The Maruice Clarett case goes to Capitol Hill

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by superdave, Sep 26, 2003.

  1. superdave

    superdave BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/columns/story?columnist=farrey_tom&id=1623766

    Let us count the ways this is stupid.

    1. Conyers is coming out AGAINST a college education.
    2. If colleges exploit their football players for money, why do so many football programs lose money?!?!? This argument would make some sense if we were talking about basketball, a much, much cheaper sport, with 3 times as many games. As it is, it's a very inaccurate depiction of what is happening in Division I football.
    3. Curt Flood WASN'T challenging a draft rule, and NOBODY argued that the reserve clause benefitted the players. So it's a stupid analogy.
    4. Plus, um, jackass, Curt Flood LOST HIS CASE!!! The players won free agency on COMPLETELY DIFFERENT GROUNDS!!!
    5. If Clarett didn't like how Ohio State was treating him he had the option of transferring to Grambling, or playing in the CFL.

    Clarett was coddled, let's face it. The kid should have flunked out. He used Ohio State, Ohio State used him. But then he did some things even OSU can't tolerate. But instead of availing himself of his options, he wants to sue. And to dress this up as a racial issue is pretty obscene. I mean, if he goes to the NFL, who is gonna lose out? Some other NFL running back, who, if you look at the runners (as opposed to the blocking fullbacks) means there's about a 97% chance that guy is gonna be black too.

    One last note...on PTI, a lawyer who used to work for the NFL stated something like even if the NFL loses the antitrust point, the rule can still stand, as CBAs are exempt from antitrust laws. Man, I'd have paid closer attention if I knew there was gonna be a quiz on it :) , but the lawyer was very certain that all of the sportswriters are barking up the wrong tree by focusing narrowly on what Clarett's people are saying is the issue. There's more to it.

    Does anyone have a better memory of his argument?
     
  2. GringoTex

    GringoTex Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    1301 miles de Texas
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Bolivia
    "Maurice is . . . challenging a draft rule which the league tells us is designed to help kids, but really seems to institutionalize a farm system that reaps huge financial rewards for the colleges and pros; and operates primarily at the expense of African American teenagers."

    I agree with this part, but the CBC should be fighting to have stipends granted to these college football players (which would help many) instead of fighting for ealry NFL entery (which will only help a few).
     
  3. GringoTex

    GringoTex Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    1301 miles de Texas
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Bolivia
    The football programs may lose money- but the university doesn't. Alumni donations to a school are often directly proportional to how well the football team is doing. Universities do nmake money off their football programs.
     
  4. John Galt

    John Galt Member

    Aug 30, 2001
    Atlanta
    MLS's initial years should be somewhat instructive to this issue. Antitrust laws prohibit price-fixing, monopolies, and practices that exclude competitors from the market. The application of that in this case is excluding anyone who wants to contract to perform football services.

    However, unions can bargain with employers over the terms and conditions of employment, including the criteria for who is eligible for employment. These agreements are exempt from antitrust law. That's why MLS players did not form a union at first (so they could bring an antitrust suit) and have unionized now that they lost their case.

    The problem here is that the age limitation is not expressly in the NFLPA-NFL collective bargaining agreement. So, if it's not a bargained for condition of employment, the logic follows, then the NFL imposed this rule on its own. A rule that keeps someone out of the market probably violates antitrust.

    Realistically, Clarett has a good chance to win, but he's such an unusual case, I doubt any major changes would occur even if he prevailed. (I'd really like to see him sue for collusion after he failed to get drafted!)
     
  5. MtMike

    MtMike Member+

    Nov 18, 1999
    the 417
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think it's unfortunate to turn it into a race issue, when it's clearly not. That's what turns at least me off to African-American "leadership" so much. Andy Katzenmoyer came out as a sophomore and probably could have got drafter higher after his freshman year, but didn't challenge the rule.

    As far as paying college athletes, they all get full scholarships. In some cases, that's worth over $100,000 (out-of-state tuition to Stanford, for instance). I think that's enough payment. However, I think the NCAA should change the rule and allow Athletes to hold a part-time job during the year and even during the season.
     
