature of the work test – Court focuses on whether the worker’s efforts are inextricably linked to a significant aspect of the employer’s business
          • 2. Right to control test – The focus is upon the employer’s ability to manipulate the efforts of the worker
        • Whether personal injury arose out of or was in the court of employment
          • Courts look for a causal connection between the injury and the employment
          • The test is met if it is the employment which brings the worker into the orbit of the risk that in fact resulted in injury
      • Recovery: Medical expenses and lost earnings
      • Waldrep v. Texas Employers Insurance Association
        • Facts: Waldrep played football for TCU where he severed an injury that paralyzed him.  He filed a WC claim for his injury.
        • Discussion:
          • Is a student athlete on scholarship and employee of the school?
            • The letter of intent and financial aid agreements are contracts, but they only partially set forth the relationship between the student and the school
            • One may receive a benefit from another in return for services and not be an employee
            • An employee is a person in the service of another under a contract of hire, express or implied, oral or written, whereby the employer has the right to direct the means or details of the work and not merely the result to be accomplished
          • Was there a contract for hire?
            • The NCAA does not consider the acceptance of financial aid from the school to be “taking pay”
            • Waldrep was not on the payroll, he was intended to participate at TCU as a student, not an employee
            • He could not be fired as an employee
          • Right to Direct the means of Waldrep’s work
            • To determine whether there is a right to control the court looks to the terms of the employment contract
            • Where there is no express contract, the exercise of control may be the best evidence available to show the actual terms of the contract
            • TCU did not have the right to direct or control all of Waldrep’s activities during his tenure at the school
          • Held: Waldrep was not an employee of TCU, and cannot get WC
      • Note: Schools are typically insured for claims against the university, which covers players who are injured during play
    • Coaching and Institutional Contracts
      • Coaching Contracts
        • Rodgers v. Georgia Tech Athletic Association
          • Facts:  Rogers was head football coach at Georgia Tech.  His contract provided him with certain prerequisites, which are incidental profits attaching to the position beyond a salary.  Rogers was relieved of his head coaching position, but remained an employee of the school.  He sues to recover these prerequisites.
          • Issue: Whether Rogers is entitled to recover the value of certain prerequisites or fringe benefits of his position as head football coach under the terms of his contract.
          • Discussion:
            • First, look to the intention of the parties as to the scope of the prerequisites to which Rogers was entitled under the contract.
              • Court held the parties’ intentions were that Rogers would receive the perquisites as head football coach, not merely as an employee.
            • Rogers was not entitled after his removal to the services of a secretary, administrative assistant, and the cost of trips for football ventures – these were specifically granted to him as the head coach
            • As a rule, a party is entitled to recover profits that would have resulted from a beach of contract into which he has entered, where the breach is the result of the other parties’ fault
        • Monson v. Oregon
          • Facts: Monson was the head basketball coach at Idaho.  He earned additional income as coach from outside activities from sponsors and radio and television shows.  The school wanted to remove Monson and told him he could remain as golf coach, which Monson declined.  Monson sued for breach of contract.
          • Discussion:
            • The court held that with respect to nontenured faculty members (as Monson), the school has the authority to reassign individuals based on its assessments of its overall staffing needs.
              • The school may determine that a staff member is no longer the most effective and someone would be better served in that position.
            • Monson failed to identify any evidence that his reassignment from his head basketball coach position was not in accordance with the applicable administrative rules.
        • Campanelli v. Bockrath
          • Campanelli was fired as basketball coach at Cal.  A newspaper reported the reason for his termination was the use of profane and abusive language to his players in a postgame speech which was released by school administrators.  Campanelli sued, alleging a due process violation whereby a state may not deprive a person of his liberty interest “to engage in any of the common occupations of life” without due process of law.
          • Discussion:
            • Campanelli must first prove the statements rose to the level of stigmatizing him
              • There was a question of fact on this point
            • Campanelli must also allege defendants made their statements in the course of his termination
              • May be met when defamatory statements are so closely related to the discharge from employment that the discharge itself may be stigmatizing in the eyes of the public
              • There must be a temporal nexus between the employer’s statements and the termination
                • This was satisfied by Campanelli
            • Campanelli must also allege that the defendants’ statements were false
              • The issue of whether his statements arose to the level of abuse and psychological damage to his players is a question of fact that should not be determined during the pleadings stage, but on the basis of evidence
        • NOTE: Rick Neuheisal contract talked about in class

II. Amateur Sports Associations

-          From Nutshell

o       Amateur sports can be divided into 2 basic forms:

§        Restricted competition – includes high school and college. It means competition is restricted to essentially the same groups at different levels. Competition is controlled and organized by athletic conferences or associations or leagues, which establish rules and organize schedules.

§        Unrestricted competition – open to all athletes. EX: Olympic competition – allows competition among all types of people and groups and is not restricted by age or college or other restrictive criterion

o       Definition of an amateur athlete may change from one organization to another

o       Voluntary associations may adopt reasonable laws, rules and regulations which will be valid and binding on their members unless their rules violate law or public policy

 

THRESHOLD CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES:

 

-          If state action is not involved, the law says the private association can make it’s own rules as long as they are not arbitrary or unreasonable

-          A person who alleges a denial of constitutionally protected rights must at the outset demonstrate that it is indeed the action of the government that is being challenged

o       The merits of the claim will Not be reached unless it can be shown that, somehow, the government has acted

o       These are easily shown where an individual challenges the constitutionality of a state statute

-          Purely private disputes ordinarily do not raise constitutional issues no matter how egregious the private act

-          The difficulty arises in cases where state action is not apparent but where the state is nonetheless somehow involved

-          Although many amateur athletic organizations are private in the sense that they are not formal creatures of the state,

o       they arguable perform state like functions and the state itself is inevitably somehow involved with their operations (directly or indirectly)

§        by providing money, services, facilities, permission or encouragement

-          if the putatively private actor is really performing a public function, then perhaps it ought to be treated as though it were the state

o       or if the level of state involvement is significant, then perhaps the action of the organization ought to be treated as state action

 

DeFrantz v. United States Olympic Committee:

-          Facts:

o       Dealing with the 1980 boycott of the Olympics

o       Moving for an injunction against the Olympic Committee in doing resolution

§        That they were not going to send a U.S. team to the summer Olympics in Moscow

o       Denied 25 people the right to compete in the Olympics

§        B/c that was when Russia invaded Afghanistan

o       The Committee:

§        Are the sole authorities responsible for the representation of the respective countries at the Olympic Games

o       Plaintiff claims:

§        Alleges that defendant’s action constituted “governmental action” which abridged plaintiff’s rights of liberty, self expression, etc..

-          Holding:

o       Under International Olympic Committee rules and the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, the Committee not only had authority to decide not to send an American team to the summer Olympics but also could do so for a reason not directly related to sports considerations

o       Amateur Sports Act of 1978 did not confer an enforceable right on amateur athletes to compete in Olympic competition, where the United States Olympic Committee House of Delegates had decided not to accept an invitation to enter an American team in the competition

§        Even if amateur athletes had a right to compete in Olympic games under Amateur Sports Act of 1978, despite United States Olympic Committee's determination not to enter a team, they did not have an implied private cause of action to enforce such right.

o       Since this is a private industry

§        They must show that this was a regulated state or government action

o       Must show that the government had some control of the decision making of the private industry

o       This was no such control here:

§        b/c they could not establish a nexis b/w the two

§        the committee is an independent body, and nothing in its chartering statute gives the federal government the right to control that body or its officers

§        and the facts here do not indicate that the federal governments was able to exercise any type of control over the Committee

o       The federal government may have had the power to prevent the athletes from participating in the Olympics even if the USOC had voted to allow them to participate,

§        But it did not have the power to make them vote in a certain way

§        All it had was the power of persuasion

o       They accordingly found that the decision of the Committee not to send an American team to the summer Olympics was not a state action,

§        and therefore, does not give rise to an actionable claim for the infringements of the constitutional rights alleged

 

NCAA v. Tarkanian

-          Facts:

o       NCAA put UNLV under investigation for violating recruiting rules.

o       U After a lengthy investigation of allegedly improper recruiting practices by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), a state university, the Committee found 38 violations, including 10 by respondent Tarkanian, UNLV's basketball coach.

