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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

Cisco Webex sees surge in users as companies operate remotely

first_imgTopics : “What we are doing now [is that] we want to help businesses in Indonesia, communities [and] the education sector with free services. Anyone can use Webex for free,” Cisco Systems Indonesia managing director Marian Kacaribu told reporters on March 26 via a video conference on the Webex platform.“We hope that it can help enterprises and the continuity of business so that it can minimize the impact [of the pandemic] on productivity and the economy,” she added, explaining that before the outbreak, the company had only offered a 40-minute limit to its free services.As of now, Cisco Systems Indonesia is offering a broad range of free services, including an unlimited number of meetings, capacity of up to 100 people in every meeting without a limit in duration, unlimited messaging, as well as access to Webex Teams, team collaboration services where users can conduct group chats, video calls, share documents and use collaboration tools such as the whiteboard feature.Marina said considering there had been a spike in usage, the company had made sure that its backend system could support the growing number of users and would continually adjust its capacity to enhance user experience. Web conferencing platform Cisco Webex has seen a surge in usage numbers as companies and education institutions around the world switch to working remotely and distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company’s data indicates.The company recorded 4 million meetings globally on March 18 alone, nearly double the number of meetings that took place on its platform before the outbreak. In the first 20 days of March, there had been an accumulated 7 billion minutes of meetings on Webex, with the duration of the meetings 22 percent longer than usual.The company also saw a drastic increase in users signing up on its platform. On March 16, the number of newly registered users reached 240,000. center_img Security is also an aspect the company prioritizes. Webex has installed a user verification system so that companies and other institutions can be certain that their virtual rooms can only be accessed by their employees or other designated members.For additional protection, the company is offering a 90-day trial for its Cisco Umbrella and Cisco AnyConnect, in which the former feature serves as the first line of defense against threats on the internet and the latter simplifies secure endpoint access. The offer will be available until July 1. In the education sector, Cisco Systems Indonesia has been collaborating with the Education and Culture Ministry to help support the ministry’s distance learning program. Other education institutions that were already on the platform, for example, Gadjah Mada University (UGM), have strengthened their coordination with the company to scale-up operations. Marina noted that UGM would conduct up to 8,000 online courses over Webex..last_img read more

Early morning fire consumes house and truck

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Letts CVFDLetts, IN—According to a press release from Fire Chief Matthew Morrow, the Letts Community Volunteer Fire Department responded to an early morning fire.  Chief Morrow stated that Decatur County Dispatch received a 911 call this morning at 1:19 am reporting a house fire at 6440 South County Road 220 SW. LFD, Greensburg Fire Department and Decatur County EMS were initially dispatched. Mutual aid was requested from Westport and Millhousen Fire Department.When the first apparatus arrived, they found a house 95% involved in fire and a pickup truck was 100% involved. Defensive operations began and the fire was said to be under control by a little after 2a. Units remained on the scene until nearly 6a.Morrow stated that the cause of the fire is under investigation and that the homeowner was not home at the time of the fire and no injuries occurred. All rights reserved The Letts Community Volunteer Fire Department Inc.last_img read more

State of Emergency Declared in Kingston, Jamaica

first_imgKINGSTON, Jamaica – A second state of emergency (SOE) has been declared in Jamaica, this time in the capital city of Kingston.On Sunday during a press conference, Prime Minister Andrew Holness that an SOE is set for the Corporate Area police division of St Andrew South.Holness told journalists during a media briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister, that he advised the Governor-General Patrick Allen on the recommendation given to him by the heads of the security forces.“In St Andrew South the main cause of death is caused by gangs. Violence is at epidemic proportions in Jamaica … the main cause of death is gangs, dons and guns,” the Prime Minister said. Holness also added that 70 per cent of all murders being committed in Jamaica are gang-related.From January 1 to June 29, this year, there were 94 murders in St Andrew South, up from 79 for the corresponding period last year.Currently, there is a state of emergency in effect in the western parishes of Westmoreland, Hanover and St James.In January, a year-long state of public emergency expired in St James. The tri-state SOE was declared on April 30 of this year.In describing the overall crime situation nationally, especially relative to murders, Holness declared that “This is an epidemic and no one should tell that the country should be satisfied with it”.“The truth is that the level of crime is above the capacity of law enforcement to (effectively) respond. There have been 11,000 murders in the last eight years, and we do not have enough investigators,” said Holness.Many citizens have criticized the Holness administration’s decision to implement the State of Emergency, saying that move is just a cover for no real crime-fighting plan. But Holness has defended his decision, stating that “the Government is employing not just one strategy, but a raft of strategies that must complement each other”The measure will be in force initially for 14 days pending approval by the Houses of Parliament for an extension.last_img read more

Czech FACR expands integrity provisions with Sportradar

first_img Sportradar combats social media abuse with player protection solution August 17, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Share The Football Association of the Czech Republic (FACR) has moved to strengthen its match integrity provisions after renewing its partnership with leading sports data, content and intelligence provider Sportradar.Securing an extended data agreement, the Czech football association will have all syndicated FACR ‘tier-3’ and youth level matches monitored by Sportradar’s ‘Fraud Detection System – FDS’.In addition, the partnership will see Sportradar support FACR’s integrity agenda with its ‘Intelligence & Investigation Services’, bolstering FACR match data analysis, collection and interpretation dynamics.Jan Pauly, General Secretary of FACR, said: “Sportradar have been a valued and trusted partner of ours since 2012, with their FDS bet monitoring solution providing valuable oversight of global betting data surrounding our competitions.“By adding their Intelligence and Investigation services to our integrity programme, we are confident that we will gain an extra layer of visibility and insight into potential integrity risks, as we have already witnessed through collaboration on previous projects.”Andreas Krannich – SportradarIn addition to the integrity partnership, Sportradar will act as the FACR’s official data partner across all major men’s, women’s and youth competitions during the course of the agreement.Sportradar Integrity Services Managing Director Andreas Krannich added: “We have been proud partners of the FACR since 2012 and are delighted to be extending – and expanding – our integrity partnership well into the next decade. Our long term partners know best the importance we place on establishing strong working relationships, as they help put safeguarding efforts in the best position to succeed.“Moreover, our Intelligence and Investigation products will now put FACR competitions in an even stronger position to thrive. We look forward to building our relationship with FACR over the coming years and playing an even stronger role in helping to uphold the integrity of Czech football.” Björn Nilsson: How Triggy is delivering digestible data through pre-set triggers August 28, 2020 SAZKA faces scrutiny following appointment of Flint Global as National Lottery advisor August 20, 2020 Submit Related Articleslast_img read more

Petition for Maguire riding a unicorn to be on the new £50 note signed by thousands

first_img 2 Could Harry Maguire be the face of the new £50 note?More than 15,000 people have now signed a petition calling for an image of the England and Leicester City riding an inflatable unicorn during the Wolrd Cup in Russia to feature on the design. Maguire, who opened the scoring in the quarter-final against Sweden, earned rave reviews across the globe for his marauding runs from the back in Russia and for his incredible knack of getting his rather large head to seemingly every stray ball.You can show your support to the unicorn-riding Maguire and add your signature to the petition by following the link provided here!It is even being supported by one of Maguire’s England teammates, Kyle Walker. 2 Maguire captured the hearts of the nation when this picture emerged Twitter user @JonnyGabriel started the petition after the Bank of England asked the public to held decide who should feature on the new note. How the new £50 could look @HarryMaguire93 “You probably recognise me from the fifty quid notes” pic.twitter.com/Uxj9QyVM0s— Jonny Sharples (@JonnyGabriel) October 15, 2018The description for the petition reads: “The Bank of England are redesigning the £50 following the successful redesign of the £5, £10, and £20 notes.“None of these notes so far have featured a World Cup semi finalist floating on a mythical creature, and in the interests of football’s attempts to come home, who would be more appropriate to feature than Harry Maguire riding an inflatable unicorn?” Make it happen England! I’ll be happy on a fiver. Plus a bigger amount needs a bigger head… https://t.co/JjuSEiwTBG pic.twitter.com/0puk94xyRO— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) October 16, 2018last_img read more