Extreme sports essay

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extreme sports essay

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The faux ideal of amateurism is the elephant in the room, hausfeld said, sending for a book. You cant get to the bottom of our case without exposing the hypocrisy of amateurism, and Walter byers says it eloquently. An assistant brought in byerss memoir. It looked garish on the shiny table because dozens of pink post-its protruded from the text. Hausfeld read to me from page 390: The college player cannot sell his own feet (the coach does that) nor can he sell his own name (the college will do that). This is the plantation mentality resurrected and blessed by todays campus executives. That wasnt me, he said.

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District court in California, gregory curtner, a representative for the islamophobia ncaa, stunned obannons lawyers by saying: There is no document, there is no substance, that the ncaa ever takes from the student-athletes their rights of publicity or their rights of likeness. They are at all times owned by the student-athlete. Jon King says this is like telling someone they have the winning lottery ticket, but by the way, it can only be cashed in on Mars. The court denied for a second time an ncaa motion to dismiss the obannon complaint.). The waiver clause is nestled among the paragraphs of the Student-Athlete Statement that ncaa rules require be collected yearly from every college athlete. In signing the statement, the athletes attest that they have amateur status, that their stated sat scores are valid, that they are willing to disclose any educational documents requested, and so forth. Already, hausfeld said, the defendants in the Ed obannon case have said in court filings that college athletes thereby transferred their promotional rights forever. Thats ludicrous, he said. Nobody assigns rights like that. Nobody can assert rights like that. He said the pattern demonstrated clear abuse by the collective power of the schools and all their conferences under the ncaa umbrella—a most effective cartel.

He spoke softly, without pause, condensing the complex fugue of antitrust litigation into simple sentences. Lets start with the basic question, he said, analysis noting that the ncaa claims that student-athletes have no property rights in their own athletic accomplishments. Yet, in order to be eligible to play, college athletes have to waive their rights to proceeds from any sales based on their athletic performance. What right is it that theyre waiving?, hausfeld asked. You cant waive something you dont have. So they had a right that they gave up in consideration to the principle of amateurism, if there be such. (At an April hearing in.

extreme sports essay

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The public will see for the first time how all the money is distributed. Vaccaro has been traveling the after-dinner circuit, proselytizing against what he sees as the ncaas exploitation of young athletes. Late in 2008, someone who heard his writing stump speech at Howard University mentioned it to michael hausfeld, a prominent antitrust and human-rights lawyer, whose firm had won suits against Exxon for Native alaskans and against Union Bank of Switzerland for Holocaust victims families. Someone tracked down Vaccaro on vacation in Athens, Greece, and he flew back directly to meet hausfeld. The shoe salesman and the white-shoe lawyer made common cause. Hausfeld llp has offices in San Francisco, philadelphia, and London. Its headquarters are on k street in Washington,. C., about three blocks from the White house. When I talked with hausfeld there not long ago, he sat in a cavernous conference room, tidy in pinstripes, hands folded on a spotless table that reflected the skyline.

Sonny vaccaro and his wife, pam, had a mountain of documents, he said. The outcome of the 1984 Regents decision validated an antitrust approach for obannon, king argues, as well as for Joseph Agnew in his continuing case against the one-year scholarship rule. Lawyers for Sam Keller—a former quarterback for the University of Nebraska who is featured in video games—are pursuing a parallel right of publicity track based on the first Amendment. Still other lawyers could revive rick johnsons case against ncaa bylaws on a larger scale, and King thinks claims for the rights of college players may be viable also under laws pertaining to contracts, employment, and civil rights. Vaccaro had sought a law firm for obannon with pockets deep enough to withstand an expensive war of attrition, fearing that ncaa officials would fight discovery to the end. So far, though, they have been forthcoming. The numbers are off the wall, vaccaro says.

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extreme sports essay

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The kids and their parents gave me a good life, he says in his peppery staccato. I want to give something back. Call it redemption, he told. Call it education or a good cause. Heres what I preach, said Vaccaro. This goes beyond race, to human rights.

The least educated are the most exploited. Im probably closer to the kids than anyone else, and Im 71 years old. Vaccaro is officially an unpaid consultant to the plaintiffs in obannon. He connected Ed obannon with the attorneys who now represent him, and he talked ambedkar to some of the additional co-plaintiffs who have joined the suit, among them resume Oscar Robertson, a basketball Hall of Famer who was incensed that the ncaa was still selling his image. Jon King, an antitrust lawyer at hausfeld llp in San Francisco, told me that Vaccaro opened our eyes to massive revenue streams hidden in college sports. King and his colleagues have drawn on Vaccaros vast knowledge of athletic-department finances, which include off-budget accounts for shoe contracts.

Who represents these young men and women? Video: taylor Branch explains the circular logic that keeps college athletes from getting a slice of the enormous industry that surrounds them (part 3 of 3). The debates and commissions about reforming college sports nibble around the edges—trying to reduce corruption, to prevent the contamination of athletes by lucre, and to maintain at least a pretense of concern for academic integrity. Everything stands on the implicit presumption that preserving amateurism is necessary for the well-being of college athletes. But while amateurism—and the free labor it provides—may be necessary to the preservation of the ncaa, and perhaps to the profit margins of various interested corporations and educational institutions, what if it doesnt benefit the athletes? What if it hurts them?