§        The Committee imposed a number of sanctions upon UNLV, and requested it to show cause why additional penalties should not be imposed if it failed to suspend Tarkanian from its athletic program during a probation period.

o       UNLV had 3 choices put before them: (1) Reject the sanctions and keep Tark, and run the risk of heavier sanctions; (2) Recognize the NCAA’s authority and reassign Tark; or (3) Pull out of the NCAA.

§        They chose (2).

o       He sued NCAA and school, and got an injunction against school.

o       In suit against NCAA, he claims that NCAA is a state actor and deprived him of due process.

o       Won at trial ct., but Ct. of App. reversed (NCAA is private org., has no govt. powers, and UNLV made the ultimate decision).

o       Tark claims UNLV had no choice.

-          Holding:

o       As general matter, protections of Fourteenth Amendment do not extend to private conduct abridging individual rights.

o       S.Ct. said if a  can show NCAA was calling the shots for a state org. as Tark claims,

§        then it will be deemed a state actor.

o       Court said it would be more appropriate to conclude that UNLV conducted its athletic program under the color of the policies adopted by the NCAA,

§        rather than that those policies were developed and enforced under color of Nevada law.

o       Held that university's imposition of disciplinary sanctions against basketball coach in compliance with National Collegiate Athletic Association rules and recommendations did not turn the Association's otherwise private conduct into state action,

§        and thus Association could not be held liable for violation of coach's civil rights.

 

Brentwood Academy v. Tennessee Secondary School

-          Facts:

o       Private high school sued state interscholastic athletic association under § 1983, seeking to prevent enforcement of rule prohibiting use of undue influence in recruitment of student-athletes.

o       The Association’s board of control found that Brentwood violated a rule prohibiting “undue influence” in recruiting athletes,

§        When he wrote to incoming students and their parents about spring football practice

o       The association put Brentwood on probation for 4 years

§        And would not allow them to play in the playoffs

o       When these penalties were imposed, all the voting members of the board of control and legislative council were public school administrators

-          Issue:

o       Whether a statewide association incorporated to regulate interscholastic athletic competition among public and private secondary schools may be regarded as engaging in state action when it enforces a rule against a member school

§        Determining whether athletes are eligible to play

-          Rule of Law:

o       That a state action may be found if, though only if,

§        there is such a “close nexus b/w the State and the challenged action” that seemingly private behavior “may be fairly treated as that of the State itself”

-          Holding:

o       The nominally private character of the Association is overborne by the pervasive entwinement of public institutions and public officials in its composition and workings,

§        And there is NO substantial reason to claim unfairness in applying constitutional standards to it

o       Regulatory enforcement action by state interscholastic athletic association was "state action" for purposes of Fourteenth Amendment, despite association's nominally private character, in light of pervasive entwinement of public institutions and public officials in its composition and workings;

§        public schools constituted 84% of its membership, half of council and board meetings were held during official school hours, public schools provided for association's financial support by giving up sources of their own income, state board of education members served as members of association's governing boards, and association's ministerial employees were eligible for membership in state retirement system.

o       Entwinement with government will support conclusion that ostensibly private organization ought to be charged with public character and judged by constitutional standards

o       When relevant facts show pervasive entwinement between government and ostensibly private organization to point of largely overlapping identity,

§        implication of state action is not affected by pointing out that facts might not loom large under different test

o       There was just to much intertwinement b/w the association and the public school and its officials

§        Therefore it was considered a state action

 

-          Prof. Said:  The above cases give good idea of state action

 

 

NCAA ENFORCEMENT AND ELIGIBILITY ISSUES:

 

 

-          From Nutshell:

o       The question is whether the actions of the governing body are state action or fall under the color of state action

§        This question is extremely important as regards the actions of the NCAA

o       The supreme court suggests that NCAA eligibility regulations may no longer be viewed as state action

§        This is however a narrowly drawn opinion that established that the NCAA did not assume the role of the state when it directed a state university to initiate certain particular actions against one of its employees

§        This case however, does not definitively settle the question of whether the NCAA can ever be a state actor

o       The court observed that the action of removing a coach from a state institution is a state action

§        But the NCAA did NOT take part in that particular action

o       The state action nonetheless might lie if a university by embracing the NCAA’s rules transforms them into state rules

§        And thereby arguably transforms the NCAA into a state actor

o       Some state have passed legislation that provides for liability for violation of an NCAA rule

§        With legislation of this type the NCAA’s regulations will arguably be deemed to represent state action

 

Pryor v. National Collegiate Athletic Association:

 

-          Facts:

o       Eligibility case under proposition 16

o       College students sued collegiate athletic association, challenging rule under which they were denied opportunity to participate in athletic competition as freshmen.

o       Plaintiff’s alleged intentional race discrimination

§        b/c the purpose behind proposition 16 was to increase the graduation stats ( by using both the SAT scores and GPA)

·               so they claim that they are being excluded from the university b/c of the impact of the proposition

-          Holding:

o       They pass summary judgment, but that does not mean that they have won

o       Held that the allegations that rule was adopted to reduce number of black athletes who would become eligible for athletic scholarships and compete in intercollegiate athletics as freshman stated claim for purposes race discrimination in violation of Title VI

§         And the allegations that challenged rule was adopted with deliberate indifference to rule's purported disparate impact on black student athletes failed to state Title VI claim

o       Both Title VI, which bars discrimination with respect to participation in, and benefits of, programs receiving federal financial assistance, and civil rights statute guaranteeing equal rights under the law

§         provide a private cause of action for intentional discrimination only

o       To prove intentional race discrimination by a facially neutral policy,

§         plaintiff must show that the relevant decisionmaker adopted the policy at issue "because of," not merely "in spite of," its adverse effects upon an identifiable group;

·    mere awareness of the consequences of an otherwise neutral policy will not suffice.

o       College students stated claim for purposeful race discrimination in violation of Title VI, which barred discrimination with respect to participation in, or benefits of, program receiving federal financial assistance,

§         when they alleged that collegiate athletic association adopted facially neutral rule establishing scholarship and athletic eligibility criteria for incoming student athletes because it wanted to reduce number of black athletes who would become eligible for athletic scholarships and compete in intercollegiate athletics as freshmen,

§         that association knew rule would adversely affect black student athletes as a result of pre-rule studies indicating rule would have such effect, and that association's stated goal of wanting to improve graduation rates via rule was "pretext" for actual goal

o       Parities suing the NCAA for such claims must be prepared to present evidence at the summary judgment stage that would substantiate their allegations

o       So, they reverse the dismissal of summary judgment,

§         With the instructions that they must present the substantial evidence

-          Notes:

o       Won’t likely stand here, b/c it is just a lot to say that the motivation and impact will have racial discrimination

 

Bell Case (handout):

-          Facts:

o       School requirements stated:

§             That if someone was “married” they could not participate in athletics and other school functions

o       School said that they created the rule to keep people from dropping out

§             That if the student couldn’t participate in athletics if they got married, then it would prevent them from getting married and dropping out of school

-          Holding:

o       Participation in athletics is not a constitutional right

o       But, a school should not implement an action that would discriminate against a particular group

§             They can not have something that gives an advantage to some and not to all

 

Stotts v. CU School Dist (Side Note)

-          Facts:

o       School prohibited the athletes from having tattoos and unnatural hair color

§             To keep the pride in the school and public

o       A player got a tattoo, but it was covered up by his shirt

-          Holding:

o       Where there is public school,

§             the P may be successful in asserting a constitutional issue that the school is a state actor

 

GENERAL ELIGIBILITY ISSUES:

 

-          From Nutshell:

o       Eligibility = the decision by the athletic governing body of whether a particular athlete or team is eligible to participate in a specific sport or a specific event

o       The question is whether a denial of eligibility is a violation of that participant’s constitutional or civil rights

o       An athete’s right to participate may be protected by the constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection

o       State actors discussion – pg 211

o       Due process & equal protection analysis – pg 213

o       Types of rules – pg 216

 

Indiana HS Assoc. v. Avant

-          Facts:

o       Plaintiff was a HS basketball player at a private school.

o       He transferred to a public school w/o moving his home.

o       IHSA had a policy that you had to sit out a yr. if you change schools w/o changing residence,

§             unless the student qualifies under a listed exception (want to protect against HS recruitment).

o       Hearing held: Plaintiffs hardship exception was denied.

