The Curious Dynamic of Players' Associations Bargaining Eligibility Rules on Behalf of Prospective Players
6 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2012 Last revised: 5 Oct 2012
Date Written: August 9, 2012
Is it appropriate that pro athletes in a players' association -- a union -- can collectively bargain away the eligibility of athletes who, because of their age or inexperience, are denied entry into a professional sports league?
This question relates more specifically to eligibility restrictions in the NFL, NBA and the WNBA. These are the only three major U.S. sports leagues that prohibit players until a prescribed period after high school graduation..
While modern views of labor law suggest that players' association have the legal right to bargain on behalf of prospective players and to bargain away their eligibility, this arrangement carries conflicts of interest and highlights a need for a federal sports law.
This work-in-progress consists of remarks I made to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference on August 9, 2012.
Keywords: NBA, NFL, antitrust, labor law, draft, union, players' association
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation