Tag Archives: lawsuit

Student-Athletes Helped by Lawsuit Against NCAA

USF Associate Professor of Sport Management Dan Rascher, in tandem with L.A. based law firm Susman Godfrey, won a lawsuit earlier this year against the NCAA that will benefit student-athletes both at USF and at colleges and universities throughout the country.

In 1999, Professor Raschner and a colleague at an economic consulting firm took note of how much money college football coaches were being paid per year at Division 1 schools.

According to USA Today, five of the 199 Division 1-A head football coaches were earning over $1 million in 1999. This past season, USA Today reported that at least 42 of the 119 are earning over $1 million.

Under NCAA rules, student-athletes cannot be paid for playing sports.

The issue over student-athletes being paid has long been debated, with the usual conclusion being that they are getting paid through scholarships covering their education.

Professor Raschner believed the current rules to be unfair for student-athletes since many student scholarships did not cover all expenses or all the years that student-athletes were staying in school.

He decided to sue the NCAA rather than each school individually since the schools were following NCAA rules.

The main outcome of the settlement is that the NCAA will give $218 million to NCAA Division 1 schools on top of what they already give for scholarships.

This money will cover the 2007-08 through 2012-2013 academic years.

In addition, the NCAA will disburse $10 million over the next three years to former student-athletes for reimbursement of certain educational expenses that was not covered.

The NCAA also adopted year-round comprehensive health insurance for student-athletes and will explore the possibility of offering student-athletes multiyear scholarships and financial aid through graduation.

At USF, this means that student-athletes can be offered additional aid for emergencies and other academic related purposes, according to USF Athletics Director Deborah Gore-Mann.

The Foghorn commends Professor Rascher for his work and determination on behalf of the student-athletes at USF and throughout the country. When college coaches are making millions doing their job, we know that the collegiate sports industry must be thriving. The players who are making the industry a successful one should be rewarded not with payment, but with education.

Collegiate sports are an asset to each university. Sports are a large part of a university’s identity and help institutions financially.

They help with marketing the school, bringing in advertisements, money from selling tickets to sporting events and school merchandise sales only to name a few of the ways.

At this time of year in particular, during the NCAA basketball tournament, we see how much interest and recognition collegiate sports bring to universities. The hard work of these student-athletes should not go unnoticed, and with the work of Professor Raschner, they will not.

Berg Lawsuit Frivolous, Distracting

There are still some people who have not given up on the 2008 Presidential Election. One Pennsylvania attorney in particular is questioning the constitutional legitimacy of President-Elect Obama under article II of the constitution which states that, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President…”

Philadelphia attorney Phillip J. Berg, a democrat, has brought a claim to the U.S. Supreme Court, after a federal judge dismissed his lawsuit on Oct. 24, claiming that President-Elect Obama is not a United States citizen and therefore ineligible to become President of the United States. If he is a citizen now, Berg claims that Obama was possibly born or later naturalized in Kenya and therefore not a natural-born citizen.

On Election Day, Berg was told by a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Hackett Souter that the defendant, “is required by law to respond to a writ of certiorari” by December 1st. This is confirmed on the Court’s web site.

Berg, a Hillary Clinton supporter, has been fighting Obama’s citizenship status throughout the campaign. Obama’s campaign has posted an image of a birth certificate on Obama’s web site, but Berg claims that it is different from birth certificates issued by Hawaii at that time and that some information is missing. The Governor’s Office of Hawaii has said that Obama’s birth certificate is valid. Berg says they have rejected requests for access and left its origin ambiguous. He also claims that Obama’s half sister, Maya Soetoro, has named two different Hawaiian hospitals where Obama could have been born.

Berg is a joke, but the case is not. The Case is Berg v. Obama: No. 08-cv-04083. Even though there is a clear Hawaiian birth certificate with Obama’s name on it, Berg still holds firmly that it is a fake and said, “our experts (without revealing names or qualifications that make them experts) have determined it’s non-valid.”

Hawaii State officials say there is absolutely no doubt that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. Health Department Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino says that she and the Registrar of Vital Statistics, Alvin Onaka, have personally verified that the birth certificate the state holds is Obama’s original birth certificate without doubt. According to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Fukino said that not a single state official, including Gov. Linda Lingle, ever instructed anyone to handle Obama’s birth certificate differently from any other.

Would it make any sense at all for Obama to base his entire candidacy on a lie that could easily be figured out by checking state medical records? In order for the “fix to be in,” as Berg claims, the Hawaiian Governor’s Office, the Hawaiian State Health Department Director, the Hawaiian State Health Department Registrar of Vital Statistics, the Federal Election Commission, the Democratic National Committee and the entire Obama Campaign team would have to be in on the “fix.”

The more interesting question is why the U.S. Supreme Court is even taking this case when it is clear that Obama is a natural-citizen. The case has already been thrown out by Pennsylvania Federal Judge R. Barclay Surrick who said Berg’s argument was, “a venture into the unreasonable,” and, “frivolous, and not worthy of discussion.” President-Elect Obama will become our President on January 20, 2009, no matter how many lawsuits Mr. Berg files. The Supreme Court should not fuel Mr. Berg’s nonsensical argument by hearing this case. We need to get past this ridiculousness and focus on important issues. We have two wars and a weak economy to deal with. Mr. Berg should join the rest of us in reality and begin to judge President-Elect Obama based on the effectiveness of his policy, and not some outlandish, delusional claim with no basis.

Nicholas Mukhar is a senior media studies major and a journalism and legal studies minor.