Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A New Perspective on the NBA Age Rule

In the course of updating my research file and wrapping up a statistical sequel to my 2008 paper about the NBA age rule, I came across a new law review article in the St. John's Law Review by Susan McAleavey. In the article, McAleavey introduces an "alternative" to the NBA current rule - a spendthrift trust system. It has been over a decade since I took Wills, Trusts, and Estates as a 2L, so I had to dust off my Black's Law Dictionary and refresh my memory about the special characteristics of spendthrift trusts. Such trusts are defined as follows:

A trust that prohibits the beneficiary's interest from being assigned and also prevents a creditor from attaching that interest.

McAleavey has a multi-pronged argument supporting her position. I recommend reading her work, especially Section III of the article, which is novel and clever. I plan on citing her article moving forward.

There is a lot of academic research on the topic of minimum age rules in sports (links to several such articles here). The issue will be one of several hot-button topics negotiated by the NBA and NBPA in their upcoming collective bargaining sessions.

For micro-updates on the legality and efficacy of age eligibility rules in sports over the course of the next few months as I work on several papers in this research line, feel free to follow me on Twitter at (@sportslawprof). I am presenting a quantitative analysis of the WTA age rule at the Southern Economic Association conference this weekend in Atlanta and look forward to feedback and constructive criticism as the paper is vetted.