This week, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Board of Governors voted unanimously to allow student-athletes to earn money from the use of their name, image, and likeness. That’s great news for student-athletes across the country—and the case of Donald De La Haye helped make this change in policy possible. 

De La Haye, a kicker on the University of Central Florida’s football team, was forced by UCF to choose between business success on his popular YouTube channel and a collegiate football career because of the NCAA’s arbitrary prohibitions on student-athletes’ ability to profit from the use of their own name, image, and likeness. Together with the Goldwater Institute and the Texas Public Policy Foundation, De La Haye sued UCF for violating his First Amendment rights. The young entrepreneur ultimately chose to focus on his YouTube channel and continue making videos, and he settled his lawsuit in late 2018.

“Colleges and universities should encourage student-athletes to harness their talents and skills to build their careers and help their communities,” said Goldwater Director of National Litigation Jon Riches, who represented De La Haye in his lawsuit. “For far too long, public universities blindly adhered to a NCAA regime that was both unjust to student-athletes and unconstitutional under the First Amendment. We are very happy to see the NCAA finally reverse course and allow students to make the most of their skills and talents so that they have as many opportunities as possible available to them.”

Louisiana Bar Not So Sure about Free Speech

Dane Ciolino is a law professor at Loyola University New Orleans and a legal ethics expert who’s sat on the Louisiana Bar’s ethics code committee for two decades. This year, he also joined with the Goldwater Institute and the Pelican Institute to represent Louisiana attorney Randy Boudreaux in a lawsuit arguing that Louisiana’s rules requiring attorneys to join and pay dues to the State Bar Association as a condition of practicing law violate their First Amendment rights. 

Now, the Louisiana Bar has chosen not to reappoint Ciolino to the ethics committee and cancelled two scheduled ethics presentations he’d long been scheduled to give. The State Bar’s stated reason for these moves was “unforeseen conflicts,” but it appears that the real reason was that Ciolino represented on behalf of his client a position that they didn’t like.

“That an organization charged with upholding high standards for the legal profession would retaliate against someone for representing a client—in a case seeking to protect First Amendment rights, no less—is outrageous,” Goldwater Senior Attorney Jacob Huebert writes on In Defense of Liberty. “And it will do nothing to dispel the widely held notion that mandatory bar associations often put power and politics above their supposed purpose of helping to keep lawyers educated and ethical.” (You can also read more from Ciolino on his Louisiana Legal Ethics blog.)

THIS WEEK: Goldwater Institute Annual Dinner

On Friday, November 8, the Goldwater Institute will host its 2019 Annual Dinner in Scottsdale, Arizona. A special night to celebrate America’s heroes, the Annual Dinner will feature Representative Dan Crenshaw among its keynote speakers. Rep. Crenshaw is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he now serves Texas’s Second District in the U.S. House of Representatives. We’ll also be honoring former Navy pilot and Right to Try advocate Matt Bellina with the Goldwater Freedom Award. 

There’s still time to purchase your ticket here.

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