Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Collectively Bargained Age/Education Requirements: A Source of Antitrust Risk for Sports Club-Owners or Labor Risk for Players Unions?
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
ABSTRACT: With both the NFL and NBA collective bargaining agreements expiring in 2011, America’s two premier winter sports leagues will soon need to renegotiate their terms and conditions of employment. In doing so, both leagues’ club-owners and players associations will bargain over the rules governing player eligibility, including their age/education requirements.
This article addresses both the antitrust and labor law risks of sports leagues’ collectively bargained age/education requirements. Part I of this article discusses the history of the NFL age/education requirement, beginning with the NFL requirement’s inception in the year 1920. Part II discusses the history of the NBA age/education requirement, which emerged many years later. Part III discusses the antitrust risk that sports club-owners assume for enforcing collectively bargained age/education requirements. Finally, Part IV analyzes the labor risk that sports unions incur when they agree with club-owners to implement an age/education requirement.