-          Issue

o       Did the trial ct. have authority to review the ruling of the IHSA?

§             Yes.

-          Holding:

o       Generally, courts will not interfere to control administration of voluntary association's constitution or bylaws, or to enforce rights springing therefrom

o       Decisions of Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) are judicially reviewable under arbitrary and capricious standard, even absent constitutional right.

o       Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) engages in state action subject to judicial review in making and enforcing its rules

§             When state is sufficiently involved to treat decisive conduct as state action, state's constitutional privileges and immunities clause applies

o       IHSA must have substantial evidence to support the reason for the rule

§             And here there was substantial evidence to support the rule

o       Plaintiff was having problems w/his coach,

§             rather than an alleged financial or hardship reason as claimed (there wasn’t one).

o       Indiana High School Athletic Association's (IHSAA) transfer rule, whereby student who transferred to member school with change of residence by the student's parents would have immediate full varsity eligibility at the new school, but transfer without move by parents would result in ineligibility during first 365 days following transfer unless student qualified under listed exception,

§             did not violate state constitutional privileges and immunities clause; distinctions between the classifications were reasonably related to achieving IHSAA's purpose in deterring school jumping and recruitment,

·    and rule applied equally to all persons similarly situated because a student transferring without a change in residence does not fit one of the 13 listed exceptions or qualify as an undue hardship, then the student is ineligible for varsity athletics

o       Was this a state action on part of IHSA?

§             Yes; if IHSA’s members are all state org.’s, then their decision is a state action.

§             State actions are rarely challenged successfully.

-          Notes:

o       State action can almost always be shown in high school cases,

§             but NCAA cases are more difficult (courts think of it as a private org.).

o       To show a state action, there must be a nexus between the wrongdoer and the state.

§             Private Org.’s (such as NCAA) can’t be held to violate whatever civil right action is brought.

 

Tiffany v. Ariz. Interscholastic Assoc., Inc. –

-          Facts:

o       Player was a 19 yr. old HS senior (he was held back a year b/c of a learning disability in 1st grade).

§             Student brought suit requesting that interscholastic association be enjoined from disqualifying him from interscholastic athletic competition

o       AIA is a voluntary org. of all public and most private HS’s in Ariz.

§             Under AIA bylaws, if a student turns 19 before 9/1 of the school yr., he is not able to participate in interscholastic athletics.

o       There was a special hardship appeals process, and he requested a hearing.

o       Board denied his hardship appeal, so he sued on §1983, saying AIA deprived a person of color rights and privileges.

o       Tr. Ct. said that defendent unreasonably treated plaintiff, and they gave him permission to participate.

-          Holding:

o       Held that student did not have constitutional right which was violated when he was not granted hardship waiver from 19-year-old eligibility rule;

o       Tiffany has failed to demonstrate the type of serious damage to his “later opportunities for high school education and employment”

§             Which would raise his interest in interscholastic athletics to a level warranting the safeguards of the due process clause

o       Because student suffered no injury to his reputation by virtue of ruling excluding him from high school sports, no constitutionally protected liberty interest was infringed.

o       Ct. said that there is no prop. interest protection in the U.S. Constitution,

§             but that the AIA did act capriciously because they had never heard cases before, and failed to exercise discretion in considering his request for a waiver.

o       Despite the fact that AIA’s bylaws specifically provide that its Executive Board will exercise discretion in considering hardship waivers to its eligibility rules,

§             It is undisputed that the Board has adopted a policy of not making any exceptions to the 19 year old eligibility requirement

o       So the Court also held that:

§             the executive board of interscholastic association acted unreasonably, capriciously and arbitrarily when it failed to exercise its discretion in considering student's request for hardship waiver

III. Representation of Athletes

  1. Intro

1.      As recently as 30 yrs ago, most athletes represented themselves

2.      Today, most many more athletes have agents due to sports evolving into a  multi-billion dollar industry

  1. Player Agent Functions

1.      a player agent performs many functions

2.      usually, a single representative does not perform all the tasks

3.      Services include:

a.       Employment contract negotiations

b.      Legal counseling

c.       Obtaining and negotiating endorsement contracts

d.      Financial management and planning

e.       Career planning counseling

f.        Marketing the athlete through public relations

g.       Resolution of disputes from employment contracts

4.      Robert C. Berry:  Representation of the Professional Athlete

a.       Counseling – the client needs to understand what happens during negotiations and after deals are signed.  Counseling is an ongoing process requiring empathy and firmness.  This provides protection for the clients best interests.

b.      Financial management and planning – this service includes bookkeeping, tax advice, and investing.  Many agents do not do this themselves but have someone else do it

c.       Marketing – obtaining endorsements and other outside revenue.  Marketing opportunities are limited except for certain stars and substantial efforts are required to realize the athletes full potential.

d.      Dispute resolution – must know what steps can be taken to negotiate a resolution (Arbitration and litigation).  Must know is a matter is subject to arbitration because filing deadlines are short and easily waived. 

e.       Career planning – planning for after sports.  Sports careers are short. 

f.        Business models:

                                                   i.      Free standing sports management firms – most popular model.  Offers many services to athletes.  Divided into two categories.

1.      Representation of athletes only – concentrate on athletes only and not other undertakings

2.      Combined athlete representation and event management – represent athletes and run events.

                                                 ii.      Sports management firms affiliated with law firm – there are different types:

1.      many developed as sole practitioners and then dropped law and went into sports management

2.      law firm with segregated functions - law firm that expanded and has a sports management section

3.      sports management firms that constitute and independence but have a working relationship with a law firm that does not otherwise involve itself with sports related matters

5.      Historical overview – there are several reasons for evolution of player agent relationships

a.       Until recently, athletes had little bargaining power

b.      Salary increased so did the need for professional services

6.      Pro Sports today – it is a huge industry producing many revenue opportunities

7.      Need for Regulation – problem areas of agent practice include:

a.       Unethical solicitation

b.      Excessive fees

c.       Conflicts of interest

d.      Incompetence

e.       Income mismanagement

f.        Fraud

g.       Unauthorized practice of law

·        Player agents are subject to laws of contract, tort, agency, fraud, and criminal law.  They may also be subject to state and federal regulation

·        Attorney-agents are subject to Rules of Professional conduct

  1. Player Agent: Capacity to Contract; Eligibility and Regulation under Regulations

1.      States and the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB have enacted regulations focusing on player agents and agent practice

2.      The regulations require registration or certification upon review of qualifications and backgrounds

3.      agents must comply with certification requirements of all mandatory regulations in order to have the capacity to form a lawful contract with an athlete

4.      cannot enter into player agent contracts unless registered or certified

5.      Registration schemes have two different formats:

a.       Player associations and some states regulate all player agent conduct associated with the negotiation of player-team contracts.  This protects from incompetent player agent practice

b.      Some statutes only govern agent contact with student athletes (ex:  Uniform Athlete Agents Act).  This protects students, institutions, and fans

c.       Typical legislation requires certification prior to agent conduct to induce player-agent contracts, specifies terms to be included in player-agent contracts, and contains enforcement provisions

6.      Collins v. National Basketball Players Association

a.       NBPA is the labor union that has exclusive bargaining representative for all NBA players.  Only certified agents can represent MBPA players.  Can deny applications if person has made false statements of material facts of engaged in conduct that significantly impacts his credibility, integrity or competence to serve in a fiduciary capacity

b.      Agent was sued for breach of fiduciary duty for mismanagement of income tax returns, assets, and commingling funds with those of other players. 

