Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Two Great Nights of Sports Law Related TV

1) Tonight at 9 p.m., PBS Frontline will air a feature on "Money and March Madness". It will primarily be about the O'Bannon v. NCAA lawsuit and will include interviews with Ed O'Bannon and Sonny Vaccaro, who last Friday delivered an outstanding keynote address at Harvard Law School's sports law symposium and who was recently the subject of a very interesting piece in the New York Times.

2) Tomorrow night at 10 p.m. HBO Real Sports will air a 1-hour feature on College Sports in America (Part I can be seen here; Part II here). Here is more info on the HBO feature:

Two long-form segments anchor the program, setting the stage for an extended roundtable panel hosted by Bryant Gumbel and featuring former University of Michigan head football coach Rich Rodriguez, outspoken college basketball commentator Billy Packer and print journalist Jason Whitlock of FoxSports.com. The group will address a host of issues relating to the NCAA and the regulation of its 1,055 member schools.

Segments include:
*The Money Trail. Every year, thousands of talented young student-athletes sign letters of intent and obtain full-ride athletic scholarships (tuition and board) from the biggest, wealthiest programs in America, effectively giving up all rights to revenue generated by their participation, including TV rights fees, merchandising and ticket sales. But with a dramatic increase in revenue from top programs and athletes’ growing awareness of their contribution, many are starting to ask if there should be financial compensation. REAL SPORTS correspondent Bernard Goldberg examines the notion of student-athletes remaining untainted amateurs while generating pro-type revenue for their schools. Are they getting a fair shake?

*Pay to Play. Should athletes at Division I programs be financially compensated? And would that curb the headline-grabbing stories of inappropriate payments and benefits? More and more standout athletes in top programs are seemingly putting their education on the back burner to focus on what’s really important – the money. Those destined for the NBA and NFL face the moral dilemma of dealing with “advisors” and “street agents” who can deliver the funds and material items they desire while in school in exchange for a promise of future reciprocation when they reach the pros. REAL SPORTS correspondent Andrea Kremer delves into the controversial and complex subject of premium college-bound athletes receiving benefits that are prohibited by the NCAA.