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Sports Law
Temple University School of Law
Duru, N. Jeremi

·        Sport is now serious business and has been for some time
·        Duru – cannot be seen as simply frivolous any longer
·        Reflects the best and worst of what we are as a society
·        Sport interfaces w/ other important cultural institutions
·        Numerous institutional interconnections among the basic institutions of a society and changes in one sphere reverberate into others b/c of their systematic connections
Steroids Debate
·        Should we allow steroids?
·        Arguments for:
o       Would be more healthy if not illegal b/c doctors, trainers, etc. would be trained and able to give advice to athletes
o       Sports already tainted from steroids and would not be tainted if it is allowed
o       Everyone is doing it already, why not just allow it
o       If other enhancers are allowed, why not allow steroids
·        Arguments against:
o       Health effect on athletes – look at what happened in Pro Wrestling
o       Effect on children and amateurs trying to get to the professional level
o       Effect internationally if we allow steroids domestically – would be impossible to regulate if we have an obligation to other countries
·        Review
o       Are we doing enough?
o       Too much?
Eligibility Issues
Theme – Courts are very deferential to school and school board regulations and discipline
Transfer Rules
IHSAA v. Avant (IN App. 1995)
·        Avant, a high school senior, transferred from private high school to public high school
o       Parents did not change residence
o       Avant considered outstanding athlete
o       Conflicting facts as to reason for change in schools
·        Transfer Rule – transfer w/o change of residence results in ineligibility for 1 year unless fits under exception
o       Purpose – eliminate school jumping and recruitment
·        Judicial Review:
o       Decision is reviewable but court will not ordinarily interfere w/ decisions by voluntary associations
§         Student cannot be arbitrarily denied opportunity to qualify for high school sports
§         But if high school association follows its own rules, court generally will stay out and defer to association
·        No change in the family’s circumstances which would cause undue hardship – IHSAA’s decision was not arbitrary or capricious
·        Equal Protection Claim:
o       Transfer Rule purpose – deters students/parents from making up reasons for transferring
o       Distinctions b/w classifications of student-athletes are reasonably related to achieving the IHSAA purpose in deterring school jumping and recruitment
§         Student transferring w/o change in residence must fit w/in exception or show undue hardship reasoning
§         Transfer Rule applies to all persons similarly situated
§         Therefore, not violation of state Equal Protection Clause statute
·        Note – state constitutional provisions may be interpreted as providing the student-athlete more, but never less, protection than that offered under the federal Constitution
·        Higher level of protection in Indiana statute than US Constitution
·        Review
o       Facts – transferred after 3 yrs from private high school and didn’t meet test
o       Court ultimately said that they would defer to athletic association that made determination
o       Big deference
Good Conduct Rules
Brands v. Sheldon Community School (ND IA 1987)
·        Brands, state ch

parent would create undue hardship
o       Board has policy to never use the exception
o       AIA does not deal with the issue of whether beyond parents’ control
o       Learning disability probably beyond parents’ control
·        2 examples where court found participation in sports is protected property interest:
·        (1) Boyd v. BOD (ED Ark. 1985) – playing interscholastic sport and playing on the team was vital and indispensable to college scholarship and, therefore, college education
o       Participation becomes property interest in such a case – protected by DPC of 14th Amendment
o       Continued status on team was very important to his development educationally and economically in future
·        (2) FHSAA v. Bryant (FL App. 1975)
o       Basketball was vital part of plaintiff’s life providing impetus to his general scholastic and social development
o       Also important to rehabilitation from prior problems as juvenile delinquent
·        Participation in interscholastic sport not constitutional right
o       Opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities not by itself a property interest
·        The interests in the present case, while important to him, do not rise to level of constitutional magnitude necessary to invoke protection of DPC
Tiffany did not demonstrate serious damage to his later opportunities that raise interest to level warranting DPC protection