Archive - April 2014

  1. Column: NFL Cheerleaders Deserve CompensationApril 28, 2014

    What began as an isolated incident has become an epidemic. The Buffalo Jills became the third NFL cheerleading squad in the past four months to sue over wages - or lack thereof - and working conditions. Lawsuits have also been filed by the Raiderettes against the Oakland Raiders and the Ben-Gals against the Cincinnati Bengals. All three suits detail the lack of compensation, strict club control over dress and appearance and the imposition of fines and other penalties for any rule violations. Rather than the glitter and glamour depicted on television and described on team websites, cheerleading, at least NFL-style, is nothing more than a scam perpetrated on naive young women and an unsuspecting public.

  2. Column: NCAA Athletes Are Going HungryApril 21, 2014

    On Thursday, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors will vote on a proposal to expand meal options for its student athletes. If you’re a betting person – and if you filled out a March Madness bracket you are – bet the house that the proposal will pass. One of the thousands of petty and arcane rules adopted and enforced by the NCAA limits student athletes on full scholarships to three meals a day or a food stipend. Even greater meal restrictions are placed on walk-ons and those on partial scholarships. No late-night meals or snacks are permitted on the theory that…well, who cares what the theory is? The restrictions are just another example of how the tyrannical governing body abuses the golden goose - student athletes - that makes the suits in the Ivory Towers, i.e., NCAA employees, coaches and athletic administrators, flush with cash.

  3. Column: It's Time for a Sports DegreeApril 14, 2014

    Colleges and universities prepare students for a variety of professions, including a number of careers in the entertainment field. Degrees are offered in music, dancing, singing and acting. But we don’t offer a degree in one of the most popular forms of entertainment in this country: Sports. It’s time that oversight is remedied. This is not a novel proposal. The concept of a degree in athletic performance has been bandied about for a decade or more by some of the top academics in the country. But so far, no university has been able – perhaps willing is a better word – to embrace the idea. It can’t be because such a degree would somehow impugn the academic integrity of an institution. Far too many universities steer athletes to easy courses – “clustering” is the technical phrase – lacking academic rigor. Others award degrees in “University Studies” which is of specious value in preparing athletes for life beyond their playing careers.

  4. Column: Unionization of College AthletesApril 7, 2014

    By now, most Americans are aware of the recent decision to grant Northwestern University football players the right to unionize. The ruling, handed down by National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) director Peter Sung Ohr, has raised the ire – and fear – of the NCAA and college administrators who have issued confusing and sometimes misleading statements concerning the meaning and impact of the decision on college athletics. Let’s take a look at some of the major issues raised by Ohr’s decision. How did Ohr reach his decision? In order to rule for the players, Ohr had to find that they were employees of the university. By law, an "employee" is a person who [1] under contract, [2] performs services for another, [3] subject to that person’s control, [4] in return for payment.