NCAA cartel rejects Pres Schill’s modest proposal on academic fraud

From the NC NewsObserver here. They got the records through a public records request. I wonder how much Kevin Reed would charge for a similar request to UO. It seems like, despite his well-paid advisors, Schill simply got outmaneuvered:

Ramogi Huma, executive director of the National Collegiate Players Association, said Schill’s unsuccessful proposal speaks to why California lawmakers passed their legislation — they don’t believe the NCAA can adopt their own meaningful reform. The association advocates for athletes’ right to compensation, health and safety standards and academic opportunities, and describes the NCAA as an “economic cartel.”

He said what happened to Schill’s idea appeared to another example of “that economic cartel squashing a reform idea that could have helped improve academic protections for college athletes.”

The academic fraud reform effort stems from the outcry following the NCAA Committee on Infractions’ decision two years ago that it could not punish UNC-Chapel Hill over classes that offered high grades but no instruction. A detailed investigation by a former federal prosecutor found an academic secretary created and graded many of the classes. More than 3,100 students took at least one.

The NCAA wants to pretend the problem is the faculty. This is why our Athletic Department makes the Provost pay the $2.5M for the Jock Box – so their sleaze can be blamed on the academic side – and why the academic budget is still paying for Lorraine Davis and Tim Gleason:


And why Provost Phillips has to send out CYA emails like this:

Dear UO Faculty,
I am writing with an important reminder from the University of Oregon’s Intercollegiate Athletic Advisory Committee (IAAC). The committee wants to remind all faculty about NCAA rules as they pertain to academic misconduct and academic extra benefits for student-athletes.
While most NCAA rules do not involve faculty members, the IAAC wants to ensure that each of you understand how these two areas can impact decisions you might make regarding the treatment of student-athletes.
Please take the time to read the important memo below. If you have any questions, please contact Tim Gleason, the university’s Faculty Athletics Representative, at [email protected] or by phone at 541-346-3739.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. I wish you the best as we start the fall term.
Patrick Phillips
Provost and Senior Vice President
To:       UO Faculty
From:   Intercollegiate Athletic Advisory Committee (IAAC)
RE:       NCAA Academic Misconduct and Academic Extra Benefits
Student-athletes at the University of Oregon (UO) and all other member universities in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) are required to follow a number of rules and regulations that may not apply to other students. While most NCAA rules do not involve faculty in any significant way, the current rules concerning “academic misconduct” and “academic extra benefits” create the real potential for faculty to unintentionally contribute to violations that could jeopardize a student-athlete’s athletic career and result in sanctions against the university and athletic department coaches and staff.
In this memo, the IAAC briefly details these regulations and provides guidance concerning compliance with them. Please note that this information is shared with a full commitment to academic freedom and to the academic integrity of the University of Oregon. If you have questions now or later, please contact Tim Gleason, the UO Faculty Athletics Representative.
Academic Extra Benefits
Under NCAA rules, an academic extra benefit is “[s]ubstantial assistance or the granting of an exception that is not generally available to an institution’s students, which results in the certification of a student-athlete’s eligibility to participate in intercollegiate athletics or receive financial aid.” A recent rule change extended the application of this rule to all university faculty, staff, and student employees. It is now possible for a university employee with good intentions and no connection to the athletic department to provide a student-athlete with an impermissible academic extra benefit.
There are two “bright lines” to keep in mind concerning academic extra benefits:
  1. Student-athletes may not be given special treatment simply because they are student-athletes. If you are considering an accommodation for a student-athlete and you have not offered and would not offer the same or a similar accommodation to another student, you should not offer it to a student-athlete.
  2. Athletic eligibility may never be a factor in any academic decision. If a student-athlete says that he or she needs to earn a certain grade to be eligible to compete, please inform the student-athlete that you cannot consider athletic eligibility in any decision.
Areas of special concern:
Academic Misconduct
At the UO, “‘Academic Misconduct’ means the violation of university policies involving academic integrity.” Examples include: intentional tampering with grades, resubmitting assignments for more than one class without the permission of the professor; intentionally taking part in obtaining or distributing any part of a test that has not been administered; cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to a university official; and fabrication.
While academic misconduct at the UO primarily focuses on student behaviors, it is possible that an instructor of record who engaged in fraudulent behavior, such as intentionally awarding a false grade or giving credit to a student based on the work of others in order to protect athletic eligibility, would be in violation of university policy. Such behavior may also be viewed as academic misconduct under NCAA rules.
In addition, it is possible for an instructor of record to unintentionally violate the NCAA’s impermissible academic extra benefits rules. There is a real potential for an NCAA violation that could result in sanctions for the university if, for example, an instructor of record knowingly or unknowingly failed to follow university policies concerning grading or believed that a student had violated the academic integrity provisions of the student conduct code and failed to follow university policies for reporting violations.
Student-athlete travel and class attendance/participation
Team travel will result in student-athletes missing classes in terms when their sport is in season. Because they are traveling for university-sponsored activities, faculty are strongly encouraged to make pedagogically sound and justifiable accommodations that will enable the student-athletes to be successful in the classroom, just as we would encourage such accommodations for other students traveling on university-sponsored activities. However, this request has limits and conditions:
  • Student-athletes are given a letter to share with instructors at the beginning of every term that reports when they will be traveling. It is the student-athlete’s responsibility to share this letter with his or her instructors and to discuss travel conflicts in time to arrange for appropriate accommodations.
  • In classes with substantial class participation, project or lab work, appropriate accommodations may not be possible. In those instances, the student-athlete should be informed that the course is not a good fit in a term with significant travel. Under no circumstances should the instructor offer an accommodation that is pedagogically unsound or that would be unavailable to other students.
Late Assignments
Student-athletes have very demanding schedules as they juggle athletic and academic demands. They are, of course, not unique on today’s college campuses. Many students are juggling competing demands. Student-athletes should be held to the same standards as other students who have professional or family obligations or who are traveling on university business.
Grade Change
Any grade change for a student-athlete must be based on consistent criteria applied to all students in a class and should follow the guidelines and procedures for such grade changes published by the registrar.