The Plantation Mentality, ninety percent of the ncaa revenue is produced by 1 percent of the athletes, sonny vaccaro says. Go to the skill positions—the stars. Ninety percent African Americans. The ncaa made its money off those kids, and so did. They were not all bad people, the ncaa officials, but they were blind, vaccaro believes. Their organization is a fraud. Vaccaro retired from reebok in 2007 to make a clean break for a crusade.

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Yet when pressed, potuto declared that athletes would have no standing for due process even if the supreme court had not exempted the ncaa in the 1988 Tarkanian decision. In order to reach due-process issues as a legal Constitutional principle, the individual challenging has to have a substantive property spondylolisthesis or liberty interest, she testified. The opportunity to play intercollegiate athletics does not rise to that level. To translate this from the legal jargon, potuto used a circular argument to confine college athletes beneath any right to freedom or property in their own athletic effort. They have no stake to seek their rights, she claimed, because they have no rights at stake. Potutos assertion might be judged preposterous, an heir of the Dred Scott dictum that slaves possessed no rights a white person was bound to respect. But she was merely being honest, articulating assumptions almost everyone shares without question. Whether motivated by hostility for students (as critics like johnson allege or by noble and paternalistic tough love (as the ncaa professes the denial of fundamental due process for college athletes has stood unchallenged in public discourse. Like other ncaa rules, it emanates naturally from the premise that college athletes own no interest in sports beyond exercise, character-building, and good fun.

extreme sports essay

Instead, apparently to limit costs to the universities, walter byers had implemented the year-by-year scholarship rule that Joseph Agnew would challenge in court 37 years later. Moreover, the ncaas 1975 convention adopted a second recommendation to discourage legal actions against the ncaa, according to the minutes. The members voted to create bylaw.7, hostel restitution, to intimidate college athletes in disputes with the ncaa. Johnson recognized this provision all too well, having won the temporary court judgment that the rule was illegal if not downright despotic. It made him nearly apoplectic to learn that the ncaa had deliberately drawn up the restitution rule as an obstacle to due process, contrary to the recommendation of its own lawyer. They want to crush these kids, he says. The ncaa, of course, has never expressed such a desire, and its public comments on due process tend to be anodyne. At a congressional hearing in 2004, the infractions-committee vice chair, josephine potuto, repeatedly argued that although the ncaa is not bound by any judicial due process standards, its enforcement, infractions, and hearing procedures meet and very likely exceed those of other public institutions.

Even after its plump cut for its own overhead, the ncaa dispersed huge sums to its 1,200 member schools, in the manner of a professional sports league. These annual payments are universal—every college gets something—but widely uneven. They keep the disparate shareholders (barely) united and speaking for all of college sports. The payments coerce unity within the structure of a private association that is unincorporated and unregulated, exercising amorphous powers not delegated by any government. Searching through the archives, johnson came across a 1973 memo from the ncaa general counsel recommending the adoption of a due-process procedure for athletes in disciplinary cases. Without it, warned the organizations lawyer, the association risked big liability claims for deprivation of rights. His proposal went nowhere.

This carried stinging symbolism for fans, without bringing down on the ncaa the harsh repercussions it would have risked if it had issued a television ban or substantial fine. Cruelly, but typically, the ncaa concentrated public censure on powerless scapegoats. A dreaded show cause order rendered Brenda monk, the tutor, effectively unhirable at any college in the United States. Cloaking an old-fashioned blackball in the stately language of law, the order gave notice that any school hiring Monk before a specified date in 2013 shall, pursuant to the provisions of Bylaw (l show cause why it should not be penalized if it does not. Today she works as an education supervisor at a prison in Florida. The Florida State verdict hardly surprised Rick johnson, the lawyer who had represented the college pitchers Andrew Oliver and James Paxton. All the ncaas enforcements are random and selective, he told me, calling the organizations appeals process professional a travesty. (Johnson says the ncaa has never admitted to having wrongly suspended an athlete.) Johnsons scalding experience prompted him to undertake a law-review article on the subject, which in turn sent him trawling through ncaa archives. From the summary tax forms required of nonprofits, he found out that the ncaa had spent nearly 1 million chartering private jets in 2006.

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News interest quickly evaporated when the sports media found nothing in the record about coach Bowden or the canceled football victories. But the transcript revealed plenty about the ncaa. On page 37,. Wetherell, the bewildered Florida State president, lamented that his university had hurt itself by cooperating with the investigation. We self-reported this case, he said during the hearing, and he later complained that the most ingenuous athletes—those who asked Whats the big deal, this happens all the time?—received the harshest suspensions, while those who clammed up on the advice of lawyers went free. The music-appreciation professor was apparently never questioned. Brenda monk, the only instructor who consistently cooperated with the investigation, appeared voluntarily to explain her work with learning-disabled athletes, only to be grilled about her credentials by potuto in a pettifogging inquisition of remarkable stamina. In January of last year, the ncaas Infractions Appeals Committee sustained all the sanctions imposed on fsu except the number of vacated football victories, which it dropped, ex cathedra, from 14. The final penalty locked Bobby bowdens official win total on retirement at 377 points instead of 389, behind joe paternos 401 (and counting).


extreme sports essay
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Republicans have become more extreme than Democrats. Allen West, a florida republican, was recently captured on video asserting that there are 78 to 81 Democrats in Congress who are members of the communist Party. Beauty is not the goal of competitive sports, but high-level sports are a prime venue for the expression of human beauty.

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