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6 ESLJ [i] (2008)

handle is hein.journals/entersport6 and id is 1 raw text is: Goodr) c E U C Ft  nd CH FarDStatements found in the NCAA Manual and made by the NCAA
Fundamentals o f G o od FaaiandFairPresident emphasize the primacy of academic success for
D ea1inrcollege athletes. However the reality of a 'meaningful education'
piaton of GoodFatanFirdealinginis often elusive due to the multitude of competing interests.
t,he S t     r     E tt iQ         College athletes must balance academic success with the
Good.Faith. a nd FairED e aling with Co  extensive time demands of athletic competition, practice, travel,
Athlet e sconditioning, watching game film, etc. Often, this balancing act
ConcluQsio nproves unsuccessful insofar as it pertains to the achievement of
R eferene seducational goals. To date, there has been little legal recourse
available for aggrieved college athletes who wish to argue that
they have been unfairly deprived of the opportunity for a meaningful education. Educational malpractice
lawsuits have been unsuccessful and contractual recourse for students has been limited to cases in which
specific promises have been breached by a university. The authors argue, however, that college athletes should
be able to rely upon a university's good faith efforts to provide a meaningful education. If a university fails to
act in good faith a cause of action based on a breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing should be
available to the college athlete.
College Sport - Contract - Good Faith and Fair Dealing
'Every contract imposes upon each party a duty of good faith and fair dealing in its performance and  1
enforcement' (Restatement of Contracts [Second] (1981) §205). It is widely accepted that the basic
legal relationship between student and university is contractual in nature (Zumbrun v. University of
Southern California (1972) 25 Cal. App. 3d 1; Wickstrom v. Northern Idaho College (1986) 725 P.
2d 155 (Idaho)). The exchange of tuition for an education creates a contract between student and
university as does the promise to participate in the intercollegiate athletics program in exchange for
a meaningful education (Gaily v. Columbia University (1998) 22 F.Supp. 2d 199 (S.D.N.Y.); Ross v.
Creighton University (1992) 957 F.2d 410 (7th Cir.)).
The term 'meaningful education' begs precise definition. However, one commentator described a  2
'meaningful education' as the' intellectual development of students engaged in good faith in the
educational process' (Widener, 1982, p. 470). While a precise definition of a 'meaningful education'
may be elusive, there is no dispute as to the importance placed upon the educational process by
colleges and universities. Further, the NCAA and its member institutions prioritize the importance of
the educational process and academic success, and explicitly acknowledge that the academic
interests of student and college athlete are indistinguishable. For example, Myles Brand, President of
the NCAA, spoke to this issue recently: 'since the participants in college sports are students -
individuals whose first business is acquiring an education - their academic success is of central
importance.' (NCAA State of the Association Address, 2006).
The 2005-2006 NCAA Manual (§§ 2.2 and 2.4) also emphasizes educational primacy:          3
Intercollegiate athletics programs shall be conducted in a manner designed to protect and enhance
the . . educational welfare of student-athletes . . Intercollegiate athletics programs shall be
maintained as a vital component of the educational program and student-athletes shall be an
integral part of the student body . ..The admission, academic standing and academic progress of
student-athletes shall be consistent with the policies and standards adopted by the institution for the
student body in general.
A representative statement by a university in its college athlete handbook concerning this issue is as4
follows: 'the primary purpose of a student's attendance at a collegiate institution is to acquire an

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