- On Friday, April 25th, the Northwestern University football players cast their vote on whether or not to unionize.
- Unfortunately, the results of the vote won’t be revealed until the appeal filed by Northwestern against the NLRB is heard and resolved.
- If the NLRB decision were to be overturned, not allowing college athletes to unionize, the results of this vote may never be revealed.
- The Big Ten Conference has begun the process of negotiation new television rights, which would begin in the 2017-18 season.
- The current deal with ESPN, which is worth approximately 1 billion, expires after the 2016-17 academic year.
- Fox could be a huge player in the negotiations, possibly taking the rights away from ESPN.
- Due to the new TV deal, 12 of the 14 Big Ten schools are projected to receive approximately 45 million dollars in 2017-18 through the league’s revenue sharing plan.
- In 2017, for the first time, the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament will be hosted on the East Coast, taking place in Washington DC’s Verizon Center.
- The Verizon Center is the home arena for both the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the NHL’s Washington Capitals.
- The event has rotated between Indianapolis and Chicago for its first 17 years.
- With the addition of Maryland and Rutgers, the Big Ten has been looking to capture more of the market out east.
- This is just another step in the Conference’s growth out east. Some other steps have included adding Johns Hopkins as an affiliate member for Men’s Lacrosse, sending conference football teams to play at Yankee Stadium on an annual basis, opening a second office in New York City, and opening a satellite office in Washington DC.
- This week, the Big Ten also announced an early season series in Men’s Basketball with the Big East Conference, similar to their current setup with the Atlantic Coast Conference.
- Boise State University’s Athletic Department is seeking a waiver from the NCAA in order to allow a homeless football recruit to receive aid.
- 21 year old Antoine Turner, who was previously living with his Uncle in California, is being forced out of his home due to government housing regulations.
- Turner grew up in New Orleans, where he lost his mother at age 4. He and his father weren’t close, had alleged gang ties, and was in New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina.
- He ended up in junior college in California, where he first lived with his girlfriend and her family before ending up with his Uncle.
- Because summer classes don’t begin until June 6th, Turner is in a sort of limbo until that date, with the school unable to do anything for him.
- After a story on a local Boise news channel, Boise State fans wanted help Turner, but Boise State urged the news station to discourage this because it would be in violation of NCAA rules.
- Turner is obligated to stay in California until May 23rd when he graduates from junior college.
- Pac-12 university presidents have sent a letter to their counterparts in the other four major football conferences (Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, ACC) calling for changes to the current NCAA model.
- Some proposed changes in the Pac-12’s 10-point plan include:
o Scholarships that cover the full cost of college attendance
o Provide “reasonable ongoing medical/insurance assistance for athletes who suffer incapacitating injuries in competition or practice.”
o Address the “one and done” phenomenon in men’s basketball. If the NBA doesn’t raise the age limit, consider restoring the freshman ineligibility rule in NCAA.
- This plan comes on the heels of the Northwestern labor union decision by the NLRB, and the Pac-12 presidents hope to “meet some of the demands…raised by Northwestern players…without ‘professionalizing’ college sports.”
- The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater made history Tuesday, becoming the first school in NCAA history to win a national championship in football, men’s basketball, and baseball in the same calendar year.
- Whitewater defeated Emory 7-0 to take the Division III national title.
- A federal judge denied an NCAA motion last Friday to delay the Ed O’Bannon antitrust suit against them, ordering the trial to begin on June 9th in Oakland, CA.
- The NCAA had hoped to push the start date back to sometime in early 2015.
- The decision will solely be made by the judge, not a jury, due to the fact that the plaintiff’s dropped their demand for individual damages.
- It will be the job of the judge to determine if the NCAA has illegally restrained the market for amateur athletes.
- Legal analyst Marc Edelman believes that the plaintiff’s will win the case, allowing individual colleges or conferences to make their own rules in respect to licensing instead of the NCAA making those decision as a whole.
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