CA Gov signs law to limit indentured servitude

In the NYT here. Similar legislation has already been introduced in a few other states:

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California signed into law a plan to allow college athletes to strike endorsement deals, intensifying the legal and political clashes that could ultimately transform the economics of college sports.

The governor’s signature opened a new front of legal pressure against the amateurism model that has been foundational to college sports but has restricted generations of students from earning money while on athletic rosters.

If the law survives any court challenges, the business of sports would change within a few years for public and private universities in California, including some of the most celebrated brands in American sports. So, too, would the financial opportunities for thousands of student-athletes, who have long been forbidden from trading on their renown to promote products and companies.

“Every single student in the university can market their name, image and likeness; they can go and get a YouTube channel, and they can monetize that,” Newsom said in an interview with The New York Times. “The only group that can’t are athletes. Why is that?

Emerald reports on California’s end run around NCAA cartel

An excellent article by reporter Brady Lim, read it all here. A few snippets:

If passed, the bill would allow student-athletes at California’s 24 colleges and universities to be paid for “the use of their name, image and likeness.” In other words, student-athletes at these schools would be allowed to sign endorsement deals, sell their autographs to sports memorabilia stores and be represented in video games, among other things. What they will not be able to do, however, is sign direct contracts with universities in exchange for their athletic services.

Although the NCAA is not subject to state laws, the bill would make it illegal for the NCAA to restrict or punish athletes for seeking these kinds of agreements. Despite this, NCAA president Mark Emmert has threatened to disqualify all California schools from competing for national championships if the bill passes, citing the potential uneven playing field that the law would create. If the bill is eventually signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, it would take effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

“It’s going to have to change all across the nation,” Oregon football player Troy Dye said on the issue. “You can’t exclude UCLA. You can’t exclude USC. You can’t exclude Cal and Stanford from the Playoff. Not to mention San Diego State, San Jose State, Sac State, all these other schools that are Division-I programs who won’t be able to play in a bowl game because they’re getting what they deserve. I think the NCAA, over these next couple years, is going to have to do some real deep thinking and really change some of the things that they do.”