  6. Foosinho

    Foosinho New Member

    Jan 11, 1999
    New Albany, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Ohio State's football program most certainly doesn't lose money. Not even close.

    I feel a certain amount of empathy for Clarett, I do, but the bottom line is he did this to himself with his actions. He made a mistake. The fact that there is no "due process" for Clarett isn't Ohio State's fault - it's the NCAA's fault. Leaving - for the NFL or Grambling (or CFL) - is IMO running away from the consequences of his actions. I think he should be(come) a man, and work his way back onto the team. Not to mention I don't think he's physically ready for the NFL yet. The only ones really saying he is are other college players who he's run over. He doesn't look durable enough, IMO.

    BTW, his suspension has nothing to do with the academic allegations, which I'm not certain have legs. Oral examinations are often available. I missed a midterm one time when I was an undergrad at OSU and the prof let me take the test anyway. And I wasn't an athlete. The woman making the academic allegations seems a) unstable, and b) like she has some personal axe to grind.
     
  7. monop_poly

    monop_poly Member

    May 17, 2002
    Chicago
    There is no way that Division I football at Ohio State is a losing proposition. Attendance of 90,000/gm for six games without paying player salaries?? I have no idea what an avg. ticket price is these days, but assume $30. That's $16 million from gate receipts alone. Add TV revenue, concessions and OhhowIhateOhioState bumper stickers (oops, that for Go Blue fans), and I think the school is raking in a nice tidy profit to help fund water polo etc.

    But ... I'm just shooting from the hip. Do you have a link on the notion that Div. I football loses money?
     
  8. Foosinho

    Foosinho New Member

    Jan 11, 1999
    New Albany, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Try 8 home games (9 last season), 106,000 in attendence, alumni tickets at $50 a pop (students at probably half that now - AndyLand is *#*#*#*#in' expensive).

    Lesse... X times Y, carry the one... Try $42 million in gate receipts.
     
  9. NER_MCFC

    NER_MCFC Member

    May 23, 2001
    Cambridge, MA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Intent and outcome are 2 entirely different issues. Are you going to argue that the big time college sports actually want their players to get an education?

    Correct on both points, but the Flood case was significantly influential in free agency coming to the rest of US pro sports, which didn't have baseball's anti-trust exemption. Remember that baseball's reserve clause (and it's equivalents) was illegal the day it was written. Hollywood lost this battle in the 50s, and the only thing the sports business was waiting for was someone (Curt Flood) with the willingness and resources to mount a legal challenge. While the arbritration cases in baseball that did in the reserve clause were not directly related to the Flood case, I very much doubt the arbitrator (I think he was a judge, but I'm not sure) would have gone beyond the two contracts that were being contested without the Flood case, which was settled only 3 years earlier.

    I saw this too, and there was an additional bit of information that the guy mentioned but with suspiciously little emphasis. He said that during the last set of CBA talks, the league and the players association agreed to incorporate the league's bylaws into the CBA. The bylaws (including the age restriction on the draft) were not negotiated during those discussions. It seems to me that they were simply included purely as a way to protect them from anti-trust challenges.

    Which leads me to my next question. Is a collective bargaining agreement still protected from anti-trust laws when it is drawn precisely to violate certain anti-trust provisions?
     
  10. superdave

    superdave BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Right, but I don't think the NFL can write the rule so it allows players who play at the minority of schools that make money at football to leave early, but not the rest of them.
     
  11. GringoTex

    GringoTex Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    1301 miles de Texas
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Bolivia
    So it's only a coincidence that big-time college football features mostly-white institutions making money off of mostly-black football players?
     
  12. superdave

    superdave BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Re: The Maruice Clarett case goes to Capitol Hill

    Completely untrue. I mean, the USSC upheld it, so who are you to say it was illegal???

    Not to be a dick, but here's a pop quiz...what did the arbitrator rule? This makes it sound like you don't know.

    In which case, what John Galt wrote above seems wrong to me.
     
  13. superdave

    superdave BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Gringo, it's the NFL's rule. And the vast, vast majority of running backs in the NFL who carry the ball (not counting the blocking backs; that's not Clarett's position) are black.
     
