Posts in NCAA
What Maryland Can Do with DJ Durkin -An Employment Contract Analysis

During a preseason workout, University of Maryland redshirt freshman offensive lineman Jordan McNair collapsed after a conditioning test comprised of ten 100-yard sprints (a.k.a. "suicides," a common athletics drill). From there, he was hospitalized and died two weeks later from heatstroke complications. Exactly what happened on the field during training that day and exactly who was on the field overseeing the workouts is currently under investigation.

The reports so far contain a lot of alleged details, but we will not know more of the full story until the investigations are complete. What we do know comes from a Tuesday press conference [see full transcript], UMD President Wallace D. Loh and Athletic Director Damon Evans stated that McNair's treatment did not include cold-water immersion and that "care we provided was not consistent with best practices." Moreover, Loh went on to say that they met with McNair's family to apologize and take "legal and moral responsibility" for what happened leading up to their son's death. We also know that Maryland Head Football Coach DJ Durkin, along with three of his staff members, were placed on administrative leave and that strength and conditioning coach Rick Court, the man who was running the workout, officially received the boot.

There could be many components at play here that we, unfortunately, need to wait to truly find out: any signs of struggle earlier in the workout; whether proper protocol was followed by the coaches, including those for precautions under certain conditions and medical guidelines for attending to any resulting injuries; whether Durkin was aware of the workout conditions; whether Durkin was aware of any protocols not being followed; whether Durkin was there when it all went down (according to reports, he was there); and whether McNair had any pre-existing health conditions that people were unaware of could also come into play in determining how toxic the football culture at Maryland is under Durkin's watch.

So, what can Maryland do with DJ Durkin, from a legitimate legal perspective?

To figure this out, let's (a) go over why we are focusing on the exact terms of Durkin's contract with Maryland, (b) highlight a few sections that may be triggered in determining what will happen with Durkin's employment status, & (c) use those sections to support the three potential scenarios - firing with "cause", firing without "cause", or keeping him.

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What OSU Can Do With Urban Meyer - An Employment Contract Analysis

Ohio State University is the latest entity trapped in the knotted-up business ethics & moral dilemma of what to do with a person of high authority who could have known about domestic violence allegations against a staffer and failed to do what he was supposed to do. Yesterday afternoon, OSU placed head football coach Urban Meyer on paid administrative leave while the university conducts an investigation into the issue at hand - whether Meyer knew about the domestic violence allegations against his former wide receiver coach, Zach Smith, by his ex-wife Courtney Smith and failed to follow the university's protocol according to the terms of his employment.

Expect a resolution very quickly. The football team starts practices in a few days, and when someone is placed on paid administrative leave, that is a pretty good sign that the parties involved are negotiating terms of separation. Here, it is uncertain at this time whether OSU interprets Meyers possible behavior as violating the terms of his employment. Furthermore, that would absolutely influence how OSU goes about any separation discussions, but at the same time, it would be understandable that both parties want to handle this and move forward in a swift, adequate fashion.

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The Case Michigan State's Tom Izzo Could Have for Defamation

Over a week has passed since ESPN let loose its detailed report stemming from Larry Nassar's sexual assault incidences. The entire situation regarding the adequacy and possible active sexual assault cover ups at Michigan State University is unfortunate because there is so much that happened in the past that cannot be sufficiently remedied beyond justice being served. Some people are beginning to speak out against sexual assault cases they personally experienced, and some people are choosing to dig deeper into the dirt, almost as if trying to take ESPN's Outside the Lines report to the next level (and that report already took things to an uncomfortable but necessary level). In doing so, this creates a problem that implicates certain Michigan State figures - at this point, are we able to separate subjective opinion and irresponsible journalism from objective facts to learn what has really been going down in East Lansing?

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2018 Sports Law Hot Topics To Watch

Per usual, I would like to make my predictions regarding what topics I believe will be extra sizzlin' in 2018, but I will do so in a slightly different way. Here are brief descriptions of what each topic is, some insight as to why I have it on my predictions list, and who you can pay attention to for the latest news, updates, and analysis throughout the upcoming year:

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Reflecting on My "2017 Sports Law Hot Topics To Watch" Predictions

If Deflategate's courtroom battles placed "sports law" into mainstream conversation in 2015-2016, then 2017 gave sports law an entire fleet of those Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tubemen [Note: If you do not understand the reference, I encourage you to click the link.] As we step - no, run - into a new year embracing all the change that is more likely than not going to occur, I would like to put the past twelve months into perspective and reflect on what I predicted would be the sports law hot topics to watch in 2017, what happened and what did not, and see whether the topics attained some means of closure. All in all, I can proudly say that my umbrella picture that 2017 would be a continuation of prevalent sports law trends was pretty accurate.

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NCAA Men's Basketball Rule Changes for the 2017-2018 Season

We are just days away from the NCAA Men's Basketball regular season starting up! In that spirit, let's review the rule changes the NCAA Men's Basketball Rules Committee and the Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved that will be incorporated into the 2017-2018 rules book.

All in all, there are 26 changes being integrated that can, in essence, be sorted into one of four types of rule changes: (1) Uniformity, (2) Clarification, (3) Game Flow-Related, or (4) Fairness. Some you may have heard news of back in June when they were agreed upon, but some may be completely new to your eyes and ears. Regardless, these changes and their respective "legislative purpose" (i.e., intent) can be fresh in your mind when you bust out your fan gear & cheer on your team!

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Dissecting "the Dark Underbelly of College Athletics" & What Lies Beyond the FBI Investigation

Turns out the madness stretches well beyond March's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Early into the workday last Tuesday, September 27, a Press Conference Advisory from the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York went out for immediate release calling for a noon meeting time and complete with attachments, stating, "There will be a press conference today at noon to announce charges of fraud and corruption in college basketball. Federal criminal charges have been brought against ten people, including four college basketball coaches, as well as managers, financial advisors, and representatives of a major international sportswear company." Here is a breakdown of who is involved, the two distinct schemes, the laws implicated, and what we can anticipate to follow in the short term and the long term.

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What We Cannot Choose To Ignore During Michigan State-Notre Dame Week

I almost forgot that this week was "Notre Dame week" for the Michigan State football-minded until my boyfriend commented on his outfit yesterday. He wore St. Patrick's Day socks with shamrocks all over them to match his khakis and Spartan polo because they were green and white, but after sporting that look the past 12 hours, he sighed and asked if I saw anything wrong with his outfit. My response, "Of all weeks to choose to wear those together..." Sorry, Mike!

There is one thing I definitely have not forgotten, though, despite the media seemingly choosing to give it minimal attention: The University of Notre Dame allegedly mishandled and covered up a sexual assault committed by a guy who was a member of its football team at the time.

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