“It’s long overdue,” Dye said. “I think everybody can agree with that. The numbers don’t lie.”

Mr. Dye’s Go Ducks profile doesn’t mention his major, but it’s clear he knows some economics.

Why is the FBI helping the NCAA cheat athletes out of their earnings?

The NYT reports the FBI will hold a press conference today:

A second indictment charges five people with paying high school athletes or their families to attend particular universities. Those indicted include James Gatto, identified as the head of global sports marketing, basketball for “Company-1.” Though it is not named, Gatto works for Adidas in that role.

The indictment says about $100,000 was paid to the family of “Player 10” to stear him to a particular college. It says press accounts described his college decision as a surprise.

Why does the FBI care that colleges are paying athletes to come play for them? I can see why it infuriates the NCAA cartel, but they should have to hire their own enforcers, or at least pay for federal assistance like the Sinaloa heroin cartel does.

In a normal world the FBI would not be indicting people for breaking the NCAA cartel’s prohibition against paying players, they’d be helping make sure the players don’t get cheated.

But that would mean less money for coaches like Dana Altman and Willie Taggart, AD’s like Rob Mullens and FAR’s like Tim Gleason – who gets to vote on the NCAA’s rules.

In order to maintain their cartel and keep up protection like this, last year the FBS AD’s, presumably including Mullens, formed a PAC. Story here:

The athletic directors at America’s major college football-playing universities are forming a political action committee. The group will be called LEAD1, and it’ll represent the ADs at 129 Football Bowl Subdivision schools. It was announced Thursday morning. The group was formerly the D1A Athletic Directors’ Association. It wasn’t a PAC.

This PAC is being formed to lobby members of Congress in Washington. PACs can give limited donations to specific candidates and parties, and because of the Citizens United decision, they can independently spend as much money as they want to help a given candidate or party win an election. They’re a huge part of this country’s political ecosystem, both at the federal and state level. This one appears to be a federal PAC, though it’s not clear if its members might look for ways to lobby states, too.

“With the PAC now approved, it further ensures that the concerns of the LEAD1 members will be heard by members of Congress, and other key decision makers in Washington, D.C. and across the country,” announced Tom McMillen, a former three-term congressman and Maryland basketball player who will serve as the PAC’s president and CEO.

What’s interesting about this PAC is who comprises it, and how its members could use it. It’s pretty hard to get 129 strong-minded college athletic directors to agree on policy goals. But if the ADs saw fit to start a PAC to lobby politicians independent of the broader NCAA, it suggests they’re prepared to rally around at least one cause.

Let’s not overthink what “concerns” these ADs might have.

This PAC is going to try to keep college athletes from getting paid. …


Oh good, another college-athlete sues the NCAA cartel. Docket here, complaint here:


Blurb from BG&S law firm here:


Lamar Dawson (“Dawson”), a former University of Southern California student-athlete, filed suit against the NCAA and Pac-12 Conference. In the suit, Dawson seeks unpaid wages, including unpaid overtime compensation and interest thereon, required minimum wage payments, waiting time penalties, liquidated damages and other penalties, injunctive and other equitable relief and reasonable attorneys’ fees pursuant to claims for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, California Labor Code, California Code of Regulations, and California Business and Professions Code.