  14. GringoTex

    GringoTex Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    1301 miles de Texas
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Bolivia
    Exactly- both the NFL AND the universities (not to mention the television networks) make millions and millions off the college game. And while a very small percentage of these college players do eventually get their payday as a professional, most never receive the proper compensation.
     
  15. mannyfreshstunna

    mannyfreshstunna New Member

    Feb 7, 2003
    Naperville, no less
    Look here. Clarett *#*#*#*#ed up by losing academic eligibility, but hey it's happened before. But when he lied to the police about the car that was essentialy a gift he really messed up.

    However, Ohio State hasn't exactly treated this guy right.

    So i guess what i'm trying to say is that he should be eligible for the 2004 draft. the NFL's rule is outdated and wrong considering Clarett could pretty much do anything in this country except make a living. The NFL is being deservedly sued for blocking Clarett from the draft. I hope he wins for his sake, otherwise he's going to be playing in Montreal next year. Oh, canadian football players make 35,000 a year!
     
  16. John Galt

    John Galt Member

    Aug 30, 2001
    Atlanta
    Re: Re: Re: The Maruice Clarett case goes to Capitol Hill

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Never! I'm shocked and appalled at the implication!!!!

    For the record, I'm relying on the prodigious Len Pasquarrelli, who clearly does not waste enough time posting in online bulletin boards.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=pasquarelli_len&id=1614334

    I suppose the fact question is whether the specific rule -- the one that says you must be three years out of high school -- can be incorporated "by reference" into the CBA. I think there is a whole body of case law on this issue, which I will not presume to know well enough to summarize. By example, though, the cases would involve issues such as whether violation of a workplace safety rule was grounds for termination when the workplace safety rule was not expressly in the CBA.
     
  17. Richth76

    Richth76 New Member

    Jul 22, 1999
    Washington, D.C.
    Re: Re: The Maruice Clarett case goes to Capitol Hill

    The pay scale comparison is a non-issue. The issue should be age discrimination not race discrimination. He could be green, but he's being denied an opportunity becuase of his age.

    Conyers, et al. are making it a race issue so they can tell their consitutents (african-americans) that they're doing something directly for them.

    I think this is b.s. NFL teams should be able to hire, draft, fire anyone they want. A lot of companies require X amount of years experience before they will hire you. In the case of the NFL X=3.
     
  18. John Galt

    John Galt Member

    Aug 30, 2001
    Atlanta
    A college education is worth a lot, especially if you might not have received one otherwise. Also, the network of alumni at most schools places former athletes in potentially lucrative situations. We would probably just have to disagree on what compensation is proper.
     
  19. Sneever Flion

    Sneever Flion New Member

    Oct 29, 2002
    Detroit, MI
    I say they do it like basketball. If you make yourself eligible for the draft, you're done with college regardless of whether a team picks you up. So you better damn well know that you can cut muster is the NFL.

    Personally, I don't think most kids with one or two years are ready to play in the big time. Their bodies aren't even done developing. If Clarette wants to go, let him. But I think that he will be surprised that he isn't tearing teams apart week in week out.

    And Gringo, back off on the race thing. I'm wating for Universal or whatever the hell he calls himself to come in here any second condemning the evil white institutions exploiting the best athletes, i.e. black kids, for their abilities. Where's the outrage for the number of white quarterbacks or kickers that don't make it to the bigtime?

    The only color this is about is green. Period.
     
  20. NER_MCFC

    NER_MCFC Member

    May 23, 2001
    Cambridge, MA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The Supreme Court upheld an exemption granted expressely to baseball (by Congress I think, but I don't really remember). They didn't say that the principle behind the reserve clause was legal, because it's not. A contract cannot be enforced beyond the time period stated in its terms.

    Too late.
    The arbitrator ruled that Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally(sp?) were free agents because their contracts had expired. Either in his ruling or as an unavoidable consequence of it, all player contracts in basbeball from that day on had an expiration date.

    I don't see how you came to this conclusion. John said that the age rule doesn't appear to be a bargained condition of employment. That's a legal definition that I'm not familiar with. What I was talking about was what the lawyer on PTI said, which made it sound as though the NFL constitution and by-laws were dumped, unedited, into the CBA, kind of like a senator reading something into the Congressional Record. The terms of the constitution and by-laws weren't part of the bargaining process; they were simply tacked on. I don't know if that meets the legal definition John referred to, but it certainly feels like an end-around.

