Title

“Tentacles of Power”: A socio-legal exploration of Oliver vs. NCAA (2009)

Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Artist Statement

Drawing on a socio-legal framework, this presentation will critically explore the regulations enforced by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the name of preserving the amateur model of collegiate athletics. It examines Oliver v. NCAA (2009), a case that considered whether the NCAA Bylaws could limit an attorney’s representation of a student-athlete. In Oliver, an athlete was suspended from the intercollegiate baseball team at Oklahoma State University (OSU) by the NCAA after it was reported that, while still in high school and prior to attending OSU, he met with the Minnesota Twins in the presence of his attorney. This action allegedly violated NCAA Bylaws 12.3.2.1 and 19.7. The athlete challenged the NCAA arguing that these Bylaws are void as a matter of public policy because they prevent a lawyer from competently representing a client. Specifically, the plaintiff argued that Bylaw 12.3.2.1 was arbitrary and capricious in that it had no relevance to the NCAA’s stated mission of preserving amateurism; instead, it only limited the player’s ability to effectively negotiate a contract. The NCAA responded that it had no contract with the student-athlete, and thus, no duty of “good faith and fair dealing”. However, the court determined the plaintiff was an intended third party beneficiary of the NCAA’s contract with OSU and granted the plaintiff equitable relief. This presentation will explore the legal and sociological implications of this case and, in so doing, will raise questions about the scope of the NCAA’s regulations. It highlights several concerns, including the excessive regulation of student-athletes’ rights within US intercollegiate sport and the possible exploitation of student-athletes.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Room 211 A/B

Start Date

1-5-2010 9:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2010 12:00 PM

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May 1st, 9:00 AM May 1st, 12:00 PM

“Tentacles of Power”: A socio-legal exploration of Oliver vs. NCAA (2009)

DeRosa University Center, Room 211 A/B

Drawing on a socio-legal framework, this presentation will critically explore the regulations enforced by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the name of preserving the amateur model of collegiate athletics. It examines Oliver v. NCAA (2009), a case that considered whether the NCAA Bylaws could limit an attorney’s representation of a student-athlete. In Oliver, an athlete was suspended from the intercollegiate baseball team at Oklahoma State University (OSU) by the NCAA after it was reported that, while still in high school and prior to attending OSU, he met with the Minnesota Twins in the presence of his attorney. This action allegedly violated NCAA Bylaws 12.3.2.1 and 19.7. The athlete challenged the NCAA arguing that these Bylaws are void as a matter of public policy because they prevent a lawyer from competently representing a client. Specifically, the plaintiff argued that Bylaw 12.3.2.1 was arbitrary and capricious in that it had no relevance to the NCAA’s stated mission of preserving amateurism; instead, it only limited the player’s ability to effectively negotiate a contract. The NCAA responded that it had no contract with the student-athlete, and thus, no duty of “good faith and fair dealing”. However, the court determined the plaintiff was an intended third party beneficiary of the NCAA’s contract with OSU and granted the plaintiff equitable relief. This presentation will explore the legal and sociological implications of this case and, in so doing, will raise questions about the scope of the NCAA’s regulations. It highlights several concerns, including the excessive regulation of student-athletes’ rights within US intercollegiate sport and the possible exploitation of student-athletes.