Dawson argues the NCAA and Pac-12 Conference “strictly control and regulate” Dawson’s conduct and prohibit him from 1) rendering himself ineligible, 2) engaging in serious misconduct, 3) engaging in conduct resulting in criminal charges, 4) abusing team rules as determined by the coaches and/or athletic administrators, 5) voluntarily withdrawing from the sport at any time for any reason, 6) accepting compensation for participating in athletic contests in his sport, and 7) agreeing to be represented by an agent. Dawson further argues the NCAA and Pac-12 Conference “strictly control and regulate” student-athletes’ conduct on and off campus, pursuant to NCAA and Pac-12 Conference rules and regulations, including training and game schedules, academic schedules, and other collegiate activities. As a result, Dawson argues he and other potential class members are employees under federal and state law.

Dawson, therefore, requests damages based on the defendants’ alleged failure to pay adequate compensation or otherwise provide for the compensation of Dawson and proposed class members for overtime/premium wages due under the Fair Labor Standards Act, California Labor Code, and applicable California Wage Orders.

NLRB says Northwestern football players can’t form a union

Too bad, because they sure need one to deal with the NCAA’s corrupt hiring cartel. Looks to me like a union of *all* NCAA BCS players might still be OK. USAToday has the report, here:

The decision comes as surprise, after NLRB regional director Peter Sung Ohr from March 2014 wrote a strongly worded critique of the entire collegiate system, saying “it is clear that the players are controlled to such a degree that it does impact their academic pursuits to a certain extent.” Moreover, this board, made up primarily ofPresident Barack Obama’s appointees, is considered to be liberal and union-friendly. One Northwestern official said before the decision that a reversal would be the equivalent of Chief Justice John Roberts’ ideological shift on the Affordable Care Act.

PAC-12 gives athletes $3K post-grad scholarships

Wow, that’s almost as much as Commissioner Larry Scott makes every 4 hours. Former reporter Rob Moseley has the Duck press release here.

In another demonstration of the NCAA’s prime directive that no black man should make money off college sports, it looks like almost none of this money goes to the revenue sports players.

Duck’s Mark Helfrich reports colleges are paying HS coaches, instead of players

From Ryan Thorburg in the RG, here:

Helfrich would like to see more elite prospects on campus for summer camps, but last month he said Oregon is not going to pay large sums of money to high school coaches just to attract talent.

“We didn’t get some kids on campus this summer because we didn’t pay their coaches,” Helfrich said of the practice, which is commonplace for some power programs.

“That’s a fact.”

Yes, paying those HS coaches would certainly mean a hit to Helfrich’s $3.5M annual take. I can see why he’d take a strong stand against this pernicious practice. And lets not even talk about paying the players.

For a good overall introduction to the workings of the NCAA’s hiring cartel and some of the economics of big-time college sports, see “The Case for Paying College Athletes.” Sanderson, Allen R., and John J. Siegfried. 2015. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 29(1): 115-38.

And for an understanding of just how flush the Ducks are, here’s the contract showing the $450K Mullens is paying Eastern Washington to take a Sept 5 beating at Autzen. Courtesy of the very efficient and friendly EWU Public Records office.

That $450K is for EWU’s coaches of course – the players just get a bus trip and brain damage:

Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 12.41.53 PM

Wait a minute – this game is Sept 5, and classes don’t start til September 28. How much is Eric Roedl going to charge the UO students for this one?

those unscrupulous football agents

8/15/2014: Ducks will finally pay for player’s insurance. It’s amazing what can change when the judge rules you’ve been running an illegal cartel. Now it turns out the NCAA was never against this, honest. UO PR flack Rob Moseley has the spin, here.

7/3/2011: Ever wonder what happens to college football players who suffer career ending injuries? They don”t get workmen’s compensation, because they are “student-athletes”, not employees. Very clever.

However, the NCAA will *lend* “student-athletes” money to buy their own insurance. I know, and you thought the NCAA was a heartless cartel. Read on, friend:

“The impetus behind it was really to keep student-athletes and their eligibility safe from unscrupulous agents,” said Juanita Sheely, the NCAA’s associate director for travel and insurance. “One of the ways they would entice them is: ‘I will get you this insurance coverage if you sign with me.’