    The NFL likes the rule because it pacifies the college teams, who would otherwise be complaining about losing players early. The NFL doesn't want to lose it's no-cost (to them) player development system. The players, insofar as they care, are probably happy enough thinning the competition slightly, so they wouldn't complain about the rule.

    Does the NFL rule apply to players who never went to college?

    I think (or I hope at least) that Conyers was thinking about the entire football cast system when mentioned race issues. For example, the NFL has been majority black on the field for a while but coaches are still disproportionately white, and there are, what, 4 (out of 115 or so) black head coaches in 1A college programs. I don't know what race/ethnic breakdown has been in college football over the years, but I'm pretty sure that black players were already far more than 3% of all players when the current generation of coaches were playing. Race is in the background of any discussion of football at the college and pro levels.
     
  21. GringoTex

    GringoTex Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    1301 miles de Texas
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Bolivia
    Again, how can you say this when 99% of university presidents, coaches, network execs, and NFL owners are white; and most players are black?

    Sticking your had in the sand and going "LaLaLaLaLa!" doesn't change the facts.
     
  22. GringoTex

    GringoTex Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    1301 miles de Texas
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Bolivia
    Actually- I kind of veered off on a side topic. I'm arguing that college players should receive a monthly stipend to play ball.
     
  23. Sneever Flion

    Sneever Flion New Member

    Oct 29, 2002
    Detroit, MI
    I'm not sticking my head in the sand. It's quite obvious that the majority of kids playing high level football are black. Oh, they also happen to be better athletes. Don't let that fact escape you.

    If the majority of the best athletes were white, then you would see more of them on the field. It's about winning. Winning brings money. Money buys bigger buildings for the student body to attract more students that will generate more alumni who will, in turn, give money to the school. You see the vicious circle here.

    Conyers is the one exploiting Clarette for the simple fact that he is black. This situation will not help black athletes at all. If anything, it could do more damage than good.

    As it stands, they can go to a top rated instition, get an education, and at the very least experience something many of us here would love to partake in. But opening up the floodgates to a bunch of kids who think they're ready to take on the animals in the NFL is ludicrous. They will be killed. They're not physically or mentally ready. And all it will take is some jackass who doesn't have the kids best interest in heart to fill his head with a bunch of false expectations.

    Full scholarship with a chance to play professionaly? I wish I could be so exploited.

    Having said that, yes, I believe that these institutions don't have their players best interest in mind. The truth is, the NFL is using the collegiate system as their farm program.

    Ask yourself this; why is it that the NFL is the only major league in this country that doesn't have a minor league farm system? AND, why is it the only league that has an age restriction on its athletes? I mean, who's really screwing who?

    But I do believe very few athletes, maybe 2-4 every season will be ready to come out of college early and contribute in the NFL. Jesus, look at Joey Harrington. He was hailed as the second coming here in Detroit, but that kid still has so much to learn that it's difficult to see if he will contribute significantly.

    So, let him in. And then watch him get slaughtered. I guaranty you his body will not withstand the pounding. But I guess we don't want to exploit the boy now do we?
     
  24. Sneever Flion

    Sneever Flion New Member

    Oct 29, 2002
    Detroit, MI
    Don't they already? Do you have any idea how much money is given under the table by alumni? I don't either. But I'm sure some get more that I make in a month. They're just not stupid like Clarette.
     
  25. Foosinho

    Foosinho New Member

    Jan 11, 1999
    New Albany, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Archie Griffin is currently the assistant AD at Ohio State, and Jan 1st will take over as President & CEO of the Ohio State Alumni Association. There is a lot of speculation that he might be the AD to replace Geiger when he leaves (which probably won't be until retirement).

    He, for one, recognizes that playing football at Ohio State has created many opportunities for himself besides a NFL career. He says as much in virtually every interview he's ever given.

    That said - I think the players deserve a stipend in addition to their scholarships. Not a large one, mind you, but a little spending money in their pockets seems fair. Might even help keep them out of trouble.
     

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