School Sports

News & Analysis as of

Student Athletes Are Not Employees Under FLSA, Circuit Court Affirms

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower court decision holding that student athletes' participation in college sports does not make them school employees entitled to compensation, a decision that should...more

Seventh Circuit Upholds Dismissal of Student-Athletes’ Claim for Compensation

The Seventh Circuit upheld the dismissal of claims brought by two former University of Pennsylvania student-athletes against the NCAA and more than 120 NCAA Division I universities and colleges, alleging that student athletes...more

Seventh Circuit Says Student Athletes Are Not Employees

Back in August, the National Labor Relations Board threw the higher education community a curve ball ruling that student assistants at Columbia University were employees under the National Labor Relations Act, and were...more

Appellate Court Determines that Student Handbook is not a Contract

In Mulvey v. Carl Sandberg High School et al., a family sued its school district and various district officials and coaches alleging breach of contract for the District’s alleged failure to enforce the anti-bullying policies...more

A Reminder To Be Careful With Ex-Employees And Confidential Information

A lot of companies rely on retired and otherwise former employees for information in litigation – including product liability litigation. Particularly where a product (such as a drug that’s now gone generic) has a long...more

Washington Supreme Court Creates Bright-Line Rule - Postemployment Communications Between Former Employees and Corporate Counsel...

The Washington Supreme Court held in a 5-4 vote that attorney-client privilege does not apply to communications between corporate counsel and former corporate employees, even if the communications concern what the employees...more

Colleges Hid Sports Brain Injury Risks

Four class action complaints claim that three different college athletic conferences, along with the NCAA did an inadequate job protecting football players from injury. In recent years, the danger posed by certain sports for...more

USPTO Drops 11th Circuit Appeal of ND Alabama Order In Houndstooth Case

We previously blogged on Judge Proctor’s (ND Ala.) order directing the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the “Board”) to comply with the Court’s prior order, approving a settlement agreement between the University of...more

The Alarming Statistics Behind TBI

Traumatic Brain Injuries, long known as a threat to athletes on the playing field also represent a serious threat in auto accidents, so talk to a Chicago accident attorney in the aftermath of a crash....more

TTAB Retreats From Precedential Houndstooth Mafia Decision

Trademark proceedings are contentious proceedings, but the battle for registration of the HOUNDSTOOTH MAFIA trademark has been largely overshadowed by the now-ended dispute between the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB)...more

The Hound’s-Tooth Bites Back: The Ghost of Paul “Bear” Bryant

Recently, a District Court judge issued a scathing rebuke to the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama et al. v. Houndstooth Mafia Enterprises LLC, (N.D. Alabama February...more

School Districts and Drones: The Door Remains Open for Regulation Efforts

Unmanned Aircraft Systems ("UAS"), otherwise known as drones, are everywhere. Literally. And their recreational use is likely to become even more prevalent given the hundreds of thousands of UAS's that were projected to be...more

Protecting Young Players from Head Injuries

Playing sports is a great way to improve a child’s health and enhance their athletic skill. While competition can be exciting and enjoyable, it can also be rather dangerous. Each year thousands of young players are injured...more

Interest Groups Support NCAA’s Anti-Felon Policy on Appeal

Recently, three interest groups filed an amicus brief to support the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (“NCAA”) policy that bars anyone who has been convicted of a felony from coaching in NCAA-certified high school...more

Office for Civil Rights Clarifies That Cost of Attendance "Counts" for Title IX Purposes

Scholarships up to the cost of attendance "count as athletic financial assistance and are subject to the same rules under Title IX as other athletic scholarships," according to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for...more

Pinning It Down: Section 504 and Reasonable Accommodations in Kempf V. The Michigan High School Athletic Association

Less than two weeks after a deaf high school wrestler filed suit against Michigan’s governing body for interscholastic athletics, the parties voluntarily entered into a December 11, 2015 Consent Decree, thereby resolving...more

Congress to Shine Spotlight on Concussion Science in 2016

On December 22, Fred Upton, Chair of the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee announced that his committee with commence a “broad review” of concussion science in 2016. Although the announcement...more

Arkansas Football and Non-Competes?

Three years ago, we addressed the question of why college football programs do not use non-compete restrictions to prevent coaches from moving to direct rivals. At the time, we mentioned the fact that Arkansas was a program...more

Title IX Implications of the O'Bannon Decision

The recent federal appellate decision in O'Bannon v. NCAA may have profound implications for colleges obligated to ensure gender equity in athletics under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). In the...more

After He Allegedly Showed Up Drunk to Practice, Should Former USC Football Coach Steve Sarkisian Have Been Placed on FMLA Leave...

A question was posed to me on Twitter this past week: Shouldn’t former University of Southern California (USC) football coach Steve Sarkisian have been placed on FMLA leave to get treatment for apparent alcoholism instead of...more

Alcoholism and how USC may have violated ADA by firing Steve Sarkisian

On October 12, 2015, Steve Sarkisian was fired as head coach of the University of Southern California (USC) football team. While USC contends Sarkisian was fired for “cause,” there is no question that his alcohol-related...more

NLRB Ruling on Northwestern Football Players Highlights Need for Congressional Action on College Sports

In August, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or "the Board") unanimously ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to decide whether college football players at Northwestern University are "employees" under the National Labor...more

School Districts Seeing Stars Over New Concussion Legislation

Last week, Governor Rauner signed into law the Youth Sports Concussion Safety Act (Public Act 99-0245) which includes a number of new requirements relating to student concussions for school districts, charter schools, and...more

Strong Athletic Compliance Programs: A Win-Win for Athletic Departments and Universities

Universities can minimize risk by developing a compliance program with a few essential attributes. Collegiate athletic departments are increasingly under fire for compliance-related concerns, including allegations of...more

Proposal Made to the Knight Commission Re Alternative Regulatory Scheme for College Sport

The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics met in Washington, D.C. on May 19, 2015. Manatt’s Sports Law Practice Group Chair, Ron Katz, was invited to give a statement on alternative regulatory schemes for college...more

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