Continue reading

UO baseball student-athlete earns $250,000

7/17/2013: Jeff Wright has the story in the RG. 6 hours a day practice time. I always feel for these guys, must be tough getting in study time too, and he’s an econ major. But at least they get paid well for their work.

Oh wait, this is for playing video game baseball. If he was on the Duck baseball team, UO and the NCAA would keep all the money and give it to his coach and Rob Mullens.

Daily Show mocks NCAA, Enforcement Director and friend of Glazier leaves.

4/14/2013. Six minutes of satire that captures it all:

This South Park episode is pretty wicked too. In other news NCAA Director of Enforcement Dave Didion is bailing for a job at Auburn – the latest in a string of departures or firings. Here’s an email that Mike Glazier, the lawyer that UO’s Randy Geller is paying to deal with the Kelly/Lyles infraction, wrote to Didion a while back. He sent it to me by mistake. Sort of odd to see UO’s lawyer telling the NCAA Director of Enforcement what to say about what is paramount in the eyes of the enforcement staff!

From: Glazier, Mike
Sent: Saturday, December 17, 2011 10:34 AM
Subject: RE: loss of institutional control wrst UO athletics

Dave:  When you respond, I believe it is important to explain that the conditions placed on Oregon are typical of those placed on any institution when the enforcement staff allows the institution to engage in a joint investigation with the staff. Protecting the integrity of the investigation is paramount in the eyes of the enforcement staff and that can only be ensured by limiting information about the investigation to a small number of people. Mike

And if you want more NCAA hypocrisy, listen to this Outside the Lines interview with NCAA President Mark Emmert, about the Miami/Shapiro case:

Why does Emmert still have his $2 million a year job? The university presidents that hire and fire him like his work.

Has UO made any plans for an O’Bannon win?

4/1/2013: From Sports Illustrated:

The case, filed by former UCLA basketball star O’Bannon in 2009 and eventually expanded to include high-profile co-plaintiffs like Oscar Robertson and Bill Russell, initially focused solely on the use of former athletes’ likeness in products such as EA Sports’ NCAA video games, for which the individuals are not compensated. (EA Sports is a co-defendant.) However, in a motion for class certification filed last August, the plaintiffs contended that both current and former athletes should be included in the case and argued they are entitled to 50 percent of revenue generated by NCAA and conference television contracts. In other words, it has become a pay-for-play case. 

… “This is the most threatening lawsuit the NCAA has ever faced,” said legal expert Michael McCann, a University of New Hampshire sports law professor. “If O’Bannon prevails, it would radically change the economics of college sports. More specifically, it would, like Pat Haden said, require schools to operate a sports program with substantially less money.” 

Despite the potentially seismic implications, most college athletic officials have publicly downplayed the possibility of an unfavorable outcome to this point. The NCAA, as would be expected of a defendant in a lawsuit, has maintained confidence it will ultimately prevail. “This case has always been wrong — wrong on the facts and wrong on the law,” NCAA executive vice president and chief legal officer Donald Remy said in a statement last month. “We look forward to its eventual resolution in the courts.” And for the most part, that mindset has trickled down to college administrators.

Meaning that UO’s academic side will take yet another hit for the jocks?

Rob Mullens loves the Forum

Joe Nocera of the NYT on the corrupting influence of big-time college sports money. The occasion?:

The annual IMG Intercollegiate Athletics Forum, held last week in Midtown Manhattan, is the kind of meeting where football games are routinely described as “product,” television networks are “distribution channels,” and rooting for State U. is an example of “brand loyalty.” 

Christ have we heard a lot of this sort of crap from Rob Mullens and Craig Pintens lately. So is this where it comes from? Sure enough, follow the IMG link, and guess who’s giving a testimonial:

“I have attended several times and have enjoyed participating. A great deal of business and networking happens around the Forum.”Rob MullensAthletic DirectorUniversity of Oregon 

Nocera goes on to call out university presidents for having no spines. No, it’s that they’ve been bought off. 12/10/12.