Oliver Wins Suit Against NCAA

Drafted baseball players now have the unrestricted right to have counsel present when negotiating a major league contract. This was made possible because of the case against Oklahoma State University reliever Andrew Oliver. Oliver was drafted out of high school, but decided to go to college after turning down the contract offered to him by the Minnesota Twins. During the contract negotiations, Oliver had an attorney with him to steer him through the process. The NCAA deemed the present attorney a violation of NCAA bylaws and revoked Oliver’s amateur eligibility. I agree with Oliver’s attorney when he says that he “can’t believe people put up with it…” How could the NCAA think that allowing a young player with no previous contractual experience to face down a major league organization, which handles contracts on a daily basis, without an attorney present is fair? The only party it is beneficial for are the pro teams.

Sports contracts are getting exponentially more complicated every year. New incentive clauses and revenue distribution strategies are being developed daily and on a contract-by-contract basis. It is damn near impossible for a high school kid to come out in a good situation because of this. This rule was not only unjustified for the player, but also hypocritical. Major League Baseball is unique to other major sports league in that they allow players the option to go to college even after being drafted. Players can be drafted out of high school and if they don’t like the contract offer presented, they have the right to go college. In order to turn pro afterward, they must wait to be drafted again until after their junior year or turn 21 years of age. So basically, by not allowing an attorney to be involved in the initial contract out of high school, the NCAA is giving pro teams the opportunity to present players a contract that they are not really qualified to read and understand.

So, give this one to the players. They can now openly exercise their right to counsel and avoid being swindled by resource-heavy organizations finely tuned for contract administration.

Jeter goes to bat for A-Rod; Yanks' first practice uneventful

Yes, Alex Rodriguez, the best all-around player of this generation was a juicer, but Yankee captain Derek Jeter handled the media the right way. After A-Rod’s interview with Peter Gammons admitting his steroid use, Jeter told reporters that he wished not to repeat himself over and over again requesting to answer everyone at spring training. He was honest with the media and had a valid reason for not wishing to speak about the interview. And when he did speak, he defended his teammate publicly and considerately as not to allow the frenzy to expand anymore than it already has.

This is a huge reason why Jeter has been so successful in New York and why he is the captain. He knows how to give the media just enough of what they’re looking for, but at the same time protect his teammates. There is no reason that internal team information and feuds should be public knowledge. There are too many ways that people without complete knowledge of the situation can speculate and obsess over a situation further widening the gap amongst the players. Keep the team stuff inside and don’t give the media more to salivate over.

Judge Tosses Key Evidence Against Bonds

The judge presiding over Barry Bonds' perjury case involving his testimony in front of Congress ruled that three of Bonds' drug tests are not allowed to be used in the trial. The judge states that without the testimony from Greg Anderson, Bond's personal trainer and alleged steroid-supplier, the validity of the tests cannot be verified. Fine, whatever. So a couple tests may hinder the prosecution's case against Bonds, but that has no bearing on my opinion or the rest of the sports world.

Let's be real here, the legal case is heavily dependant on Anderson testifying against Bonds and flat-out proving that Bonds used steroids, and more specifically, that Anderson supplied and administered them. However, Anderson has refused to testify against Bonds and has spent 18 months in prison for contempt of court due to that withholding of information. Once again, this is a legal setback, but not a sports setback. If Bonds really is innocent and Anderson knows he’s innocent, why not testify on behalf of Bonds rather than refuse to testify against him? Being sent to jail for refusing to testify against Bonds would indicate that Anderson is believed to have information convicting Bonds; however, by simply not speaking rather than stating Bonds’ innocence it creates further belief that Anderson has that condemning knowledge. And since we are not in a courtroom where procedures create flaming hoops to jump through, we can form our opinion based on all of the evidence and not just the evidence “allowed”.

So I for one have made my verdict, along with countless others, that Bonds is guilty based on “circumstantial” evidence and non-action by Greg Anderson. If he had something with which to vindicate Bonds, he would not have spent the jail time and Bonds would never have been charged.

 As always, this blog is for you so email me at tim@accessathletes.com or message me with any questions or comments.