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Illegal Blocking: College Sports Teams Disarming Athletes?

Friday, September 2, 2016

Illegal Blocking: College Sports Teams Disarming Athletes?

The rigidly ideological atmosphere of many colleges and universities is a frequent topic of discussion these days. 

But at least there’s still college sports, right?

Unfortunately, even high profile athletes who generate millions of dollars for their schools are not immune from being treated like helpless children (or worse) by the institutions that profit from their enrollment.

Matthew Stevens, a sports reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser, broke the news today that the publication asked 12 different SEC head coaches during a media call on Wednesday “if they had a policy regarding restrictions on their players legally owning a handgun.” 

Stevens’s reported: “Four head coaches – Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason and Kentucky’s Mark Stoops – stated that they have team policies restricting their players from having handguns or ‘weapons’ as part of being a member of the football program.” 

Meanwhile, the University of Missouri denied earlier reports that head football coach Barry Odom banned his players from legally owning handguns for the duration of their membership in the program. 

A spokesperson for the University clarified, “Our program’s policy does not prohibit players from legally owning guns.” Rather, it states “that if a player has a legal issue, and an illegal gun is involved as part of that legal issue, then the player is removed from the program.”

The other eight head coaches present on the call referred to their institutions’ campus-wide restrictions on guns, which they expected their players to obey. Some indicated that they would consider adding restrictions of their own, however.

Coaches at public institutions who impose broad bans on otherwise legal firearm possession as a condition of participation in their sports clearly invite bad publicity for their programs and potentially limit their recruiting pool. 

But under the doctrine of unconstitutional conditions, they may be inviting lawsuits as a well.  This doctrine holds that a government actor cannot force someone to surrender a constitutional right as a condition of receiving some benefit from the government.  

As stated in the 1972 U.S. Supreme Court case Perry v. Sindermann: “[T]his Court has made clear that even though a person has no ‘right’ to a valuable governmental benefit and even though the government may deny him the benefit for any number of reasons, there are some reasons upon which the government may not rely. It may not deny a benefit to a person on a basis that infringes his constitutionally protected interests ….”

We have yet to hear of institutions of higher learning forcing students to surrender other civil rights as a condition of participating in official college organizations. That perhaps speaks especially poorly of how these institutions view their own student athletes. Certainly any institution that, for example, forced a teaching fellow to surrender the right to vote or compelled a band member to refrain from religious worship could expect serious consequences to follow. 

The right to possess firearms, including handguns, is no less of a constitutional right. And public university coaches who deny players that right are as culpable as any other state agent who would infringe a fundamental liberty.

 

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Florida Alert: YETI Drops NRA Foundation

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Dick’s Sporting Goods/Field & Stream to Destroy Firearms Inventory

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Friday, April 20, 2018

Dick’s Sporting Goods/Field & Stream to Destroy Firearms Inventory

Dick’s Sporting Goods took their campaign to alienate law-abiding gun owners to an extraordinary new level last week. The beleaguered retailer announced that in addition to removing certain types of semi-automatic rifles from their stores, the company ...

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

ALERT ! YETI Adds Insult to Injury

If it wasn’t bad enough that YETI dropped The NRA Foundation as a client, now they’re calling us liars because we informed our members and friends of their actions.  

NRA Statement on Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

NRA Statement on Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act

National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action executive director, Chris W. Cox, released the following statement on Tuesday regarding President Donald Trump's signature on the National Defense Authorization Act

Another Group of Anti-Gun Celebrities Forms!  In Other News, The Sun Rose Today.

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Friday, April 20, 2018

Another Group of Anti-Gun Celebrities Forms! In Other News, The Sun Rose Today.

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California: Legislation Requiring Background Checks on Barrels and Other Parts Up For Hearing!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

California: Legislation Requiring Background Checks on Barrels and Other Parts Up For Hearing!

Several pro- and anti-gun bills are scheduled to be heard in their respective committees on Monday, April 23 and Tuesday, April 24.  Please contact the members of the respective committee and urge them to SUPPORT ...

NRA Salutes “the Gunny” and Mourns the Passing of an American Patriot

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Friday, April 20, 2018

NRA Salutes “the Gunny” and Mourns the Passing of an American Patriot

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Keep Calm and Carry On: Pro-Gun Sentiment Reasserts Itself in Wake of Antigun Blitz

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Friday, April 20, 2018

Keep Calm and Carry On: Pro-Gun Sentiment Reasserts Itself in Wake of Antigun Blitz

Like the long-delayed coming of spring to the Mid-Atlantic, evidence is appearing that Americans are regaining their senses and reverting to an instinctual embrace of freedom after a withering barrage of some the nastiest and most ugly ...

Illinois: Senate to Consider Overriding Veto on Dealer Licensing Bills

Monday, April 23, 2018

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With the April 25th deadline approaching, the Illinois state Senate is expected soon to consider overriding Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto on legislation that would drive your local gun stores out of business with onerous red tape ...

Illinois: Committee Passes Bill to Allow Local Infringement of Second Amendment

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Illinois: Committee Passes Bill to Allow Local Infringement of Second Amendment

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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.