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Court Is Not The Place To Fix College Athletics

by admin on Friday, August 29th, 2014

NCAA LogoThe lawyers certainly don’t want the NCAA and its affiliated universities and colleges to fix their own problems. Let’s take it to court and spend tons of money on over priced attorneys who probably aren’t as smart as the folks who run the universities anyway.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken, whom many believe has the fate of the NCAA in her hands, admitted near the end of her 99 page decision in the Ed O’Bannon case that the whole affair would be better off left in the hands of the principals involved and not through continuing litigation.  She was placed in the uncomfortable position of passing down a high profile opinion on a fiercely debated case that was narrowly defined in the first place.

Judge Wilken stated, “It is likely that the challenged restraints, as well as other perceived inequities in college athletics and higher education generally, could be better addressed as a policy matter by reforms other than those available as a remedy for the antitrust violation found here. Such reforms and remedies could be undertaken by the NCAA, its member schools and conferences, or Congress.”

That last reference to Congress is a veiled threat to the principals involved, fix your own problems or have them aired out before the highest courts in the land.  And the judge is completely correct in pushing the NCAA and its member universities and colleges in that direction.

Actually, the way things have been going for the NCAA of late, the matter could better be solved by the universities and conferences without any help or interference from Mark Emmert’s office. Those folks have enough to worry about anyway.

But really, the people that run the major universities in the USA have got to be some of the most intelligent people on the planet. Surely they can work out a simple thing like dealing with student athletes in an appropriate fashion in light of recent judgments from Wilken and others.

Sports fans across the country do not want to see these cases end up in the Supreme Court or the US Congress and they have lost confidence in the NCAA as a ruling body. So, what remains is for the universities themselves to step up and solve the problem on a local level.

The recent autonomy granted to the Power Five schools, under duress by the NCAA opens the way for the individual universities and conferences to deal with the situation before it gets so out of hand as to end up before the nation’s highest courts.

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