Essential Pittsburgh
5:01 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Could a Pitt and Penn State Face-Off Be in the Works?

The University of Pittsburgh's first road win against the Miami Hurricanes in more than half a century has made the Panthers bowl eligible.

Some are speculating that it could lead to the first football game between Pitt and Penn State since 2000.

Veteran AP sports editor and journalist John Affleck, who was appointed in 2013 as Knight Chair at Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, joins us to sort out the potential bowl game scenarios.

Sandusky Scandal
2:05 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

NCAA: State Can Keep $60 Million Penn State Fine

College sports' governing body says it is willing to let Pennsylvania control the $60 million fine Penn State is paying over its handling of the Jerry Sandusky molestation scandal.

The NCAA on Friday asked Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Sen. Jake Corman and Treasurer Rob McCord.

The NCAA says that if Covey agrees, it also will move to end a federal lawsuit against McCord, Gov. Tom Corbett and others that challenges a 2013 state law requiring the money to remain within Pennsylvania.

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Penn State
3:35 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Penn State Trustees to Discuss Status of Lawsuit over $60M Fine

The Penn State University (PSU) Board of Trustees will meet 8 a.m. Wednesday by phone to discuss a potential settlement of a lawsuit between state officials and the NCAA over the use of the $60 million fine PSU was ordered to pay in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.

In 2012, PSU consented to a number of sanctions imposed by the NCAA in response to attempts by high-ranking university officials to hide Sandusky’s molestation of young boys. The consent decree included a $60 million fine to be used for programs for the protection of children.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:11 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Ed O’Bannon Ruling Means Big Changes for the NCAA

Judge Claudia Wilken said early on in the Ed O'Bannon trial that the word amateur would hold very little bearing in her court room and she backed this up in her ruling.
Credit United States Courts

U.S. District Judge Claudia Ann Wilken has dealt a major blow to the NCAA's ideal of amateurism in college sports in her ruling of the Ed O'Bannon trial.

In a 99 page ruling, Judge Wilken wrote that "the Court will enjoin the NCAA from enforcing any rules or bylaws that would prohibit its member schools and conferences from offering (Division I-A) football or Division I basketball recruits a limited share of the revenues generated from the use of their names, images or likenesses in addition to a full grant-in-aid (scholarship)."

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:51 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

The Views Behind the Ed O' Bannon v. NCAA Antitrust Case

The Ed O' Bannon vs. the NCAA case is likely to impact division 1 sports, including basketball and the famous NCAA March Madness tournament.
Credit Credit Jeff Turner / Wikipedia Commons

After three long weeks, testimony has ended in the trial of Ed O'Bannon vs. the NCAA.

A decision in the case will likely come in August, following closing arguments in which each side argued whether the organization's rules prohibiting college athletes from profiting from their name, image and likeness, outweigh the alleged anti-competitive effects on Division I-A football and Division I basketball.

Brady McCollough, a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter who's been covering the case, said that the story begins with an NCAA basketball video game depicting players' likenesses, years after they had left college. Ed O' Bannon and the former marketing mastermind, Sonny Vaccaro decided to file a lawsuit against the NCAA for overstepping their boundaries and one of the arguments being made in the case is "student-athletes" are no longer students first.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:02 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Be Careful How you Use March Madness, Final Four, and other NCAA Tournament Terms

If this baker tried selling these "Final Four" cupcakes they could face legal trouble.
Credit Ben Gillin / Flickr

March Madness, Sweet 16, Elite Eight and Final Four are some pretty popular terms at this time of year. But legal infractions are a common problem for businesses that try to capitalize on all of the championship hype without looking at the copyright issues.

Dave Radack, vice chair of the Intellectual Property Department and member of Eckert Seamans' Board of Directors, works with patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:43 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

The Pros and Cons of Unionizing College Athletics

Arian Foster is one of many people that believe student-athletes should be compensated.
Credit AJ Guel / Flickr

The National Collegiate Athletic Association, commonly referred to as the NCAA, has argued for decades that giving student-athletes anything more than an education would be wrong.

But many former athletes and the National Labor Relations Board say that scholarship football players are employees with the right to unionize.

United Steel Workers Union President Leo Gerard says he understands why the players want to form a union.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:37 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

March Madness = Academic Slump For Student-Athletes

An image of the NCAA tournament from 2008. The tournament always attracts a lot of revenue and attention during the month of March and early April.
Credit Jeff Turner / Wikipedia Commons

Millions of tournament brackets, underdogs, perennial powerhouses, more than $1 billion and basketball make up the spectacle known as March Madness.  At this time of year, how much is the tournament taking away from student athlete's education?

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sportswriter Emeritus Bob Dvorchak says classroom time doesn’t seem to have the priority that it used to.

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College Sports
2:15 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

NCAA to Restore Penn State Football Scholarships

Penn State officials say they are gratified by the NCAA's decision to gradually restore football scholarships taken from the school following the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

President Rodney Erickson called the news particularly welcome to student athletes who want to attend Penn State "and will now have the means to do so."

College sports' governing body said Tuesday that the school has made significant changes to its athletics programs and cited the recommendation of former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, who's been serving as the programs' integrity monitor.

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11:51 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Slippery Rock, NCAA Sued Over Sickle Cell Death

The parents of a Slippery Rock University basketball player who died after an intense practice are suing the school and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, because their son wasn't screened for the sickle cell trait that contributed to his death and because school officials allegedly didn't do enough to help him after he collapsed.

The NCAA and Slippery Rock officials did not immediately return calls and emails seeking comment on the lawsuit filed by Jack and Cheryl Hill, of Roselle, N.J.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:48 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Defending Joe Paterno and Challenging the Freeh Report

Former PA Governor and Attorney General Dick Thornburgh
Credit Dominic McDevit / Wikipedia


Former Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh feels former FBI director Louis Freeh's investigation of the Jerry Sandusky abuse case was not conclusively supported by evidence. The Penn State case marked the first time the NCAA punished an institution solely for transgressions related to a criminal matter.

The family of former coach Joe Paterno and other plaintiffs sued the NCAA last week, accusing the organization of intentionally defaming and commercially disparaging them through the imposition of sanctions against Penn State.

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9:52 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Judge Tosses Corbett's Lawsuit Against NCAA

A federal judge on Thursday threw out the governor's lawsuit against the NCAA over sanctions against Penn State related to Jerry Sandusky, calling his argument "a Hail Mary pass" that easily warranted dismissal.

U.S. Middle District Judge Yvette Kane's decision puts an early end to the anti-trust lawsuit Gov. Tom Corbett filed in January in which he sought to overturn a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban, scholarship limits and other penalties.

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2:38 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

March Madness Brackets: 'Fun, Harmless,' But Still Illegal In PA

If you win your basketball bracket pool at work, you might need that money to pay a fine — because it's illegal.

It might not be "madness," but a state lawmaker says it is "ridiculous" that filling out brackets for the NCAA basketball tournament in an office pool is still against the law in Pennsylvania.

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Penn State Fines
9:47 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Corbett Signs Bill to Keep NCAA Fines Against Penn State in PA

Gov. Corbett has signed legislation that would require all proceeds from the 60 million dollars in NCAA fines paid by Penn State to be used exclusively in Pennsylvania.

Penn State agreed to pay the fines levied by the NCAA as a result of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case. 

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