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Wildcats await decision on unionization

first_imgIn March, the Chicago regional director of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that Northwestern scholarship football players are employees of the university and therefore have the right to form a union.In April, Northwestern University appealed the decision to the full NLRB in Washington, D.C.This weekend, the Northwestern football team, still awaiting a final decision from the NLRB, comes to Notre Dame with its unionization future unclear. Ed Edmonds, associate dean of the Notre Dame Law School, said either way the Board rules, the Northwestern case could be pivotal for the future of collegiate athletics.Susan Zhu | The Observer “I would like to think that this [case] would begin to change the conversation at the NCAA away from the idea that [athletics] should be equated to a hobby or a very modest expenditure of time,” Edmonds, who specializes in sports labor law, said. “I think we need to have a much more realistic conversation about how you try to balance intercollegiate athletics and its demands with the educational process.“I mean, we’re basically the only country in the world that has sports so intertwined with the educational process at the highest levels. And I think what the case has helped advance is a conversation that is badly needed.”Following the Chicago Regional Board’s decision in March, members of Northwestern’s football team voted on whether or not they wanted the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) to represent them. Edmonds said the results of the vote will remain embargoed until the full NLRB’s ruling and will only be counted if the Board rules in CAPA’s favor.Edmonds said the Board’s review period for the Northwestern case is typical, and he expects a decision by the end of the year. In the meantime, he said the case is an opportunity to consider how universities and the NCAA treat athletics and student athletes.“The most significant thing about the case, to me, was the fact that the regional board ruled in favor of the players,” Edmonds said. “It actually causes everybody to look very carefully at the definition of a student athlete.”In its list of core values, the NCAA prioritizes “the collegiate model of athletics in which students participate as an avocation, balancing their academic, social and athletics experiences.” Edmonds said this definition is problematic when student-athletes are pushed for significantly more time and effort than non-athletes.“In the brief that Northwestern filed, [they] said, ‘Well, participating in college football is no different than 400 and some-odd other student activities that we have at the university,’” Edmonds said.“They’re trying to say if you participate in the chess club or something along those lines that that’s the same as participation in intercollegiate football. I think those kinds of assertions, that seem laughable to me, make the arguments in this case sometimes really problematic.“The incredible amount of money that conferences get, the incredible amount of money the NCAA basketball tournament generates — that places it in a far different category than anything else that Northwestern students participate in.”The Northwestern NLRB case itself revolves around the definition of employment and whether or not scholarship athletes fit that definition. Notre Dame associate professor of law Barbra Fick, who specializes in labor law, said the definition of employee typically depends on pay and control.In the Northwestern case, Edmonds said NLRB Chicago regional director Peter Sung Ohr ruled the football scholarships were economic benefits and coaches exercised some control over the players, thus making them employees. The University, though, objected to Ohr’s interpretation of scholarships as income.“What Northwestern tried to present in this case … is [scholarship athletes] don’t pay any income tax on their scholarship benefits so that should be an indication that they’re not employees,” Edmonds said. “Ohr discounted that.”In recent years, Edmonds said the idea of scholarships as income has grown more viable due to increasing tuition costs. According to the Northwestern University Office of Undergraduate Admission, the annual cost of attendance is $65,554, which totals to roughly $262,216 over four years.“One of the things that has changed a lot over the years is as tuition has risen, the value of [athletic] scholarships becomes, to a lot of people, fairly important,” he said. “So even tough [student athletes] aren’t given a paycheck, they are given a pretty significant economic benefit. And I think in this day and age when a lot of people take on a lot of debt to go to elite private universities, that’s begun to change the way some people look at the issue of whether or not college athletes are exploited.”The Chicago Regional Board did distinguish between scholarship and walk-on athletes, determining walk-ons are not employees. On its website, CAPA said it could possibly represent walk-on and “nonrevenue” athletes in the future, but “it would depend on the applicable labor laws and details surrounding their athletic arrangement.”Former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, who graduated in 2014 and led the unionization effort last year, leads CAPA, along with former UCLA linebacker Ramogi Huma and former University of Massachusetts Amherst basketball player Luke Bonner.On its website, CAPA lists its goals, which include “guaranteed coverage for sports-related medical expenses for current and former players, minimizing the risk of sports-related traumatic brain injury [and] improving graduation rates.”Edmonds said if the full NLRB rules in favor of the players, CAPA could bargain over these issues on behalf of scholarship football players at Northwestern and 16 other private universities with Division-I football, including Notre Dame, if they voted for representation. The union could not represent athletes at public universities because the National Labor Relations Act does not grant public employees collective bargaining rights, Edmonds said.“If the full board rules in favor of the players, it raises the question of whether any of the other private universities that play Division-I football would be approached by CAPA,” Edmonds said. “And I think CAPA would try to approach all of the schools.”He said athletes would react differently from campus to campus to the prospect of unionization, but if the NLRB rules in favor of CAPA and the Northwestern players voted to unionize, Notre Dame scholarship athletes could consider joining CAPA, too.Edmonds said the full NLRB’s decision is “a real toss-up” at the moment, but the Northwestern case is part of a larger conversation about the role of athletics at major universities.“The big thing about this … is that maybe we can now begin to talk about student athletes — if you want to call them that — in a different way because they generate such an incredible amount of revenue for their university,” Edmonds said. “If you want to maintain this idea of a student athlete, then you really ought to switch it and say it’s an athlete student, because they’re a full-time athlete and a part-time student.”Regardless of the outcome of the NLRB’s decision, Edmonds said the Northwestern case, along with several lawsuits that “strike even more directly at the core of the way the NCAA conducts business” will shape the future of college sports.“I’m hard-pressed to imagine that the situation is going to be exactly the same in a decade than it is now,” Edmonds said. “To me, it’s part of a broader discussion about the role of intercollegiate athletics in the university that’s being pushed by a host of things, and this is just one aspect of a lot of things that are aimed at whether the NCAA’s model is really a workable one anymore.”Tags: CAPA, college football, Ed Edmonds, NCAA, NLRB, Northwestern University, Peter Sung Ohr, Unionizationlast_img read more