c.       Agent suspended his activities as an agent during the pendency of the suit

d.      Agent reapplied for certification and was denied b/c they said he was unfit to serve in a fiduciary capacity to NBA players

e.       Collins (agent) complained that it violated antitrust b/c it was a group boycott

f.        The Sherman Act permits the NBPA to establish certification procedures

g.       Regulation meets both prongs of the test in US v. Hutcheson that held that labor unions acting in their self-interest and not in combination with nonlabor groups are exempt from Sherman Act liability

h.       Court held that associations can make reasonable exclusions of athletes

7.      Speakers of Sport, Inc. v. ProServe, Inc.

a.       One sports agency sued for tortuous interference with a contract and business relationship

b.      Pudge terminated his contract with one agency and left for another b/c the other agent promised more

c.       Competition is not a tort.  There is generally nothing wrong with trying to take clients from one another

d.      Court said that even if can prove liability for interference he would not be able to prove damages

8.      Players associations have rested their authority to regulate agents on the basis of player agents are agents of the unions.  To protect the integrity of the benefits obtained in collective bargaining, players associations require certification.  It is commonly recognized that agents can negotiate contracts because players associations have delegated a portion of the exclusive representational authority to the agents

9.      The NFLPA has a test that agents must pass for certification. 

  1. Player Agent:  Regulatory Limitations on Formation of Player Agent Services Contracts; Resolution of Disputes Between Players and Agents

1.      Contracts between players and agents must satisfy all elements of a valid contract.  There are three basic contracts

a.       Contracts for negotiation of player-team employment contracts

b.      Financial services contracts

c.       Contracts for the marketing of players for endorsements and public appearances

2.      Players and agents are not free to negotiate the terms of their contract.  Players associations and states place limitations on contractual arrangements.  Limitations focus on fees, termination, and procedures for resolution of disputes under the contract.  Players associations generally require the use of form contracts.

  1. Player Agent:  Duties Imposed by Common Law, Statutes, and Regulations; Remedies

1.      State and players association regulations join CL remedies to govern player agent conduct, during and subsequent to the formation of a contract

2.      Common Law uses the law of agency which is a principle relationship which results from manifestation of consent by one person to another that the other shall act on his behalf and subject to his control, and consent by the other to do so

3.      Fiduciary duties of agent:

a.       Loyalty

b.      Obedience

c.       Care

4.      Remedies:

a.       Breach of K

b.      Tort – failure to perform, negligence, intentional tort

c.       Restitution

d.      Rescission

e.       Account in equity

f.        Fraud – actual and constructive

5.      Detroit Lions, Inc. v. Argovitz

a.       It is alleged that Argivitz breached his fiduciary duty during negotiations of a contract

b.      Agent had a conflict b/c he was supposed to be representing the player but had an interest in one of the organizations making an offer to the player

c.       General Rule – agent is not liable for losses occurring as a result of following principles instructions but law is not applicable when the agent placed himself in a position adverse to that of the principle

6.      Brown v. Wolf

a.       Claim of constructive fraud and breach of fiduciary duty in negotiating a contract.  Alleged that agent made misrepresentations that athlete relied on during the contract negotiation

b.      If elements of recklessness or oppressive conduct are demonstrated then punitive damages can be awarded against and agent for players contract

c.       If person recklessly and heedlessly makes false statements, facts he is unaware of falsity does not defeat claim for punitive damages

d.      Constructive fraud is acts or a course of conduct from which an unconscionable advantage is or may be derived or a breach of confidence coupled with an unjust enrichment that shocks the conscience, or a breach of duty which the law declares fraudulent because of the tendency to deceive.  Also, it may be making a false statement, by a dominate party in a confidential or fiduciary relationship or by one who holds himself out as an expert, upon which the other reasonably relies to his detriment

e.       The person need not know the statement is false when made nor make the false statement with a fraudulent intent

f.        When person sues for fraud they must prove by clear and convincing evidence

7.      An amateur athlete who contracts with an agent is considered to be a professional and loses college eligibility in the sport for which services are performed.  Player can secure advice about proposed contracts but the lawyer cant represent person in negotiations of the contract

 

IV. Torts and Sports

I.                    Negligence

A.     Elements

1.      Duty

2.      Breach

3.      Causation

a.       In fact

b.      Proximate

4.      Damages

B.     Professional level

1.      Have to show gross negligence in order to sue a participant in the sporting context.

C.     Amateur

1.      Have to show mere negligence

D.     Defenses

1.      Traditional Defenses are available

2.      Assumption of the Risk and Consent are the most prevalent

3.      Comparative Negligence is also available

E.      Examples

1.      Tickets

a.       Adhesion Contracts- on back tells you that you assume all risks associated with the sport you bought the ticket to see.

b.      Question becomes how far does “anything associated with the risk of playing this game go?

-         What about players fighting you

-         Throwing balls at you as a spectator

c.       Remedy if one of these things happens to you is to file summary judgment alleging that these things were not part of the terms of the ticket as “anything associated with the risk of playing the game.”

2.      Foul Ball litigation

a.       Stadiums are changing more and more that really increases the risk of getting hit by a foul ball.

3.      NFL was sued for dispersing alcohol

4.      Golfers hit with errant golf balls

a.       Requires you to yell “fore!”

F.      Case Law

1.      Nabozny v. Barnhill- Barnhill (D) kicked Nabozny (P) during a soccer match, causing severe injuries to the plaintiff.  The trial court directed a verdict for the defendant and plaintiff appealed.

a.       A reckless disregard for the safety of others cannot be excused. 

b.      When athletes are engaged in athletic competition and a safety rule exists which is primarily designed to protect players from serious injury, a player is charged with a legal duty to every other player on the field to refrain from conduct proscribed by the safety rule.  Such a duty clearly arose here. 

c.       It was a jury question to decide if Barnhill’s behavior was deliberate, willful, or with a reckless disregard for the safety of others.  The trial court erred, therefore reversed and remanded.

2.      Hackbart v. Cinn Bengals (I)- Plaintiff was a veteran football player who played Free Safety for the Denver Broncos, who was injured during a football game played between the bengals and the broncos.  A bengals player hit plaintiff on the back of the head with his forearm, sued the bengals and the player in tort, alleging that defendant’s conduct was reckless conduct.

a.       Here the plaintiff alleges that the defendants actions in striking him were so far outside the rules of play and accepted principals of professional football that they should be characterized as reckless misconduct and also claims injury at least as a result of negligence.  The standard is the reasonably prudent person. 

b.      It is stupid to talk about a pro football players duty of care for the safety of opposing players when he has been trained and motivated to be heedless of injury to himself. 

c.       Here the injuries are not so unusual as to not be considered a part of football. 

d.      Even if the defendants breached a duty owed to plaintiff, there is no recovery because plaintiff assumed the risk.

3.      Hackbart (II)- on appeal- same facts

a.       The rules of football do forbid intentional assault and batteries on other players.

b.      The standard of review was recklessness- an intent to do the act but without the intent to cause a particular harm.

c.       Here defendant acted impulsively in the heat of anger, and from the facts presented, it could be inferred that he intended the act but did not intend to inflict the serious injury.

d.      The trial court found that the nfl game involved consent and assumption of the risk, however that did not mean that the plaintiff rights were not violated.  Therefore the trial court needs to determine these rights.

e.       The case was remanded for further review.

4.      Gauvin v. Clark- Plaintiff was injured while playing college hockey.  The plaintiff alleged that the defendant had butt-ended him, a violation of the safety rules.  Trial court found that defendant had not acted with reckless misconduct and judge entered judgment for defendant.  Plaintiff appealed claiming a violation of the safety rule meant liability.

a.       The standard again is recklessness- which requires willfulness.

b.      Here there was no assumption of the risk, but this was not willful therefore no liability existed.

5.      Definition of Participation- could include referees, cheerleaders, and coaches.

a.       Orlando Brown- Dec. of 1999.  Brown, an offensive tackle, suffered an injury when hit by a referee’s penalty marker during a professional football game.

b.      Brown could recover on a negligence theory if the ref acted negligently and the NFL, as the ref’s employer, is liable under Respondeat superior.

c.       NFL could be liable in its negligence training of its pro game officials.

6.      Cheerleader- injured when performing a cheer may be victim of negligence of a coach or another cheerleader.

a.       the issue is whether the coach exercised reasonable care in protecting the athletes.

b.      Liability for

-         playing an injured player

-         fails to direct the movement of an injured player.

-         Fails to acquire proper medical attention during heat stroke.

