John Oliver reveals the dark side of all those March Madness ads, jerseys, and video games.

The people in them and on them? They kinda sorta don't get paid.

<span class="redactor-invisible-space"></span><span class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>

Last year, former college star Ed O'Bannon sued the NCAA in federal court for profiting off of his name and image without his consent or compensation. And in August, a judge in California actually ruled against the NCAA, stating that college athletes must be paid when they appear in things like video games, advertisements, and merchandise. But the NCAA is still fighting the ruling.

The NCAA relies heavily on the argument that... the NCAA says protects amateurism in college sports. The 1984 Oklahoma v. Board of Regents case that ended the NCAA's monopoly on television contracts includes this passage from the Supreme Court: “in order to preserve the character and quality of the (NCAA's) 'product,' athletes must not be paid, must be required to attend class and the like."

The "character and quality of the NCAA's 'product.'" I'm just going to ... leave that right there.


Still, if you squint at things the right way, if lawsuits like these, combined with Northwestern's historic unionization drive, are finally making famous popular TV folks like John Oliver stand up and take notice, it could make it seem like we're actually on our way to some real progress on this issue.

But then again, I picked North Dakota State to go all the way this year, so what do I know?

More
Courtesy of Houseplant.

In America, one dumb mistake can hang over your head forever.

Nearly 30% of the American adult population — about 70 million people — have at least one criminal conviction that can prevent them from being treated equally when it comes to everything from job and housing opportunities to child custody.

Twenty million of these Americans have felony convictions that can destroy their chances of making a comfortable living and prevents them from voting out the lawmakers who imprisoned them.

Many of these convictions are drug-related and stem from the War on Drugs that began in the U.S. '80s. This war has unfairly targeted the minority community, especially African-Americans.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular