Friday, May 20, 2011

Play Spectacular Golf in Sedona Arizona with JDR Tours

I played golf in Sedona, Arizona at Oakcreek Country Club about 40 years ago during a time when I was affiliated with a law project at Arizona State Law School.

Sedona was then and even moreso today is probably one of the most spectacular venues for golf anywhere in the world.

JDR Tours in 2011 offers what looks like a real deal package via Golfersguide.com at Golf Sedona with JDR Tours. Take a look.

This blog posting, by the way, is not a paid advertisement or otherwise supported ad or advert. Rather, the owner of JDR Tours and I went to school together, so it particularly caught my interest. JDR Tours offers tours in Nevada, Arizona and California. Looks good, but that is just my opinion, and no guarantee or warranty of any kind. Fore!

Friday, May 06, 2011

BCS to face Antitrust Investigation?: College Football Under Legal Scrutiny by the U.S. Justice Department

"Justice Dept. has 'serious questions' for NCAA on college bowl process", according to CNN:
  • "The Bowl Championship Series system makes it hard for some college teams to qualify
  • Millions of dollars in revenue are at stake in the football bowl selection process
  • Assistant Attorney General Varney seeks an explanation"

    "(CNN) -- In a letter to the NCAA disclosed Wednesday, the Justice Department said it has received several requests for an antitrust investigation into the current Bowl Championship Series system...."
We sincerely hope this may be the beginning of the end for BCS, which is clearly a bowl monopoly with all of the negative characteristics that mark monopolies.

Hat tip to Tim Kinslow at Bleacher Report in BCS Antitrust Investigation: Could Possible BCS Inquiry Impact College Football?

EA Sports Wins (Maybe) While NCAA and the Collegiate Licensing Company Still Under Fire in Video Game Player Likeness Use Lawsuit by Former Collegiate Players

College sports represent BIG MONEY in a BIG BUSINESS. For the best online treatment of the legal issues involved in this case and how the lawsuit discussed in this posting came to be in the first place, see Dan Fitzgerald at the Connecticut Law Tribune in Calling a Foul: Ex-college athletes file suit over uncompensated use of likenesses.

A complaint of conspiracy was just dismissed by a California judge against EA Sports for using the "likenesses" of former collegians (not precisely their name or image, but actual numbers, appearance, hometown, and statistics) in their video games via licensing through the NCAA and the CLC.

Eric Fisher, Staff Writer at the SportsBusiness Daily writes that the conspiracy claim in the complaint was dismissed by Judge Claudia Wilken, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, who ruled that:
"This purported conspiracy involves Defendants' concerted action to require all current student-athletes to sign forms each year that purport to require each of them to relinquish all rights in perpetuity for use of their images, likenesses and/or names and to deny compensation 'through restrictions in the NCAA Bylaws.' The Consolidated Amended Complaint, however, does not contain any allegations to suggest that EA agreed to participate in this conspiracy."
Owen Good at Kotaku points out that the lawsuit continues, however, with respect to the class action against the NCAA and the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) involving antitrust claims of an illegal sports monopoly and legal issues of publicity rights of collegiate players. EA Sports may have won on the conspiracy issue, but the future status of its computer games in their present image form is therefore still in question, as Good writes:
For gamers, a ruling in their favor still could alter how the rosters in NCAA Football are populated. Some potential scenarios can be read here.
Note that retired NFL players brought a similar suit -- and WON $28 million -- against the player's union that had made a game contract with Electronic Arts, which then used the retired player's "likenesses" without their permission.

Why should we expect different results for college players and their rights?

The problem here again is MONEY and the who controls all the money that is brought in by college sports. Not only is the NCAA an organization of exploitation as far as college athletes are concerned, but, as written at the CLC website:
"Today, the CLC Consortium represents the consolidated retail power of the many colleges, universities, athletic conferences, bowl games, and other collegiate institutions that comprise the CLC Consortium."
College sports are a multi-billion dollar business ($4 billion annually for marketed collegiate merchandise) in which many companies, people and educational institutions profit monetarily: " College football coaches ... are often the highest paid state employees, with some drawing salaries of over five million US dollars annually".

Only the athletes themselves are excluded from the gravy train, unless we count the handful who later turn pro and capitalize handsomely on their college sports prowess.

The vast majority of the rest of the athletes, often young people having very little money at all, are relegated to "amateur" status whether they like it or not, i.e. if you want to play college athletics, you are forbidden from taking benefits of any kind, unless it is in the form of scholarships, which are limited. Why scholarships are seen as a "special" case is not clear. Why they should be limited is even more unclear. It would seem that you would try to help as many students as you can financially, if you can.

Clearly, other factors, NOT merely the best interests of student-athletes stand in the foreground.

In fact, we ask, WHY should ANY sport be labeled "amateur" when everything costs money today, also "amateur" sports?

It makes no sense given the history of "amateur" sports.

Amateur sports began in the upper classes, who were financially able to compete "for fun only". They required no payment. When the middle and lower classes began to participate in competitive "amateur" athletics, players were soon given "time off" from work in order to play and ultimately the best players were "paid" one way or another for their services. "Professional" sports began thereafter as the best players made their athletic prowess their career.

In today's expensive world, even the Olympic games have done away with the fiction of "amateur" standing (except for boxing). Given the state-financed nature of athletics in many countries and the necessity of sponsors and donors in other countries to finance what in some cases are exorbitant expenditures for new facilities, technology and equipment, the label "amateur" is a nice throwback to a bygone age.

Why should that fiction be perpetuated on the college scene -- and ONLY for the student-athletes -- but not for any of the other participants (coaches, media, etc.)?

Why should university EMPLOYEES, already being PAID for their work, be able to exploit at a profit patents which arise out of their paid university work at that university -- to the detriment of the taxpayers, while students not only are not paid for their work, but also are prohibited from exploiting THEIR work? What possible legal or economic sense does that make?

College Football: Nebraska Cornhuskers to Run the Pistol Offense?

We would definitely support installing elements of the variable pistol offense into the Huskers bag of tricks, especially given the type of quarterbacks that Nebraska has. It would allow the Huskers to run a power game if they wanted but would also add a pro-style spread passing game if needed, plus many options, including the option. Versatility is the key to offense. We have never understood why a team thinks it has to play only one system on offense and thus constantly give away its plays to the defense.

See Big Red Today at Bleacher Report in Nebraska Toying With Tricky Offense?

Delany Dubs Huskers "The Packers of College Football"

Husker and perhaps Green Bay fans are going to love this article by Adam Rittenberg at the ESPN Big Ten Blog. Be sure to read Huskers Dubbed 'The Packers of College Football'.

Monday, May 02, 2011

NFL Pro Football 2011 Draft by College Conference Teams: More Huskers Drafted than from any SEC, Big 12 or Big Ten Team: North Carolina, Miami and USC Top the List

How will the Huskers fare in the Big 10 in football?

We can get some clue from the 2011 NFL Pro Football Draft just conducted in which more Husker players were drafted than from any SEC, Big 12 or Big Ten team.

Nebraska Cornhusker Big Red fans (Husker Nation) can rightly be optimistic about 2011.

Here are the 2011 Pro Football NFL Draft stats by College Conference:

SEC - 38 players drafted - topped by LSU and Georgia with 6 each and national champ Auburn with 4

ACC - 35 players drafted - topped by North Carolina with 9, Miami with 8 and Clemson with 6

Pac 10 - 31 players drafted - topped by USC with 8, Stanford and Cal with 4 and national championship game finalist Oregon with 1

Big 12 including Nebraska - 29 players drafted - topped by Nebraska with 7, and Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor and Colorado with 4 each

Big Ten not including Nebraska - 29 players drafted - topped by Iowa with 6

Big East - 22 players drafted - topped by Pittsburgh with 5

WAC - 16 players drafted - 3 each from Boise State, Nevada, Hawaii and Idaho

Mountain West - 10 players drafted - topped by TCU with 5

Conference USA - 7 players drafted - topped by Central Florida (UCF) with 2

Sun Belt - 5 players drafted - 1 each from Florida International, Florida Atlantic, Middle Tennessee State, Troy and Arkansas State

Southern - 5 players drafted - topped by Appalachian State with 3

Big Sky - 4 players drafted - 1 each from Eastern Washington, Montana St., Portland St. and Montana

MEAC (Mid-Eastern) - 3 players drafted - 1 each from Hampton, South Carolina St. and Florida A&M

Colonial - 2 players drafted - 1 each from Villanova and Richmond, but one can not help but think that there is more talent in that league

Gateway - 2 players drafted - 1 each from Missouri State and Southern Illinois

Lone Star - 2 players drafted - 1 each from Abilene Christian and West Texas A&M

Pennsylvania State - 2 players drafted - California (PA) and Slippery Rock

Southland - 2 players drafted - 1 each from Central Arkansas and Stephen F. Austin

IA Independents - 1 player drafted - Notre Dame (that will change under Brian Kelly)

Ivy League - 1 player drafted - Yale

Ohio Athletic (Division III) - 1 player drafted - Mount Union (Cecil Shorts)

Patriot League - 1 player drafted - Lehigh

SWAC - 1 player drafted - Alabama A&M

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