-         Fail to instruct on safe techniques for participation.

d.      Coaches going too far

-         shaking helmets- intentional tort rather than negligence

-         hitting head with tackling dummy- liability attached.

-         Player defamation- invades a players privacy by publically disclosing facts are foreseeable.

7.      Cardozo stated- “one who takes part in a sport accepts the dangers that inhere in it so far as they are obvious and necessary.”

8.      Negligent scheduling- a high school football player sued the school board for negligent scheduling.

a.       Student was injured when hit by an opponent during a football game

b.      Plaintiff alleged that the school board should never have scheduled the game in the first place.

c.       On appeal the court held that a school board is obligated to exercise ordinary reasonable care to protect student athletes in extracurricular sports from “unassumed, concealed, or unreasonably increased risks.”

d.      According to the court, the plaintiff failed to show that his injury resulted from a breach of that duty.

9.      Waiver- The ticket holder agrees to assume all risks with attendance at this sporting event.  He agrees that in consideration of the permission to enter the premises, he will not make a claim whatsoever against the club.

a.       Baseball- general rule is that spectators are presumed to know that at certain times foul balls are going to be hit into the stands; therefore assuming the risk.

-         there is no assumption of the risk when a ball passes through the protective screen and injures the spectator.

b.      Ice Hockey- because hockey is a new sport spectators cannot be expected to know of all the games dangers and therefore do not assume the risk at those games.

c.       California has adopted the “no assumption of the risk rule.”

-         plaintiff seated in an uncovered area was reasonable in believing that his seat was safe.

e.       Injuries caused by unsafe premises

-         Rockwell v. Hillcrest- suspension bridge crossing river on a golf course collapsed and its occupants dropped in the river below.

-         Plaintiff was one of the occupants on the bridge- she broke her back.

-         Evidence at trial showed the bridge was designed to safely hold 25 people (here there were 100 on the bridge when it collapsed)

-         There was no sign warning people of its capacity

-         No supervisors to watch the bridge.

-         “Reasonable care is a full one, applicable in all respects, and extending to everthing that threatens invitee from an unreasonable risk of harm.”

-         Defendant here not only had a duty to not injure the plaintiff by negligent acts, and to warn him of latent dangers of which he knows, but he also must take steps to protect the invitee from dangers which are foreseeable from use.

-         This obligation extends to the original construction of the premises, where it results in a dangerous condition.

f.        Liability based on Beer Sales-

-         Gist of the liability is that in making a sale to someone who the seller knew or reasonably should have known was fucked up.

-         If this is the proximate cause then liability may stand.

10.  Jimmy Pearsal

11.  Fish v. Dodgers Baseball- Medical assistance to spectators- Here parents of a 14 year old who dies after being hit by a foul ball while attending a dodgers game, sued the dodgers and a physician.

a.       Plaintiff alleged

-         (1) failure to provide the boy with a safe place to witness the game

-         (2) negligent provision of emergency medical services

b.      Point is that the failure to provide adequate emergency medical assistance to an injured spectator provides a viable cause of action to the injured spectator, at least to the extent it can be shown such injuries were aggravated by the lack of such care.

12.  Spectator v. Spectator- Barry Bonds homerun ball- Popov originally got it, then he was thrown to the ground by at least ten fans, at which time Hayashi emerged from a pile with the homerun ball in hand.

a.       Neither the Giants nor did Barry Bonds claim ownership

b.      Popov was granted an injunction preventing Hayashi from selling the ball.

c.       The case was tried and the judge ordered the litigants to split the proceeds from the sale of the baseball.

II.                 Medical Malpractice

A.     Locality rule

B.     Informed consent

C.     Team Doctor-

1.      Duty he owes to the team as well as the player

2.      Loyalty is found in collective bargaining agreements- takes care of player and doctor with a small stipend

D.     Case Law

1.      Rosenweig v. State- The estate of a boxer who died after a knockout in the ring alleged that the physician who had examined him prior to the fight was negligent.

a.       A physician is not liable if there is no official rule requiring a culmpulsory lay-off of a fighter who has received a severe beating.

b.      Also the proximate cause of the death of the boxer was the severe blow to his head and that blow alone could have produced the fatal result.

c.       Today there are a lot more regulations

d.      Tommy Morrision was not allowed to fight because he was HIV positive.

2.      Colombo v. Sewannaka Central High- Student challenged a physician’s recommendation that he be excluded from playing high school contact sports.

a.       The medical determination of the physician was valid exercise of judgment.

b.      Administrative judgments shall be set aside if they are arbitrary or capricious.

c.       Here the decision was not A or C because there was a serious risk of injury to the player himself and to other players because of his hearing disability.

d.      Crazy MOM case.

3.      Hank Gather case- one of the issues in the litigation of the tragic death of the Loyola basketball player death was the adequacy of courtside medical attention.

4.      Independent Contractor or Employee- When is the doctor an ind contractor or an employee in which vicarious liability will attach:

a.       Restatement 220- In determining whether one acting for another is a servant or an independent contractor, the following matters of fact, among others, are considered:

-         The extent of control which, by the agreement the master may exercise over the details of the work

-         Whether or not the one employed is engaged in a distinct occupation or business

-         The kind of occupation, with reference to whether, in the locality, the work is usually done under the direction of an employer or by a specialist without supervision

-         The skill required in the particular occupationl

-         Whether the employer or the workman supplies the instrumentalities, tools, and the place of work for the person doing the work

-         The length of time for which the person is employed

-         The method of payment whether by the time or by the job

-         Whether or not the work is a part of the regular business of the employer

-         Whether or not eh parties believe they are creating the relation of master and servant; and

-         Whether the principal is or is not in business

b.      Robitaille v. Vancover Hockey Club- court held the NHL club vicariously liable for the negligence of team doctors.  The doctors received money and other perks for doing the work, i.e.- season tickets, free parking, access to the lounge, and a 2500 bonus at the end of the season..

-         the court found that the NHL club had the power to control, select and dismiss the doctors

-         in the case of a professional person, the absence of control and direction over the manner of doing the work is of little signifance/

III.               Invasion of Privacy

A.     Instrusion- plaintiff’s right to solitude is invaded by the defendant in a manner that would be objectionable to a person of ordinary sensibilities.

1.      Peeping Tom

B.     Misappropriation- plaintiffs name or likeness is used for a primarily commercial advantage without the plaintiffs consent.

1.      Photos in magazines are not actionable

2.      Gist of the tort is commercially appropriated stuff.

3.      Uhlaender v. Henrickson- Major League Baseball players association enjoined the manufacturer of a table game from using players names without consent.  The court held the players had proprietary interests in their names, significant enough to justify relief.

C.     Public disclosure of Private Facts- has to offend a person of ordinary sensibilities.  Disclosure is made of facts that a reasonable person would wish to keep private because of the embarrassment disclosure would create.

1.      Newsworthiness is a defense

D.     False light privacy- plaintiff has been placed in a false light in the public eye

1.      Related to defamation

2.      Statements which place the plaintiff in a false light don’t have to be defamatory.

IV.              Defamation

A.     Time Inc. v. Johnson- Defendant is Sports Illustrated. Plaintiff sued SI for defaming him in a mag article about another sports figure.  SI raised Constitutional Priviledge as a defense, Plaintiff claimed he had lost his public figure status a long time ago.

1.      Mere passage of time will not alleviate a person of their statue as a public figure.

2.      Famous players are famous forever.

B.     Spahn v. Julian Messner- famous pitcher was the subject of an unauthorized fictional biography published by Messner.  Plaintiff sued for invasion of privacy claiming that his name was used for advertising purposes or for purposes of trade without his consent.

1.      Court found all four types of invasion as mentioned above were present here

a.       The book intruded upon Spahn’s private affairs, disclosed embarrassing facts about him, placed him in a false light in the public eye, and appropriated, for defendants use, his name and likeness.

C.     Namath v. SI- Namath sued SI for using a picture of him for their magazine.  SI claimed that this publication was an incidental advertising of the news medium itself and did not constitute invasion of privacy.

1.      The law allows for exempt status to incidental advertising of the medium itself.  The language of the advertisement doesn’t suggest endorsement of Namath himself. 

