Which issues do collective bargaining agreements usually cover?
Mandatory issues covered by collective bargaining agreements generally involve salaries, hours, and work conditions. Among other things, players and owners must address base salaries, season length, player transfer protocols, medical and retirement benefits, and procedures for player discipline and player grievances. Collective bargaining agreements may address non-mandatory issues as well, but owners and players must resolve only mandatory issues to reach an agreement.
What causes a lockout in a sports league?
A lockout in a sports league results from a breakdown in negotiating a collective bargaining agreement between the owners and the players in the league. If they cannot reach an agreement before the current agreement expires, the owners may prevent the players from accessing team facilities. This can result in canceled games or seasons.
What is the difference between restricted and unrestricted free agents?
An unrestricted free agent can join any team of their choice, while a restricted free agent must stay with their current team if it matches any offer from another team. A player usually becomes an unrestricted free agent when their contract expires, or if they are not drafted. A player becomes a restricted free agent when their contract provides for this option. This may occur when a player has completed a certain number of seasons for their current team.
What are common types of performance-enhancing drugs?
Common types of performance-enhancing drugs include human growth hormone, anabolic steroids, anti-estrogen drugs, and many stimulants. Even some over-the-counter drugs may be banned if their ingredients could boost strength, stamina, or other athletic traits. Doping regulations also may ban drugs that are not directly performance-enhancing if they could mask the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
What penalties might an athlete face for a doping violation?
The penalties that an athlete might face for a doping violation may be harsh if the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Code applies. An athlete might be suspended for as much as two years for a first offense, and they might face a lifetime ban for repeat violations. Players in US sports leagues tend to face lesser consequences. For example, an NFL or NHL player will be suspended for about a quarter of a season following a first offense.
What is a morals clause in an endorsement agreement?
A morals clause in an endorsement agreement allows a sponsor of an athlete to terminate or suspend the agreement if the athlete engages in certain scandalous or socially disapproved conduct. This is because the reputation of the sponsor could suffer from its association with the athlete, especially if the sponsor normally projects a wholesome, family-friendly image. Different sports have different standards for athlete conduct, and different sponsors have different levels of tolerance, so the situations triggering these clauses will vary.
Can I sue for compensation if I was injured while playing a sport?
Generally, a victim of an ordinary sports injury cannot sue for compensation. People playing a sport are expected to understand that this activity involves a certain risk of injuries. However, injuries that resulted from risks not inherent to the sport may lead to legal claims. For example, a victim might be able to sue for compensation if they were injured by defective equipment, hazardous property conditions, negligent coaching, or intentional misconduct.
Will an athlete need to pay a huge amount of support if they get a divorce?
Not necessarily. While the income of the athlete plays a role in calculating support, the spouse of an active professional athlete probably has not been married to them for a long time. In addition, they are probably young and capable of becoming financially self-supporting. These factors weigh against a substantial, long-lasting alimony award. Meanwhile, a court might allow for a deviation from child support guidelines if applying the standard formula would result in far more support than what a child needs.
How can a foreign athlete come to the US?
If an athlete plans for a short stay and will not earn income other than prize money, they might pursue a B-1 visa or use the Visa Waiver Program. If an athlete wants to live full-time in the US, they likely will apply for a P-1A visa, which is often based on achieving international recognition, or they might pursue an O-1 visa, which is based on extraordinary ability. An amateur foreign athlete planning for a short stay also might pursue a B-1 or B-2 visa or use the Visa Waiver Program. For a longer stay, they might pursue an F-1 student visa or sometimes a P-1A visa.
Does a university need to spend the same amount of money on male and female athletes?
No, a university generally does not need to spend the same amount of money on male and female athletes. Title IX requires only that a university receiving federal funds provide equal opportunities to both genders to participate in sports. However, funding for athlete financial assistance must be proportionate to the participation rate of each gender in athletics. For example, if half of a school’s athletes are female, the school must allocate half of its athletic scholarship money to female athletes.
Can I sue for a violation of Title IX?
Yes, you can sue in court if you have been harmed by a violation of Title IX at an educational institution subject to this law. Students who have sued universities for violations related to athletic departments have achieved many substantial verdicts and settlements. You also can file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights to report a violation, even if you were not the victim of the violation. (Only a victim of a violation can sue.)