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Did you know Justia offers numerous free resources to make the law more accessible and help people better understand the foundations of a variety of legal areas? In this post, you can learn more about the information available in our recently expanded Sports Law Center.
At Justia, we believe that the law belongs to all of us. We strive to make free law more accessible to everyone. While we take great pride in our technological and legal marketing services and strive to help lawyers achieve their practice-growth goals, our company mission remains unchanged: make law and legal resources free for all.
The Justia Portal is the primary place consumers and lawyers alike can take advantage of our free law initiatives. Through the portal, we offer free legal guides to help people better understand various areas of the law. These guides help the general public more confidently interact with the law around them and can also be a great resource for lawyers looking for a basic foundation in a new area or resources to aid in further legal research.
What does all of this have to do with sports law? As you may have guessed, Justia offers a robust Sports Law Center within our free legal guides that was even recently expanded to include new information about popular topics regarding the name, image, and likeness of student-athletes.
Justia Sports Law Center: College Athletes NIL Rights
One of the timeliest resources available through the Sports Law Center that directly ties into the current societal conversation about law and athletics is the ability of college athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is the most well-known and largest governing body in collegiate athletics. It is worth noting that the lesser-known and much smaller National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is a separate body from the NCAA governing approximately 250 schools.
The NCAA has maintained for many years that college players are amateur student-athletes, not professionals, and cannot profit from their contributions to their sport. Historically, this NCAA prohibition on pay for play in college athletics was construed to prohibit student-athletes from profiting from their name, image, and likeness.
Issues related to college athletes and amateurism have worked their way through courts for several years in well-known cases, such as O’Bannon v. NCAA and National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Alston. Following the Alston case in summer 2021, the NCAA finally relented on some of its arguments and loosened the rules regarding name, image, and likeness (NIL) rights of student-athletes.
Because NIL regulations have changed so recently, this has become the “wild west” of sports law. With the resources available through the NIL section of the Sports Law Center, stakeholders and other interested people can better understand how the rules have evolved (and continue to evolve), as well as what may be permitted v. what may be prohibited by the current landscape of laws and NCAA regulations.
For example, in addition to the NCAA rules on NIL, interested persons must also consider related state laws and the impact of student transfers on the situation. The Sports Law Center sheds light on some of these complex issues.
Even as the law continues to change and evolve, the resources available through the Justia Portal and free legal guides can continue to be invaluable resources for interested persons and lawyers. Athletes, lawyers, and the public can continue to visit the Sports Law Center to review any updates available in our free legal guides, as well as research pertinent issues further in our case law, statutes, and regulations.
Additional Resources From the Justia Sports Law Center
NIL is not the only legal issue arising in the context of sports. The average sports fan may not be fully aware of the complex framework of legal issues that arise in the context of athletics: collective bargaining agreements, professional athlete contracts, doping regulations, and Title IX, just to name a few.
In the Sports Law Center, people can easily access basic information about these popular topics. In addition, users can find information about sports injury claims, publicity rights, behavior policies for college athletes, the relationship between divorce and family law issues for professional athletes, and more.
The Sports Law Center FAQs also catalog frequently asked questions about common topics in sports, such as lockouts, free agency, morals clauses in endorsement contracts, and performance enhancing drugs.
All resources available through the Sports Law Center are designed to give people, both consumers and lawyers, a basic, foundational understanding of the framework of some of these potentially complex issues. The high-level overview of these topics provided through the Sports Law Center can also help guide further research for law students, lawyers, and others.
Final Thoughts: Why Do You Care?
Both attorneys and consumers in the general public can often benefit from easy-to-read resources that offer a basic overview of the law on a particular topic. Justia’s free legal guides do just that. For an overview of the legal and regulatory schemes governing sports, you can check out the Sports Law Center. However, if you need information on other areas of the law, we offer over 45 legal guides covering a broad range of topics from family law to COVID-19, employment law, bankruptcy, and more!