2.      Merely the general nature of contents likely to be found in future issues.

D.     Other Rights to Publicity were recovery was found for athlete.

1.      Ali- “The Greatest”- this is my nickname-

2.      Carson- Here’s Johnny Portable Toilets—

3.      White- blonde women

4.      Middler- new song- back up singers to do it- back up singers- it is a right of publicity

5.      Newcombe- artist of a pic on beer can- recovering alcoholic- bad to put anyone on beer can- prevailed on this.

6.      Hirsch-  football player- pantyhose- crazy legs- he won the case

E.      Abdul-Jabar v. GMC- GMC ran a TV commercial which included a trivia question using AbdulJabar’s former name (Lew Alcindor).  Then Abdul sued for violations of his trademark and publicity rights, the district court granted GMC’s motion for Summary Judgment because Abdul had apparently abandoned the name Lew Alcindor.

1.      Ones birth name cannot be abandoned.

2.      GMC cannot rely on this as a defense of Abdul’s Lanham Act claim.

3.      Lanham Act- imposes liability on any person who uses any trademark, false designation of origin, or false or misleading description of fact, that is likely to cause confusion or mistake or misrepresents the naure or origin of is or anothers goods or services, to anyone damaged by that act.

 

 

V. Health and Disability Issues

I.                    Health and Disability Issues in Sports Law

a.       ADA 1990

                                                               i.      Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and further obligates these entities to provide reasonable accommodations, modifications, or auxiliary aids that will enable qualified individuals with disabilities to access and to participate in the program or activity

b.      Elements of Disabilities

                                                               i.      Definition

1.      Has a physical impairment which substantially limits one or more of his major life activities

a.       Major Life Activities

                                                                                                                                       i.      Basic activities that the average person in the general population can perform with little or no difficulty

2.      Has record of such impairment

3.      Is regarding as having such impairment

c.       Title I

                                                               i.      No covered entity can discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability b/c of that disability

1.      Qualified

a.       Blind people cannot drive buses

d.      Elements necessary to prove a case under the ADA

                                                               i.      Analyzing the Issue

1.      Is the athlete disabled w/in meaning of statute

2.      Is athlete otherwise qualified to participate in the sports program w/ or w/out reasonable accommodations

3.      Was the athlete discriminated against or excluded b/c of the person’s disability

4.      Would the requested accommodation or modification be unreasonable, require the elimination of essential eligibility requirements or fundamentally alter the nature of the sport or competition

e.       What constitutes a disability

                                                               i.      Case:  Knapp

1.      Determined it wasn’t a disability

a.       Only disabled when his heart stopped, which may not happen again

2.      Playing basketball was not a major life activity

a.       Inability to play basketball only limits a small portion of collegiate opportunities

3.      Qualified

a.       Must be able to meet all of the program’s requirements in spite of handicap with reasonable accommodation

b.      In light of individual’s work history and medical history, employment of that individual would pose a reasonable probability of substantial harm

                                                                                                                                       i.      Was a great risk of harm to him if they allowed him to play

                                                                                                                                     ii.      Ct said it was schools discretion

                                                             ii.      Case:  Sandison

1.      Rule prohibiting 19 year olds from participating in high school

2.      Purpose behind the age rule

a.       Safeguards from injury

b.      Prevents an unfair competitive advantage

3.      Sandison’s learning disability did not prevent him from meeting the age requirement, the passage of time did

                                                            iii.      Case:  Johnson

1.      Exact opposite of Sandison

2.      Ct ruled that waiving the age requirement was a reasonable accommodation

                                                           iv.      There is a split in the fed cts as to whether age eligibility rules violate federal anti-discrimination laws when applied to disabled students

1.      8th and 6th Circuits have ruled that such rules are essential and cannot be waived w/out fundamentally altering the programs

f.        Rules of Play and Reasonable Accommodations

                                                               i.      Case:  PGA Tour v. Martin

1.      PGA Tour falls under ADA b/c golf courses are included w/in the acts definition of public accommodation

a.       As a lessor and operator of golf courses the PGA must not discriminate against any individual in the privileges of those courses

b.      ADA prohibits the PGA tour from denying to Martin equal access to it tours on the basis of his disability

2.      Discrimination includes the failure to make accommodations unless such modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the game

a.       Waiver of walking rule would not fundamentally alter

                                                                                                                                       i.      Use of carts is not itself inconsistent w/ the fundamental character of the game of golf

1.      Nothing in Rules of Golf prohibiting

                                                                                                                                     ii.      Golf is a game where its impossible to make sure all competitors compete in exactly the same conditions

                                                                                                                                    iii.      Fatigue from walking in tournament cannot be deemed significant

1.      Even if walking serves the purpose of subjecting competitors to fatigue, Martin endures greater fatigue even with a cart

3.      A modification which provides an exception to a peripheral tournament rule w/out impairing its purpose cannot be said to fundamentally alter the tournament

V. Drug Testing

I.                    Drug Testing

A.     Board of Education v. Earls- Court found that drug testing HS students who participated in extracurricular activities reasonably served schools important interest in detecting and preventing drug use among its students.  Students sued under 4th amendment unreasonable invasion of privacy, looking predominately at the fact the testing was done randomly and not based on individualized suspicion, and therefore the court focused on the reasonableness of the drug testing.

1.      Court finds that in the school context there is less expectation of privacy and that the school has a particularized need for efficient and effective disciplinary procedures to prevent the development of hazardous conditions.  Court emphasizes the school invasion is a health and safety administrative regulation and not law enforcement such that a lesser warrant requirement is appropriate, specifically in public schools where the school has custodial responsibility for children.  Therefore, individualized suspicion is not necessary both b/c of the specialized needs of schools and the reduced expectation of privacy and the administrative rather than law enforcement purpose of the invasion.

2.      The expectation of privacy is lessened b/c of the school environment and the need for discipline.  The expectation is further reduced b/c the students voluntarily engage in these extracurricular and therefore subject themselves to various rules requiring invasions that might not otherwise be allowable. 

3.      Court also finds the invasion is not significant.  The procedure of peeing in a cup behind closed doors is viewed as not being a significant invasion into one’s privacy.  Further, the results are kept confidential and are only revealed to school faculty on a need to know basis.

4.      The court also finds the gov reason for the invasion is “pressing.”  The court identifies the prevalence of drug abuse among youths and the need for schools to maintain a drug free environment as important concerns warranting the slight invasion.  Additionally, the court considers the prevention of drug use among athletes to be a health issue.

 

VII. Antitrust

II.                 Antitrust

a.       Sherman Anti Trust Act

                                                               i.      The promotion of competition in open markets can be thwarted in two fundamental ways

1.      Economic rivals acting in collusively to reduce competition

2.      Market structure itself can be such that competition is restricted

b.      Test

                                                               i.      Is it Per Se

1.      On it face anti competitive

2.      Entirely void of redeeming competitive rationales

                                                             ii.      Rule of Reason

1.      Analyze the restraints effect on competition

a.       First requires a determination of whether the challenged restraint has a substantially adverse effect on competition

b.      Then shift to an evaluation of whether the pro-competitive virtues of the alleged wrongful conduct justifies the otherwise anticompetitive impacts

c.       Weigh the factors

c.       Case:  Tanaka

                                                               i.      Sued USC when it imposed penalties against her for transferring to UCLA

                                                             ii.      No antitrust action against former school if she defines the relevant market as a single athletic program in a city based solely on her own preferences, if the market is national in scope, or if the imposition of the rule was alleged to been an isolated act of retaliation

                                                            iii.      The rule does not have an effect on national markets but only the Pac-10 teams

d.      Case:  Law

                                                               i.      NCAA was enjoined from promulgating rules restricting the annual compensation of entry-level coaches

                                                             ii.      Because horizontal agreements are necessary for sports competition, all horizontal agreements among NCAA members, even if price fixing, should be subject to a rule of reason analysis

                                                            iii.      Rule of Reason Analysis

1.      Anti Competitive Effect

a.       Can show indirectly by proving the def possessed the requisite market power w/in a defined market

b.      Can show directly by showing actual anti-competitive effects

                                                                                                                                       i.      Control over output or price

1.      Because the rule was successful in artificially lowering the price of coaching contracts no further evidence was necessary to find market power to set prices

2.      Pro-competitive Rationales

a.       Retention of Entry level positions

                                                                                                                                       i.      Nothing on record shows that salary limits well be effective in creating entry level positions

b.      Cost Reduction

                                                                                                                                       i.      While increasing output, creating operating efficiencies, making new products available, enhancing product or service quality and widening customer choice have been accepted as justifications for otherwise competitive agreements, mere profitability or cost savings have not qualified defense under anti trust laws

c.       Maintaining Competitiveness

                                                                                                                                       i.      Could not prove that salary restrictions enhance competition

                                                                                                                                     ii.      Only showed that rule did not exacerbate competitive imbalance

 

IX. Discipline and Penalties

 

n      Enforcement must adhere to Procedural Due Process

n      Penalties can be assessed at the high school, college and professional level

o       Pro –

§         NFL – discipline and penalties governed by the collective bargaining agreement.

