<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial, Helvetica, Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by H. Campbell:
Thanks for your reply. I appreciate your help since the lawyers I have talked to are not familiar with the area pertaining to athletic scholarships and sports law.
Liability for the accident is not the question I am concerned with but the amount of damages. The student in this case was already on a partial scholarship for football when he was injured (broken leg) and was unable to take part in spring practice. Both the continuance of the partial scholarship and an increase in the amount were based on his performance during the spring. His injury precluded not only spring activities but also his playing during the following season.
In the suit I mentioned before (University of Washington) the students sued because their loss of ability play football at the college level affected their ability to be drafted by a professional team. The damages, therefore, should be greater than those of a normal student which would only have been medical and rehabilitation fees I think Hall v. University of Minnesota, 530F.Supp.104 (1982) was a similar case. In addition, one of the students was not able to compete for a full scholarship because of injuries he sustained and he sued because of this loss of opportunity. I believe this closely parallels the case I am concerned with. The problem is I cannot find the exact cases the University of Washington suits were based on or other similar cases.
Again, thanks for any help you can give me.
Well then, you've got me confused. Has a lawsuit been filed? In order to gain "damages" there must be "liability" first - - i.e., someone did something wrong to your son, and is responsible for the damages sustained.
If you could give me more background as to how your son got injured (circumstances), and why (someone intentionally injured him), then I might be able to help. While you're answering those questions, I'll try to find the cases you cite, and hopefully I'll be able to compare those decisions with your fact pattern.
My further response:
Hall v. University of Minnesota 530F.Supp.104 (1982)
"Hall" has nothing to do with liability for a sports injury, and damages for the inability to accept a scholarship, or a failed future due to those injuries. It deals with a lawsuit alleging breach of due process rights in refusing an athlete (Mr. Hall) admission to a degree program. In Hall v. University of Minnesota, 530 F. Supp. 104 (D. Minn. 1982), a black varsity basketball player moved for a preliminary injunction directing the university to admit him to a "degree program" in order to keep his Division I eligibility intact. The student claimed that the school's refusal to admit him to such a program violated his due process rights. In issuing the injunction for the student, the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota observed:
"The plaintiff and his fellow athletes were never recruited on the basis of scholarship and it was never envisioned they would be on the Dean's List. Consequently, we must view with some skepticism the defendant University's claim, regarding academic integrity. This Court is not saying that athletes are incapable of scholarship; however, they are given little incentive to be scholars and few persons care how the student athlete performs academically . . . . The exceptionally talented student athlete is led to perceive the basketball, football, and other athletic programs are farm teams and proving grounds for professional sports leagues. It well may be true that a good academic program for the athlete is made virtually impossible by the demands of their sports at the college level. If this situation causes harm to the University, it is because they have fostered it and the institution rather than the individual should suffer the consequences."
Therefore, as you learned, in "Knight vs. Jewitt", you read that a sports injury, in the normal course of play, is non-compensable, because if it was, a "chilling effect" would occur in playing sports, or having sporting events at all. The only liability is if the inherent dangers of the game were "increased" beyond reason, for the particular sport. Otherwise, sports injuries are based upon an assumption of the risk involved.
The laws, regulations, and judicial decisions that govern sports and athletes.
Sports law is an amalgam of laws that apply to athletes and the sports they play. It is not a singular legal topic with generally applicable principles. Sports law touches on a variety of matters, including contract, tort, agency, antitrust, constitutional, labor, trademark, sex discrimination, criminal, and tax issues. Some laws depend on the status of the athlete, some laws differ according to the sport, and some laws vary for other reasons.
A common misconception about amateurs and professionals is that professionals are paid to play sports whereas amateur athletes are not. Amateur athletes often receive some compensation for their efforts. In ancient Greece, for example, victorious athletes in the Olympics were handsomely rewarded for their efforts. Today many college athletes receive academic scholarships for playing on a college team. Remuneration for amateur athletes is even promoted with federal legislation. The Amateur Sports Act of 1978 (36 U.S.C.A. § 391) created the Athletic Congress, a national governing body for amateur athletes, which administers a trust fund that allows amateur athletes to receive funds and sponsorship payments without losing their amateur status.
The most basic difference between amateur athletic events and professional events lies in their rewards for participation. Amateur events, by definition, do not reward victors with a prize of great value. Professional events, by contrast, reward participants and victors with money or other prizes. An accomplished athlete may choose to compete as an amateur if her sport does not have a thriving professional organization. Some athletes can make a living in amateur sports because victories in high-profile amateur events can lead to advertising deals and other business opportunities.
Amateur sports can be divided into two categories: restricted and unrestricted competition. Restricted competition includes elementary school, high school, and college athletics. Sports on these levels are controlled by athletic conferences, associations, and leagues connected to high schools and colleges. Athletes in restricted competition must be eligible to play. Eligibility is determined by conferences, associations, and leagues formed by the schools.
Unrestricted competition is open to all amateur athletes, with some qualifications. The Olympics is an example of unrestricted competition. Although only a select few amateur athletes are chosen to represent the United States, any person may seek entry into this elite group by entering recognized contests in the years before the Olympiad and qualifying for tryouts.
Whether an athlete is eligible to compete in amateur events depends on the rules of the governing conference, league, or association. Many events formerly reserved for amateurs, such as the Olympics, were opened to professionals in the 1980s and 1990s. Gymnasts, figure skaters, soccer players, track stars, and other athletes once concerned with maintaining amateur status now may enjoy the fruits of professional competitions without losing access to prestigious amateur events. Often difficult eligibility issues for amateur athletes do not concern professional status. Qualification requirements for particular events and rules prohibiting drug use are among the more challenging roadblocks.
Eligibility requirements for amateur athletes are many and varied. Generally, amateur athletes do not have an absolute right to participate in sports events. In analyzing whether an athlete is eligible to participate, a court must first decide whether th