A judge yesterday threatened to find the NCAA in contempt of court for violating an order he made earlier this year.  In February, an Ohio court ruled that the NCAA’s ban on athletes hiring lawyers was illegal.  At the time of his ruling, Judge Tygh Tone WARNED the NCAA that they could not violate his ruling, even while the governing body of college sports was appealing his decision. Said Tone,



“Student-athletes must have their opportunity to access the court system without fear of punitive actions.”



Judge Tone ruled that all Americans (even college athletes) have the right to a lawyer. The New York Times called Judge Tone’s ruling a “stern rebuke.” Nevertheless, the NCAA just sent out a memo on Monday telling all players eligible for the upcoming Major League Baseball amateur draft that if they retained an attorney or an adviser they would lose their college eligibility. Judge Tone went nuts.

Tone has ordered the NCAA to “show cause” why it should not be cited for contempt of court. He further ordered the NCAA to turn over the name of the person who wrote the memo about lawyers and the draft. Theoretically, that person could be put IN JAIL for contempt of court. If the NCAA refuses to come up with the memo author, Tone could start tossing NCAA executives in the clink ad nauseum!

This entire fiasco started when the NCAA ruled Oklahoma State pitcher Andrew Oliver ineligible on the eve of the 2008 Division I baseball playoffs. Oliver was drafted out of high school by the Minnesota Twins. He turned down their offer and decided to go to college at Oklahoma State. The NCAA claimed that, since Oliver had his lawyer in the room when he talked to the Twins, he was ineligible to be classified as an “amateur” athlete and should be kicked out of school.

Oliver didn’t get mad at the NCAA. He took them to court and won. Now, it’s the NCAA who turns out to be the rule breakers, not Oliver.




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