University News

This Week in Higher Ed: March 19, 2014

By
University News Editor
Wednesday, March 19, 2014

NCAA faces second lawsuit this year

A lawsuit was filed Monday in a New Jersey federal court against the National Collegiate Athletic Association on behalf of college football and men’s basketball players, ESPN reported Monday. The lawsuit alleges that the NCAA has violated antitrust laws for capping scholarship funding.

“Anybody watching the NCAA Tournament this week knows it’s a huge commercial business,” said Jeffrey Kessler, the lawyer leading the suit, USA Today reported. “The (College Football Playoff) is a huge commercial business. No one would say people who provide the essential services should not receive compensation — other than in big-time college sports.”

The plaintiffs include one current NCAA-eligible football player, two former NCAA basketball players and one graduated NCAA football player, USA Today reported. The plaintiffs’ legal team is asking for personal damages for the players.

The suit follows a similar claim filed earlier this month by a former West Virginia University running back against the NCAA for capping athletic scholarship values below tuition costs and market values, thereby violating antitrust laws, Sports Illustrated reported.

In another action against athletic program administrators, Northwestern University quarterback Kain Colter launched a union movement in February asking the National Labor Relations Board to recognize his teammates as Northwestern employees, ESPN reported.

Advocating for the new suit’s plaintiffs, the National College Players Association and the College Athletes Players Association have denounced the NCAA’s treatment of players.

“America is a capitalist nation with laws to protect the free market. … The NCAA’s cap on players’ compensation is both un-American and illegal,” Ramogi Huma, NCPA and CAPA president, told ESPN.

 

Student death at Drexel linked to meningitis outbreak

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed this week that the death of a student at Drexel University was caused by a strain of meningitis — known as meningitis B — that hit Princeton a year ago, multiple news outlets reported.

The student died March 10 at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center after being found unresponsive, Planet Princeton reported.

Though a mass vaccination occurred at Princeton this winter following the March 2013 outbreak, the CDC warns the strain may still exist on campus, the Star-Ledger reported.

“While it is not possible to definitively conclude how the Drexel student contracted meningococcal disease, the case indicates that the outbreak strain may still be present,” Princeton spokesman Martin Mbugua wrote in an email to the Star-Ledger.

Princeton provided meningitis B vaccinations last month to more than 4,400 campus community members, the Star-Ledger reported. Drexel is not yet offering the vaccination.

The initial outbreak at Princeton affected fewer than 10 students, the Star-Ledger reported.

“Students at both universities should be especially vigilant to the signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease and seek urgent treatment if suspected,” the CDC report stated.

One-third of the 500 cases of meningitis reported annually in the United States are caused by meningitis B, NBC News reported. One in 10 cases leads to death.

 

Ricin scare hits Georgetown

Students were evacuated Tuesday from a Georgetown University dorm after a white substance reported to be the toxic substance ricin was found, multiple news outlets reported.

“There were police officers in the hallway of the floor, … and at around 11 a.m., we were told we couldn’t come back to our rooms on one side of the hallway,” student Emily Min told the Hoya. Students were moved into temporary housing at a nearby hotel for the evening, she added.

District of Columbia Metropolitan Police and federal authorities are currently interviewing a suspect believed to be linked to the incident.

D.C. Police said Georgetown officials notified the D.C. Fire Department after the substance was discovered, CBS DC reported. A field test showed no indication of biological agents, but the white substance is undergoing further FBI testing, FBI spokesperson Jacqueline Maguire told CBS DC.

In addition to temporary housing, students are being offered reimbursement for transportation costs from the hotel to the university and relocation-related expenses, the Hoya reported.