·        Linebacker for Rams (Larry Little) celebrating bday and killed someone driving drunk was punished.

·        You can be penalized for being overweight, or any action that would be detrimental to the club.

§         NBA – only league that takes action for spousal abuse

·        Sprewell the coach choker

§         MLB - John Rocker fined $25,000 for his SI article

o       NCAA – preeminent function is to penalize and discipline.

§         Actions are state action b/c they govern members (NCAA v. Tarkanian)

§         Death Penalty - SMU (how fitting Keiter is doing this section) football team disbanded for two years. DP reserved for repeat offenders. Given if, after one major violation, within another five year period, another major violation is committed.

o       High School

§         Usually just deny person eligibility to participate and courts usually don’t interfere with eligibility determinations made by a voluntary state high school athletic association.

·        Courts will only get involved if the athletic associations decision and interpretation of its bylaws and rules is not fair and reasonable. If they don’t act arbitrarily then there’s no improper influence.

§         Participation in high school sports is not a Constitutionally protected right.

DISCIPLINE (Thornton guarantees question on test and must know case names, facts)

n      Dambrot Case

o       Coach (Dambrot) trying to motivate players in the locker room by calling them “niggers.” He tries to claim word was “nigga” meaning fierce and used the word in a “positive and reinforcing manner. He is suspended based on Central Michigan Universities “discriminatory harassment policy and school does not renew his contract. He brings suit claiming First Amendment Constitutional Rights violated.

§         Public Concern Argument – coach claims his speech infringed upon and this was constitutionally protected speech.

·        Dambrot must prove

o       1. Speech matter of public concern – must prevail here to move on and Dambrot loses.

§         FACTORS: Court says this word was used inside a closed locker room meeting. This was not some forum on race and was not used relating to any matter of political, social or other concern to the community. It doesn’t matter that there was public discussion about the comments b/c the comments themselves were not public.

§         This was in a private locker room so was not part of the marketplace of ideas.

§         Dambrot loses here so court can’t go on to #3 which it would have answered in favor of Dambrot.

o       2. If it was public concern, that it’s constitutionally protected

o       3.  Any First Amendment violation was substantial factor in termination – no question this was a substantial factor but court doesn’t pursue this because first prong of test not met.

§         “Discriminatory harassment policy – court finds it is unconstitutional because statute was overbroad.           

·        Statute constitutionally void for vagueness also because it could encompass all types of language.

·        Remedy: Court permanently enjoins CMU from enforcing this policy from now on. This doesn’t help Dambrot.

n      Spacek Case (Texas case) Teacher Immunity

o       Middle school coaches trying to motivate kid to get his grades up threaten to hang him with extension cords and put a gun to his head.

o       School teachers seek immunity under the Qualified Immunity statute which shields government actors from civil liability if the actions were reasonably consistent with their duties. Texas said no teacher shall be personally liable for any act within scope of the duties of their employment if the action is within their discretion unless they use excessive force or negligence resulting in personal bodily injury to the students.

§         They tried to argue this wasn’t excessive force but court denied summary judgment finding this was a fact issue so no qualified immunity.

§         Force applied for any purpose other than proper training or education is not privileged. Teacher could not use physical violence against a student merely because student fails or is unable to perform either academically or athletically.

§         ON FINAL – apply this reasoning if a coach is disciplining someone.

n      Clay Case

o       High school basketball player drops out sophomore year after becoming addicted to coke, pot and liquor and committing burglary to buy all of it. He chooses incarceration over probation (idiot chose jail over freedom) to clean himself up. After rehabilitation he returns to school clean and sober and gets good grades so he seeks exception to play fourth year in hopes of receiving college scholarship.

o       To qualify for exception Clay had to prove:

§         1. He was unable to attend school because of disabling illness or injury

§         2. He is meeting the academic requirements at conclusion of last semester preceding illness

§         3. Present statement from attending physician setting out facts of the case.

o       If all three are met the AIA (Arizona Interscholastic Association) must then decide the case and if it will grant exception. Here, court found he met prong 2 of test but not 1 because he missed school due to incarceration and not illness and not 3 because the medical reports submitted were not from an “attending physician” because they were not from a bedside doctor.

o       The trial court found AIA had acted capriciously and arbitrarily, the appellate court overturned and now Supreme Court of Arizona sides with trial court.

§         FINDINGS: Trial court did not abuse its discretion. Furthermore, the incarceration was due to the disabling illness of addiction to drugs so the illness was the cause of his inability to attend school so prong 1 met. Prong 3 also met because board acted arbitrarily and capriciously by refusing to even look at medical records.

§         Remedy – trial court issued injunction allowing Clay to play was proper.

n      Oberstellar Case (Texas U.S. District Court of Corpus Christi)

o       Claim by student after he receives a 70 for his athletic football class grade even though he still received an overall A in the course. Claims a § 1983 action that school violated his due process and claims that coach encouraged other students and athletic staff to harass him.

o       Court throws out claim because student fails to offer any specific facts supporting his claims.

§         Plaintiffs claim of beratement and being made fun of were not supported with specific facts thus the court found these to be “conclusory statements.”

§         No violation of procedural due process because there was an opportunity for him to challenge the grade and an opportunity to be heard.

§         Court says his claim of deprivation of a liberty interest was frivolous.

§         Plaintiff did not have liberty or property interest in disputed grade because his alleged injury was de minimus so no other due process requirements were implicated.

n      Cases assigned but not discussed in class

o       Seamons v. Snow – Kid on team is hazed and reports it to school board. He then decides he wants to stay on team and coach tells him he can stay on the team if he apologizes to the team for tattling to the school board. Kid refuses and is kicked off team.

§         Coach not entitled to qualified immunity and school is subject to liability on kid’s claims that the school and the coach violated his Constitutional right to Freedom of Speech. Kid is therefore entitled to his day in court on the issue and summary judgment wrongly granted.

o       Holthaus v. Board of Education – Coach tells football players they acting like “niggers.” He is then fired and brings suit. Court finds breach of contract by public employer doesn’t give rise to a § 1983 action for denial of substantive due process.

§         Court finds coach had opportunity to be heard so even if this hurts his reputation or ability to get another job it doesn’t matter. If anything that would be a procedural due process claim and that would be satisfied here because there was notice given and an opportunity to be heard.

 

Appendix – This is another section completed on the Health & Disability Issues

II.                 Health and Disability

A.     Those w/ health problems and disabilities are primarily protected by the ADA, which has broad application and prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and requires employers to make reasonable accommodations, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which regulates federally funded programs.  These laws apply to virtually all sports organizations and teams.  These laws prohibit discrimination in any sense against a qualified individual; the qualification standard may include a requirement that the party not pose a direct threat to the health and safety of other individuals in the workplace.  Included is protection of participation in sporting activities as well as the ability to attend sports events etc.

B.     Disability Defined- A disability is:

1.      a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual,

2.      a record of such an impairment,

3.      or being regarded as having such an impairment.

