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This subject is for those interested in how United States (US) intercollegiate, Olympic and professional sports are internally structured and governed and externally regulated by a wide variety of federal and state laws. Those who have taken this subject say it provides ‘great insights into the US sports law industry’ and ‘a thorough and interesting look at how things are done in the US sports industry and the role the US law system plays in the administration of sports’.
Taking this subject provides students with a comparative sports law perspective by studying how US law shapes and regulates the major North American professional sports leagues’ business models as well as the relationships among their member clubs and with their players and labor unions. It also looks at the ‘amateur’ model of intercollegiate athletics and the nature of the legal relationships between universities and studentathletes along with the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s governing authority and legal limits thereon. This subject considers how Olympic sports are governed by the United States Olympic Committee pursuant to the legal framework established by the Ted Stephens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act. In addition, it covers some important legal issues affecting sports at each of these different levels of athletic competition such as protection of intellectual property and athlete health, safety and injury compensation issues.
The lecturer is the director of the premier sports law institute in the US and an internationally recognised sports law scholar who has substantial experience as a sports arbitrator, attorney and expert witness.
This subject will consider how intercollegiate, Olympic and professional sports are internally governed and regulated by the United States legal system.
Principal topics will include:
- Structure and organisation of US sports
- Regulating intercollegiate athletics, specifically the legal relationship between a university and its student athletes, university duty to protect student athletes’ health and safety, National Collegiate Athletic Association rules infraction enforcement process, scope of judicial review of NCAA rules and enforcement proceedings, antitrust issues and gender equity issues
- Regulating Olympic sports within the US, including limits on use of national law to regulate Olympic sports and the operation of the United States Anti-doping Agency
- Regulating professional athletics, specifically internal league governance and commissioner authority, antitrust limits on internal league governance, labor law and relations, labour arbitration, drug testing issues, and the injury compensation system for professional athletes as well as the legal framework for regulating athlete agents
- Protection of sports-related intellectual property under US law.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject should:
- Understand how professional, Olympic and intercollegiate sports are regulated by the United States legal system, and be able to make comparisons with the legal regulation of Australian sports
- Understand the key historical, sociological, economic and public policy issues influencing the development of US professional, Olympic and intercollegiate sports
- Understand the differing internal processes for regulating professional, Olympic and intercollegiate sports within the US
- Understand how various aspects of American public law, particularly antitrust and labour law, shape and constrain the internal regulatory authority of private sports leagues and organisations
- Understand how sports-related intellectual property is protected by US law as well as the limits on the nature and scope of such protection
- Be able to use this knowledge effectively in matters involving US sports organisations, leagues and athletes.
Last updated: 28 September 2023