The End of Amateurism, Unionization and Antitrust: The Legal Challenges Facing Collegiate Athletics


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About This Course

The United States is the only country in the world to have a highly evolved and revenue producing intercollegiate sports structure. Taken as a whole, college sports in the U.S. would be the third largest sports league behind only the NFL and MLB, generating somewhere between $6-$9 billion dollars annually. In positioning institutions of higher learning, sports may hold a place that is even more crucial than the dollars they produce as they can transform a university from the standpoint of perception. But the system of amateurism that has been in place in collegiate athletics is under legal attack, the NCAA which has regulated college sports is under significant antitrust challenge and in the Spring of 2014 the National Labor Relations Board has issued a regional decision calling scholarship college football players at Northwestern University employees and opening the a union.

This CLE session will examine the range of issues that appear likely to transform college sports over the next decade and why the system that has been in place for so long is likely to change. If you are a fan, a parent, someone who represents interests in and around college sports this CLE session will be of great interest. It will explore the sometimes competing legal theories based in antitrust law and labor law being developed by college athletes in the O'Bannon case and Northwestern NLRB decision, identify the major players and help assess the implication to the games, the athletes and the institutions.

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