Unionization of NCAA Athletes; TV Broadcast of Pistorius; Shaky Winter Games Security

Northwestern Athletes Strive to Unionize to Protect Rights

Arguably, the biggest headline today comes out of Chicago.  Kain Colter, Northwestern University’s starting quarterback from last season, teamed with Ramogi Huma, president of the College Athlete Players Association, to formally announce a petition for collegiate athletes to join a labor union. This maneuver is the first formal attempt of collegiate athletes coming together to protect their rights in a unique way: treat college athletes as employees. The union attempt competes against the original intentions of the N.C.A.A., one of which is to protect student-athletes from being exploited by professional organizations by keeping them under an amateur status. Collegiate athletes pursuing this effort recognize the irony, as they indicate that the N.C.A.A. is effectively using them for substantial profits. The movement is initiated by revenue-producing sports that could have a substantial effect on all collegiate athletes.

South Africa Dedicates 24-Hour TV Channel to Pistorius Trial 

Internationally, we turn to Cape Town, South Africa, where we learn that Olympian Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial will have its own 24-hour television channel in South Africa. Pistorius, charged with the murder of his 29 year-old girlfriend on Valentine’s Day last year, has successfully evaded substantial television coverage of his previous court appearances…until now. MultiChoice, the channel that will display “inside information on the most talked-about and controversial subject in recent South African history.”  The channel is set to launch on March 2, the eve before Pistorius is scheduled to go on trial.

Security Concerns for Sochi Games Still Prevalent

While the beginning of the 2014 Sochi Olympics grows closer, unrest concerning the terrorist threats continue to cause problems. Currently, the imminent threat is The Northern Caucasus, which is east of Sochi. The two areas are in conflict, and it does not appear that there will be any repose during the Winter Games. What is especially troubling is that Putin’s aggressive ago prompted him to choose a venue close to The Northern Caucasus, and that bombings have recently occurred there.  Athletes, families, friends, spectators and all who are involved with the Winter Games are right to be on alert: 34 people have already died from previous suicide attacks a month ago, and there’s no telling what terrorists have in store over the next few weeks. Despite increases in the amount of promised security, the author of the article doesn’t appear to address any of these concerns.

Choosing U.S. Olympic Trial Marathon Sites

There’s an interesting article about how Olympic Marathon Trials are selected, and how the United States Track and Field Association Rules have little to do with how Olympic Trials are set. You have to wonder whether there is any legal or rules basis in the decision, or whether it depends on who has the greatest political prowess.

Interview With New WADA President Sir Craig Reedie

The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) interviewed newly elected World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Sir Craig Reedie on how his first few weeks as the new president have treated him. The interview also discusses Reedie’s short and long-term goals, including educating individuals on the revised World Anti-Doping Code (changes to take effect in January 2015) and funding initiatives towards anti-doping research.

Mexico and the Fight Against Anti Doping

Finally, in related news, Mexico has taken significant measures in the struggle against doping in sports. The newly established laboratories that allow Mexico to test blood for all of the illegal substances on the WADA list certainly aid Mexico in its quest to being one of the best countries in the world on preventing the use of illegal substances in sports.

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