Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Fifth Annual Sports Law Symposium Scheduled for Nov. 6, to Feature Big Names in Sports

11894407_10204861308994483_6566050910677658298_oThe Fifth Annual Mississippi Sports Law Symposium will take place on Nov. 6 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the University of Mississippi School of Law. Titled GAME CHANGE: The NCAA’s New Autonomy Structure, the symposium will discuss  changes following the NCAA’s adoption of a novel autonomy structure. Panelists will discuss the answers to lingering questions following this change and shed light on the new model of intercollegiate athletics.
Featured panelists will include Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference Greg Sankey;  NCAA Managing Director David Schnase, Ole Miss Athletic Director Ross Bjork, University of Memphis Athletic Director Tom Bowen and law professor Marc  Edelman.

The world of intercollegiate athletics is facing immediate, radical changes following the NCAA’s adoption of a novel autonomy structure. This structure lets the Power Five conferences handle issues deemed to be autonomy issues independent of other Division I schools while other issues will be addressed by a shared governing structure of all NCAA-affiliated institutions.

This past January, the NCAA’s annual Business Session held in Washington, D.C. produced several new directives: schools may offer full cost of attendance scholarships, coaches cannot revoke athletic scholarships solely for athletic reasons, and student-athletes may borrow against their future earnings to obtain loss-of-value-insurance. These initiatives were passed by the NCAA’s newly restructured Council, which grants the Power Five conferences greater command over collegiate athletics and represents a new streamlined legislative process that will continue to shape college sports.

The NCAA’s autonomy structure raises many concerns. What issues will be termed “autonomy issues” as opposed to shared governance issues? Will smaller institutions and non-Power Five schools be able to compete with the members of the autonomous structure? Does their new legislative power give Power Five member schools an unfair advantage over smaller institutions? Can a balance be struck? Will this structure increase universities’ spending on intercollegiate athletic until it reaches a tipping point? Will this spending cause universities to sacrifice academia for athletics? Will this new model protect the NCAA from future lawsuits involving student-athletes? Is the NCAA’s concept of “amateurism” in jeopardy with adoption of this new structure? Will this bring new antitrust and labor causes of action against the NCAA?

For more information on the Mississippi Sports Law Symposium, visit their website here

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