Athletes File Class Action Against Networks, ESPN

Ten former college basketball and football players are suing ESPN, ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and eight National Collegiate Athletic Association conferences, claiming that their images were used without their permission because the waiver signed by college athletes is not a legal, or enforceable, likeness release. The athletes accuse the networks and conferences of "exploiting" NCAA rules to profit off their likenesses, Courthouse News reports. The class action is similar to the lawsuit filed by former college basketball player Ed O'Bannon, in which a federal judge ruled against the NCAA, saying that the association violated antitrust laws when it forbade athletes from profiting off their likenesses being used in video games.

"The conspiracy between and among the broadcast defendants, licensing defendants, conference defendants and the NCAA has created a marketplace resembling a plantation type arrangement where defendants financially benefit in the collective amount of billions of dollars, while student athletes, the driving force of college sports, receive nothing more than their cost of attendance," the athletes state in the lawsuit.


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Scripps College uninvites George Will to speak at lecture series for conservatives

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Scripps College, citing the columnist's controversial piece expressing doubt about sexual assaults on campus, revokes invitation for him to speak at lecture series focused on conservative thinkers.

Kentucky Football Player Charged with Rape, Suspended

The University of Kentucky has indefinitely suspended a freshman player from its football team after he was charged with rape, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported. Lloyd Tubman, a defensive end on the team, was charged with first degree rape on Tuesday by university police. "Obviously, I'm very concerned about the allegations and all parties involved," Mark Stoops, UK football coach, said in a statement. "We're working extremely hard to develop quality young men on and off the field. We will continue to cooperate with the local and campus authorities while the process takes its course."

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Two-thirds of non-first-time students do not graduate

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A study of 4.5 million non-first-time students found that only one-third have earned a degree after six to eight years.


No Override of Wealthy Sports Conferences' Autonomy

The opportunity for institutions to attempt an override of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's decision to grant the five wealthiest conferences' new governing autonomy has passed without the call for a vote.

In August, the Division I Board of Directors granted a greater level of autonomy to the 65 member universities of the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pacific 12, and Southeastern Conferences, granting them the ability to make their own rules concerning issues such as allowing full-cost-of-attendance stipends, offering four-year scholarships, and providing better health care for athletes. At least 75 universities were required to call for an override vote by Oct. 6. Despite a handful of organizations urging institutions to request a vote and several college presidents expressing concern about the new structure, only about 20 -- including the entire Colonial Athletic Association -- did so.

Last week, the five conferences submitted to the NCAA a list of the areas and topics they would like to address using their newly granted autonomy. Full-cost-of-attendance stipends topped the list, with four of the five conferences submitting that topic under the area of financial aid. Other topics include "ensuring nutritional needs" of college athletes, updating policies governing the health and safety of athletes, and exploring career-related insurance options for athletes.

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Debate Over Firings at UNC Greensboro

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro last week fired three employees who were subsequently arrested and charged with felonies, unsettling the campus, The Greensboro News-Record reported. The three longtime employees worked in the photography department and are charged with using university equipment and time to run a freelance photography business. Some on campus are questioning whether the university and local authorities overreacted. The university says it had no choice but to act when it found out about the freelance work being done, it says, on university time.

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Threat Leads University to Start Fall Break a Day Early

The University of North Alabama is starting its fall break on Thursday, a day earlier than planned, due to a threat to the campus. A threat found last week said that four people would die on campus on Thursday. A statement from the university said: "UNA President John Thornell said cancelling classes and closing campus a day early will not make the threat go away, but it sends a message that the university takes threats seriously and our first priority is the safety of our students, faculty and staff."


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Florida Suspends Football Player Amid Assault Allegations

The University of Florida has suspended its backup quarterback, Treon Harris, "from all team activities" after he was accused of sexually assaulting a female student on campus early Sunday. The University of Florida Police Department is investigating the incident with forensic assistance from the Gainesville Police Department. No charges been filed yet, but the university said it has initiated its student conduct code process.

“We have no tolerance for sexual assault on our campus,” Bernie Machen, the university's president, said in a statement. “The university is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for every member of the UF community. We must strive to protect all of our students from sexual harassment and assault, and do everything in our power to promote a safe learning environment.”

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National Adjunct Walkout Day Planned

What would academe look like without adjuncts? That question could be answered, at least for a day, on the first-ever National Adjunct Walkout Day, planned for Feb. 25, 2015. The protest to highlight adjuncts’ relatively low wages and working conditions – despite the fact that they make up the majority of instructors – is gaining traction on social media, including on Facebook and on Twitter at #NAWD.

An adjunct instructor of writing at San Jose State University who did not yet want to be identified by name, citing concerns about her job security, proposed the idea last week. She said the response has been “enormous,” even in a short period of time, “because an action like this is long overdue.” The adjunct said the walkout day doesn’t have a central organizing committee, and that it will look different on different campuses. Groups might highlight the “educational or administrative issues impacting adjuncts within that particular campus, across the country, or [the] plights of individual adjuncts,” she said. But the central idea of the movement is that “no adjunct or campus must face these shared issues alone.”

Maria Maisto, president of the New Faculty Majority, a national adjunct advocacy organization, said she didn’t know the adjunct who had proposed the walkout, but liked her idea. “Any actions that raise awareness and continue to put pressure on higher education to reform are welcome and contribute to the momentum that has been building over the last few years in particular,” she said.

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College moves campus pastor out of chapel and into career counseling

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In a sign of the times, a college cuts its pastoral staff from 2 to 1, to move one of the clergy to the career center to provide a different type of guidance to students.


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