Basketball: Argentina Shoots Down D’Tigers

first_imgThey won in Athens in 2004 on the strength of their “golden generation” of core players including Ginobili, Scola and Andres Nocioni.But with Ginobili now 39 and the other two 36 years old, time is running out for that decorated cadre to take home another medal.Cheered on by a boisterous turnout of fans from their nearby homeland, which borders on Brazil, Argentina jumped out to an 11-0 lead.They never looked back, using tough defence and superior ball movement to set up eight first-half three-pointers and take a 50-31 halftime lead.More of the same followed in the second half, with the Argentines cruising to the final buzzer. They finished with 15 three-pointers.Nigeria was led by Ikechukwu Diogu’s 15 points and 13 rebounds, and 14 points from Ebi Ere.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Perennial medal contenders Argentina early hours of yesterday eased past Nigeria’s D’Tigers  94-66 in each team’s Rio Olympic opening match as Facundo Campazza scored 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting from three-point territory.Manu Ginobili of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs added 12 points and the Brooklyn Nets’ Luis Scola 18 as the more experienced Argentines proved too much for the sloppy African qualifiers.Argentina is the only country since 1988 to have won an Olympic basketball gold medal other than the USA.last_img read more

USC aims to improve Pac-12 standing in homestand

first_imgAfter two consecutive hard-fought losses at the hands of crosstown rivals UCLA, the Women of Troy will stay at home to host Arizona and Arizona State this weekend. USC currently has a 15-8 record, including 5-7 against Pac-12 opponents while Arizona has a 6-17 record with 2-10 against conference opponents and No. 25 Arizona State has a 17-7 record with an 8-4 conference record. Junior guard Aliyah Mazyck (center) put up a valiant effort against UCLA on Monday, scoring a game-high 21 points on 4-for-11 3-point shooting. Despite her efforts, USC fell to UCLA 70-84, marking two straight losses to the Bruins. Emily Smith | Daily Trojan“Our mindset is great,” head coach Mark Trakh said. “We started out 0-3 and we went to 3-3, we lost two games and then we won two games, so I think the goal is to make .500 in the Pac-12 and go to the postseason tournament. I trust these kids. I’m very, very excited by what they’ve shown me this year.”Arizona State will come to the Galen Center first on Friday night. The Sun Devils have powered to a strong  start despite losing one of their key players, guard Sabrina Haines to an ACL injury in December, due to the team’s balance and depth. Junior Kianna Ibis leads the Sun Devils with 13 points per game on efficient shooting percentages of 50 percent shooting, 41.9 percent from downtown and 80 percent from the line. Guards Courtney Ekmark and Robbi Ryan and forward Jamie Ruden shore up the scoring with averages of 10.1, 9.5 and 10.0, respectively, and all three players are capable shooters from deep. Center Charnea Johnson-Chapman leads the team in rebounding with 7.2 per game. With such balanced team members who know their roles and contribute equally, Arizona State poses a challenge for any team to play. “They play a very aggressive defense,” Trakh said. “They like to come out and pressure so we gotta handle their pressure and they run their sets really, really well, so we [have to] come out fresh and we have to defend their sets. I think that’s the main things: handle their man-to-man pressure, they’ll play 10 people, they’ll rotate every couple minutes so they like to keep their kids fresh. We’re not as deep, so that’s going to be where the challenge is going to pose in a 40-minute game.”The other Arizona team will come on Sunday afternoon, but compared to the Sun Devils, the Wildcats have struggled this season. The Wildcats are led by guard JaLea Bennett with 14.6 points per game and Sam Thomas with 10 points and 7.8 rebounds. Guard Lucia Alonso and forward Kat Wright are both capable shooters, with Alonso notably averaging 42.7 percent from deep. However, the Wildcats are terribly inefficient as a team with 36.6 percent shooting overall, including 33.0 percent from 3-point range. The Wildcats are also similar to the Trojans in rebounding averages which could be a key focus in the matchup as the Wildcats will pit Thomas and forward Destiny Graham (6.6 rebounds per game) against Trojans senior forward Kristen Simon. However, USC should look to pick up a win on Sunday against the struggling Wildcats. “They just fight, in a year where they got a really great recruiting class coming in next year so I think they’re just loose and they’re playing hard and they’re well coached, so I think it’s a question of focus because they’re so capable of beating anyone in the conference,” Trakh said. Despite two losses against UCLA, the Trojans competed well in the two games and they hope that energy and effort will carry over into this weekend’s matchups. They were down early in both game, but USC fought back valiantly, cutting double-digit deficits to a fighting chance in both games before UCLA built their lead back up. The team’s relentless effort to climb back within distance of UCLA warranted praise from the Trojans’ head coach. “They played the No. 9 team in the country with probably the best point guard in the country and I felt the kids played a competitive game,” Trakh said. “It was an 8-point game in the fourth quarter at their place and it was a 1-point deficit with four minutes remaining at our place. Everybody we play, it’s been a competitive game and it’s a game where we had a chance to win it in the fourth quarter so I like that competitive spirit the kids have. They won’t give up, they’ll never think they’re out of the game.”USC’s defense has been stifling so far this season as their zone defense has dramatically altered the pace of the game to be much slower, something that UCLA coach Cori Close admitted to be a factor in hampering UCLA’s high-pace offense. Another key pointer to watch for will be foul trouble as USC’s starters were peppered with fouls in its slugfest against UCLA, forcing Trakh to play the reserves while keeping its starters glued to the bench. As USC does not boast a deep bench, it has relied on heavy minutes from the starters for most, if not all, of their production on a nightly basis and the starters will have to be careful on the defensive end to avoid foul troubles.“All year we’ve stayed out of foul trouble,” Trakh said. “So we gotta get back to basics: not fouling. We can’t afford to foul because of our lack of depth so we can’t foul. Our defense has been good at times and it’s also been suspect at times but it’s been good more than it’s been suspect. We just gotta regroup and get ready for the game.”USC hosts Arizona State on Friday at 7 p.m. before playing Arizona on Sunday at 1 p.m. Both games can be streamed through USC’s live stream which can be found on the Pac-12 Network site.last_img read more

Baker Mayfield rips Sam Ehlinger, Texas title talk

first_imgRivalries never die.That seems to be especially true for former Oklahoma quarterback and current Cleveland Browns signal-caller Baker Mayfield, who once again is stirring up the pot with college rival Texas. Oklahoma may have got the last laugh with a win in the Big 12 championship game, but it seems Ehlinger will at least have the confidence knowing he can beat Oklahoma heading into 2019. It’s also worth noting Mayfield and Ehlinger have a history of talking smack. When Oklahoma tackle Orlando Brown turned in an abysmal combine performance ahead of the 2018 NFL Draft, prompting Ehlinger to make fun of him, Mayfield was quick to respond, saying, “He’s never beat Lake Travis, and he also hasn’t beat OU, so leave it at that.”All that to say: Clear your calendars on Oct. 12, when Texas and Oklahoma face off in the Red River Rivalry. The Longhorns are coming off a 10-4 season and Sugar Bowl victory over Georgia, prompting some high expectations for their 2019 campaign. They rank No. 6 in Sporting News’ preseason top 25 and are one of our four picks to make the College Football Playoff. Mayfield, when asked what he thinks of such expectations, was happy to shoot down such lofty goals.MORE: SN’s post-spring preseason top 25″They said the same thing when they beat Notre Dame a couple of years ago, and they won like three games after that,” Mayfield told reporters (via ESPN). “I’m sick of that crap.”Mayfield was especially vocal about Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who like Mayfield played high school football in Austin, Texas. Mayfield played at Lake Travis, while Ehlinger played at rival Westlake. “He couldn’t beat Lake Travis, so I don’t really care (about) his opinion on winning,” Mayfield said of Ehlinger. “Westlake is a great program, but the two best quarterbacks to come out of there are Drew Brees and Nick Foles. Sam can stay down there in Texas.”That will stir the pot,” Mayfield said. “He doesn’t like me, and I hope he knows I don’t like him either.”MORE: SN bowl projections, All-Americans and moreWhile it’s true Ehlinger never beat Lake Travis, he did manage to break through against Oklahoma in 2018, helping down the Sooners 48-45 in the Red River Rivalry on Oct. 6, 2018 with a 314-yard, two-touchdown performance through the air. He also scored three rushing touchdowns.last_img read more

Women’s Tennis Sweeps Valpo, 7-0

first_img 3. Sysouvanh, Dao/Kopfer, Jordan (VALPO) def. Jaglarz, Mela/Kozlowski, Alex (DU) 7-6 (10-8) 4. Williams, Kenya (DU) def. Sysouvanh, Dao (VALPO) 6-3, 6-3 3. Herder, Tess (DU) def. Modesto, Meg (VALPO) 6-3, 6-1 2. Brills, Summer/Williams, Kenya (DU) def. Modesto, Meg/Wind, Randi (VALPO) 6-3 1. Brills, Summer (DU) def. Czerwonka, Claire (VALPO) 6-3, 6-0 Liza Petushkova was the first Bulldog to finish, earning a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Jelena Vujanic at No. 2 singles. GRIFFITH, Ind. – The Drake University women’s tennis team blanked Valparaiso, 7-0, Saturday at the Match Point Tennis Club to improve to 2-0 in Missouri Valley Conference action. Summer Brills extended Drake’s lead to 3-0 with a convincing 6-3, 6-0 victory Claire Czerwonka. 6. Jaglarz, Mela (DU) def. Kopfer, Jordan (VALPO) 7-6 (10-8), 6-1 Doubles competition The Bulldogs return to the Roger Knapp Tennis Center Saturday, April 14 when they host Illinois State at 1 p.m. The Bulldogs (12-5, 2-0 MVC) swept the doubles point to take an early 1-0 lead over the Crusaders (5-10, 0-1 MVC). Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (2,1,3,4,6,5) Drake kept cruising in singles as the Bulldogs won the first set on all six courts. Kenya Williams and Mela Jaglarz each earned straight set wins as well at No. 4 and No. 6, respectively, while Alex Kozlowski capped off the day with a three-set win at No. 5.  Print Friendly Version 1. Herder, Tess/Petushkova, Liza (DU) def. Czerwonka, Claire/Vujanic, Jelena (VALPO) 6-4 Match Notes Singles competition Drake 7, Valparaiso 0Apr 07, 2018 at Match Point Tennis Club (Griffith, Ind.)  5. Kozlowski, Alex (DU) def. Wind, Randi (VALPO) 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 10-4 Drake 12-5 (2-0) Valparaiso 5-10 (0-1) 2. Petushkova, Liza (DU) def. Vujanic, Jelena (VALPO) 6-3, 6-3 Tess Herder clinched the Bulldog victory with her 6-3, 6-1 win over Meg Modesto at No. 3 singles.last_img read more