Ellen Staurowsky

Recent Articles

Godzilla strikes again

Godzilla, a “radiation-mutated creature” who has been the star of several Japanese-based movies since the mid-1950s, typically stomps its way around smashing things until it is finally subdued. A real-life Godzilla earlier this month got even stronger, thanks to the NCAA. The NCAA board of directors voted 16-2 to give the Big 5 — Big Ten, ACC, SEC, Pac-12 and Big 12, the most powerful and richest collegiate conferences — the ability to “unilaterally change” rules that for years applied to all 350 Division I schools. Now 64 schools, including Minnesota, that currently belong to these conferences could, beginning in January, make up their own rules regarding stipends, recruiting, and practice time limits, for example. Even though all conferences will have this “autonomy umbrella,” smaller leagues like the SWAC and the MAC will be like those airplanes trying to shoot down Godzilla in those movies as the Big 5 will be

able to flex their muscles at ease. Continue Reading →

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NCAA has ‘lost the high ground’ in public opinion

The Northwestern (NW) football players’ possible unionization efforts have started a snowball rolling that, despite all their legal might, the NCAA may find themselves struggling like Bullwinkle to stop. Almost immediately after the National Labor Relations Board ruled earlier this month that the scholarship football players can hold an election whether or not to unionize, Northwestern officials stated they will appeal. But last week, NW former quarterback Kain Colter and Ramogi Huma, president of the College Athletes Players Association, met behind closed doors “with an undisclosed set of legislators” in Washington.  

The MSR talked to Drexel Professor Ellen Staurowsky, who has worked with Huma, a former UCLA football player, since he started the National College Players Association in 2001 as an advocacy group for giving college athletes a voice. Colter “is carrying the banner” for so many others before him that have fought for fair compensation for their work over the years, noted the professor. Continue Reading →

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NCAA opposes student-athlete unionization — no surprise there







Sixth in a series
College sports television contracts with ESPN/ABC, BTN, Fox and CBS College Sports among others range anywhere from eight to 25 years in length. This revenue stream reportedly is worth an estimated billion dollars for the top five conferences, including the Big Ten, with each of the 14 schools supposedly getting close to $21 million annually. This stream, however, quickly dries up when it comes to players, the main reason for these contracts, who in reality are the “hired hands” while their “bosses” get paid. Yet the NCAA acts like an old Supremes tune and keeps holding on to its antiquated “amateur” system, which the world over long abandoned years ago. That in part explains the organization’s reaction a couple of weeks ago after a group of Northwestern University football players filed a petition to unionize. Continue Reading →

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Women coaching men — can they? Will they?







Fourth in a series
Six women were full-time Division I men’s basketball assistants during an eight-year stretch from 2003 to 2011. Before that (1990-2002), there were three female assistants, two of them Black — Bernadette Mattox at Kentucky, 1990-94, and Stephanie Ready at Coppin State, 1999-2001. None, however, were ever fired as men’s assistants. Mattox went on to become Kentucky’s head women’s basketball coach, then eight years as a WNBA assistant. Ready later coached two years in the NBA Development League (2001-03) and became the first female to coach in a men’s pro league. Continue Reading →

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Use of college players’ likenesses under court scrutiny

 Class-action suit could affect larger issue of athlete exploitation
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

An anti-trust lawsuit against the NCAA to compensate former and present college athletes for using their likenesses without

their consent is moving forward after a judge recently ordered ESPN to hand over to the plaintiffs its television and licensing contracts. Former Nebraska football player Sam Keller filed suit in 2009 against the NCAA for using former and current college players’ likenesses in archival footage, video games, photographs and promotions. Former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon later filed a class-action lawsuit, and a U.S. District Court in California joined the two cases in 2010, along with other similar claims against the NCAA, Collegiate Licensing Company and Electronic Arts, Inc.


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For 30 years now, college football has chased the green

Many think it’s time all the workers get their share
It went unnoticed, but last week was the 30th anniversary of college football turning into a big green industry. Green as in $$$. From the early 1950s, the NCAA negotiated college football television deals. Then came the 1980s. The College Football Association was formed by a group of schools and got its own TV deal. Continue Reading →

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