To ensure safety and the best experience for athletes to excel in sports, eligibility to play on certain teams and at varying levels of competition has long depended on individuals’ biological factors, the primary factor being sex. This established practice of separating sport participation by two categories, male and female based upon the sex assigned at birth is being reexamined, particularly as it relates to individuals who were born male, now identify as female, and desire to compete in women’s sport. The federal government, state governments, and sport governing bodies are addressing the matters presented by athletes who transition genders, with opposition by both sides of the issues seemingly being the only commonality.
Advanced data driven infrastructure is now essential for sports entities to remain competitive, yet few structures are in place to manage the risks inherent in the collection of this sometimes, highly personal information. Data is utilized for virtually every aspect involved in the game, including; to enhance player performance, improve player health, deepen fan engagement, and increase betting predictions. These developments do not come about without risks to the rights of those who the data is extracted from.
After nearly being forced to scrap the season, Major League Baseball (MLB) is set to crown a World Series champion in just days. Now that the season is near its conclusion, it is worth taking a look back at how MLB managed to pull off the most unique baseball season ever in the most unique year many of us can remember.
Congress has enhanced government oversight of amateur sports in response to numerous allegations in recent years targeting amateur sports governing bodies’ failures to address physical and mental misconduct. New legislation is expected to make significant reforms by requiring training, reporting, and a new system to manage allegations of of sexual abuse, among other changes.
On September 16, The Big Ten conference announced the reversal of the decision to postpone fall sports and will resume football the week of Oct. 23rd. On that same day, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced elementary and high school football teams will still not return for the fall. With football being a contact sport, the risk of spreading COVID-19 is very high. There are hopes for Illinois high school football to return in the spring but as of now, there are not enough resources to comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and local authorities’ guidelines.
With changes to the regulations of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) student-athlete model looming overhead, the role of athlete representation is significant in the conversation relating to name, image, and likeness (NIL) of the student athlete. The NCAA has a long-standing “no-agent” rule that forbids student-athletes from being represented by an agent or organization in the marketing of his or her athletic ability until after the completion of their last intercollegiate contest. The NCAA determines a student-athlete’s eligibility based partly on their amateurism status, a term which is not expressly defined by the NCAA, although guided by several factors. Among those factors that would remove an athlete’s eligibility from NCAA competition, is a binding agreement to be represented by an agent at any time before or during a student-athletes collegiate career, however, there are a few exceptions to this factor.The underlying purpose of the “no-agent” rule is to protect student athletes from exploitation in the open market. To further regulate potential issues, the NCAA adopted the Uniform Athlete Agents Act, which effectively criminalizes contact between agents and athletes before the athletes completion of their last intercollegiate contest.
In the past 12 years, Manchester City has seen a dramatic rise to the European Elite. In 2008, Sheikh Mansour, who has ties to the United Arab Emirates’ royal family, took over ownership of the club. Following the take-over, Manchester City has gone on to win 10 major trophies. On February 14, 2020, Manchester City was handed a two year ban on European competitions, as well as a $32.5 million fine. This is the largest fine ever by Union of European Football Associations (“UEFA”), the governing body of European Football. The UEFA found that Manchester City overstated its sponsorship revenue in its accounts. This, according to the Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body, is a “serious breach” of Licensing and Financial Fair Play. If the ban is upheld, Manchester City would be fined approximately $232.5 million, a sum of the initial fine plus potential winnings in European Football competitions. According to Simon Chadwick, director at the Centre for the Eurasian Sport Industry, “UEFA must win this ban, if it doesn’t then its position on Financial Fair Play beings to unravel.” This is a pivotal moment in UEFA’s history as a governing body.
For the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), March is supposed to be a showcase of the best about college sports, and the ideals the NCAA claims up uphold. March is about student-athletes representing their schools, in a tournament full of upsets, uplifting stories, and some of the more dramatic moments in sports. However, this March, the spectacle of March Madness is overshadowed by headlines of criminal conduct, corruption, rules violations, and plenty of criticism for the NCAA. While many of these stories are just beginning to unfold, there are several ethical and compliance issues raised, which have application to all areas of compliance.