C.     Qualified- to be a qualified party you must have a disability and with that disability with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies or practices meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or participation in programs or activities provided by the public entity.  This essentially means that the party must have a qualifying disability and despite that disability, or with reasonable modifications/accommodations to the requirements/activity, they are able to perform the essential functions of the activity i.e. they can still do the basic shit required in the job/activity.  If the handi can do the job one must then look to if the accommodation creates an undue burden on the entity/organization.

D.     Constitutional Protections- Courts have offered very limited protections for handis under Due Process or any other constitutional claim.  Handis are not considered a suspect class therefore any constitutional claim of discrimination by a public entity is reviewed under rational basis allowing any exclusion if it is rationally related to a legitimate objective, including guarding health and safety of athletes.  There is no fundamental or constitutional right to participate in competitive sports.

E.      Analysis of a Disability Claim:

1.      Is the athlete disabled within the meaning of the statute?  More specifically is the athlete “substantially limited” in a “major life activity.”  Always look to if sport participation is a major life activity.

2.      Is the athlete otherwise qualified to participate in the sports program w/ or w/out reasonable accommodations?  Can the handi perform the essential functions required in participation w/ some accommodation of the handicap? Ex if you have no legs you cant play soccer no matter what accommodations are made b/c you will still not be able to perform the essential functions required in participation.

3.      Was the athlete discriminated against or excluded b/c of the disability.  Was the disability the reason the athlete is not allowed to participate or was there some other disqualifying factor present justifying the exclusion.

4.      Would the requested accommodation create an undue burden on the excluding entity?  This is defined as an unreasonable accommodation, require the elimination of essential eligibility requirements, or fundamentally alter the nature of the sport or competition.

F.      Coverage- Rehab Act applies to those receiving federal funds (includes public universities and public schools), Title II applies to public entities, Title III applies to place of public accommodation, Title I applies to an employer of the potential plaintiff.

G.     Knapp v. Northwestern U- P is a scholarship basketball player at U and then suffers heart failure.  P receives heart transplant and wants to keep playing ball.  U refuses to let P play, despite his signing a waiver, and P files suit under Rehab Act.  Court determines that P’s condition is not a disability under the Act b/c he would suffer no injury until he dropped dead on the court.  The court found he was not disabled under the Act b/c he had the ability to play on a daily basis so that he was not limited in performing a major life function, he would just drop dead at some point while playing but he could still perform the tasks just as anybody else until he died.  B/c he was not disabled under the Act he could not invoke its protections.    Further, the court found that even if P’s condition could be considered a disability playing college basketball is not a “major life activity” and therefore fails the definition of a disability.  Finally, it is the school’s job to determine the health eligibility requirements for student athletes and not the courts.

H.     It is generally agreed that a substantial risk of injury or death to the athlete or others will result in any exclusion being justified.  If the athlete poses a direct threat to the health and safety of himself or others he may be justifiably excluded.  The determination that the threat exists must be based on scientific and medical judgment and not just a good faith belief or opinion that the risk exists.

I.        Waivers- Some schools have allowed high risk players to participate after full disclosure to the athlete of the potential risks and a complete waiver of any liability for the school.  Some courts have upheld the waivers and others have held them invalid as contrary to public policy.

J.       Sandison v. Michigan HS Athletic Assoc- Two P’s had learning disabilities resulting in their being held back a year in elementary.  Both participated in track in HS and turned 19 during their senior year.  Ath Assoc. had regulations dictating athletes were ineligible and could not compete in athletics once they turned 19, resulting in P’s eligibility being revoked.  Ps sued under Rehab Act and ADA for discrimination based on their learning disabilities.  Ath Assoc justified the restriction based on health and safety grounds that allowing kids over 18 to compete in HS athletics exposed younger athletes to safety risks b/c the older kids were so much bigger and stronger etc.  The court found the restriction was based on age and not based on their learning disability and therefore was not covered by the ADA.  The Ps were not discriminated against “solely by reason of their disability” but rather b/c of age.  Additionally, allowing older, stronger kids to participate did pose a risk of injury to younger, less developed participants.  The Ps were not otherwise eligible to participate b/c even if you ignored their retard status they were still too old.  Finally, participating in HS track is not a major life function as defined in the Act.  Conc- they were discriminated against based on age and not b/c retard, age restriction had rational basis b/c older kids do present a safety risk, and HS track is not a major life function.  Contrasted in Johnson v. Fl HS Assoc.

K.    Johnson v. Florida HS Assoc- P is completely deaf and held back a few years.  P played HS football until he exceeded the age limitation when he turned 19.  School refused to allow P to play.  School policy for athletics prohibited play once a player reached 19 but had a “hardship exception” that would allow the board to make an exception for certain disqualifying factors when it deemed appropriate.  P sues under ADA and school argues that making the accommodation of ignoring the age limitation would result in a fundamental alteration to the game.  The court found the P was disabled both b/c he was deaf and b/c he was retarded and therefore he was covered by the act.  Therefore, the court focused primarily on whether making the accommodation of waiving the age limitation would result in “fundamentally altering” the purpose behind of the age rule, which was to protect younger participants health and safety from big, middle age retards w/ super-human retard strength from playing.  The court found that making the accommodation of excepting the retard from the age requirement would not undermine the purpose behind the rule of protecting younger athletes’ safety.  Evidently, this particular retard, while large, was not so huge that the safety of other participants would be endangered by making the accommodation and therefore the accommodation did not fundamentally alter the purpose of the rule.

L.      The Circuits are split on whether the waiver of the age requirement fundamentally alters the purpose behind the rule.  They are also split as to whether the school and the courts should do an individual review of each case to see if the accommodation is reasonable in that particular context or if a more blanket approach is acceptable.

M.   NCAA Eligibility Requirements- there is some contention over whether minimum SAT scores to be eligible to play NCAA ball are discriminatory and whether the NCAA must make accommodations for those who cant meet the minimum b/c of some disability.  No case law.

N.    Martin v. PGA- P was unable to walk the golf course b/c of a congenital leg problem and sued the PGA to allow him to use a cart during golf tournaments.  PGA argued that 1. They were not subject to the ADA b/c they were a private organization that played on private courses and 2. Walking the golf course is a substantive rule of the game and allowing a party to use a cart would result in a fundamental alteration of the competition, you do not have to make an accommodation that results in undue hardship and fundamental alterations to a game are construed as undue hardships.  The PGA and courts agreed that P had a disability as defined under the Act and that he could not play unless allowed to use a cart.

1.      The court determined PGA events were played on public courses and open to the public subjecting it to ADA limitations.  PGA events are places of public accommodation and subject to the ADA.

2.      The court focused on whether allowing the P to use a cart would fundamentally alter the nature of the game.   Fundamental alteration looks to if such modification changes the nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations.  An accommodation may do so in 2 ways.  First if it actually changes the way the game is played for all players, such as increasing the size of the cup in golf.  The second way is if the accommodation results in some advantage to the handi over the rest of the competitors so that it fundamentally alters the character of competition.  The PGA focused on the unfair advantage changing the character of the competition in arguing that walking the course fatigued players which was an essential aspect of the competition (to be able to win and play well w/ the physical exertion of walking the course) and that allowing a player to ride in a cart would result in an unfair advantage in that the exempted player would not have to play fatigued.

3.      Court found using carts did not effect the essence of the game in that the essential function and focus was swinging clubs and putting the ball in the hole, not walking.  It also found significant that carts were utilized by many golfers playing under the rules of golf.  Also, walking was not deemed “outcome affecting” b/c walking 18 holes of golf does not cause severe fatigue such that it would have a significant impact on one’s ability to play.  Walking is simply a peripheral rule to the game and allowing an accommodation would not fundamentally effect the essence of the game.  Therefore under ADA requirements of reasonable accommodation the PGA could not demonstrate why allowing a party to use a cart in response to some disability would fundamentally alter the playing of the game b/c walking was simply a peripheral rule and did not give P an advantage over other competitors.   

4.      An entity must make an individual evaluation in each case of what type of accommodation could be made and what actual alterations it would have on the activity.  Individualized review.

5.      Dissent argues that accommodations relating to substantive rules of the game are per se fundamental alterations and can be rejected by the rule making body.

O.    Public Accommodations- ADA requires stadiums or other facilities that host sporting events open to the public to have access to disabled people.  This includes ramps etc.