NCAA Articles

April NCAA Articles

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Virginia approves transgender athlete participation

  • The Virginia High School League unanimously passed a motion to allow transgender students to participate in athletics.
  • There are a number of criteria that must be met, including the student-athlete needing to undergo hormone therapy.
  • There are 18 other states that have policies for transgender student-athletes.

Philadelphia Phillies turn in unsigned draft pick to NCAA

  • The Philadelphia Phillies, after not being able to sign their fifth round pick, Oregon State rising senior Ben Wetzler, reported him to the NCAA for contact with an agent.
  • Wetzler sought help from an agent during contract negotiations and had the agent attend meetings with the Phillies, which is common practice for MLB draft picks, but violates NCAA rules.
  • When Wetzler decided to return to school instead of sign with the Phillies, the team turned him into the NCAA.
  • Wetzler will now miss 20% of his senior season (11 games) due to the NCAA violations.
  • This is the first time in 22 years that a MLB team has reported a player for such violations.

University of Oklahoma self-reports ridiculous NCAA violations

  • The University of Oklahoma football program reported some hilarious recruiting violations.
  • The first two were pocket dials by Assistant Coach Bruce Kittle.
  • The third violation involved the amount of pasta three current student-athletes received at a graduation banquet.
  • The three players were provided pasta in excess of the permissible amount and were required to donate $3.83 each (the cost of a serving of pasta) to the charity of their choice (They all ended up donating $5 each).
  • The NCAA did respond to Oklahoma’s report, saying this about the self-reported violations, “While we appreciate Oklahoma’s commitment, there are no NCAA rules regarding portion sizes, and any penalties were determined by the university.”

Division III Explores New Competition Options for Grad Students

  • Division III student-athletes may soon be able to continue their athletic careers in graduate school if a recent commendation from the Interpretations and Legislation Committee is adopted.
  • Division III rules currently prohibit athletic competition by grad students at any school other than where they received their undergraduate degree.
  • The change is aimed at creating flexibility for an increasing number of Division III student-athletes who are studying abroad or graduating early, only to be barred from further competition if they choose to pursue graduate studies at a different institution.

New Competitive Balance Proposal for Ohio High School Sports

  • The Ohio High School Athletic Association has proposed a new formula to create competitive balance between private and public high schools in postseason play.
  • Factors include the school’s enrollment, but new measures include a sport-by-sport focus on whether a public school student’s parents reside in district or out, and whether a non-public school student attended a “feeder” school or remained in the same system of education.
  • If approved, the formula will be applied to football, soccer, and volleyball in the fall of 2016, and basketball, softball, and baseball in 2017.

Padded caps prohibited in water polo

  • The NCAA has prohibited the use of padded swim caps in men’s and women’s water polo.
  • The caps have become more popular among water polo players concerned about concussions.
  • The rule states that beginning in the fall, water polo players can wear only swim caps underneath their water polo caps.
  • However, according to the NCAA Sports Science Institute, there is no scientific evidence that supports the notion that padded headgear helps prevent concussions.

New SEC Network will be available on DISH

  • The SEC Network, which will launch in 2014, will be available to DISH subscribers after they reached an agreement with ESPN.
  • It will air more than 1,000 live events in its first year, including 45 exclusive SEC football games and more than 100 men’s basketball games.

Another lawsuit against the NCAA

  • Former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston is suing the NCAA as well as the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, and SEC alleging that the NCAA and member schools cap the value of football players’ athletic scholarships, which is in violation of the federal antitrust law.
  • Alston alleges that the money he received “was substantially less than the full cost of attendance,” and that he took out $5,500 in federal loans to “help bridge this gap.”
  • He seeks for the suit to reach class action status, which would include major college football players who played on power conference teams and received a full scholarship in the last four years.

Yet another lawsuit against the NCAA

  • Jeffrey Kessler, a sports labor attorney, filed an antitrust claim in New Jersey federal court on behalf of a group of college basketball and football players, arguing the NCAA has unlawfully capped player compensation at the value of an athletic scholarship.
  • According to Kesler, “The main objective is to strike down permanently the restrictions that prevent athletes in Division I basketball and the top tier of college football from being fairly compensated for the billions of dollars in revenues that they help generate.”
  • The lawsuit names the NCAA, along with the power conferences (SEC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, and ACC).
  • The end game of the lawsuit appears to be some sort of free and open market for college basketball and football players, turning them into free agents rather than prospective student-athletes.
  • HERE is a Q&A with Sports Illustrated legal analyst Michael McCann and HERE is a copy of the actual lawsuit if you wish to read through it.

General public opposes paying NCAA athletes

  • According to a poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News, a large majority of the general public is against paying salaries to college athletes.
  • Only 33% support paying college athletes, while 64% oppose paying college athletes.
  • 47% of the general public strongly opposes paying college athletes.
  • When asked about college athletes forming unions, the vote was split right down the middle with 47% supporting it and 47% opposing.
  • A breakdown of more demographic data such as race, age, and gender can be found in the above link.

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About the author
Aaron Sorenson