The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

July 30, 2013

Morgantown lawyer says NCAA should be sued ‘for a lot of things’

MORGANTOWN — The National Collegiate Athletic Association, otherwise known as simply the NCAA, has been under fire.

Lawsuits have been filed against that organization by former athletes alleging responsibility for injuries. It is facing numerous issues.

All of this is not surprising to widely known Morgantown lawyer James “Rocky” Gianola, himself a former West Virginia University football player in the 1970s. And he has kept close to athletes and their struggles over the years.

He had this to say when asked about the current clamor nationally that college athletes should be paid in addition to being on scholarship:

“I think paying players is a potential to opening Pandora’s Box, but I do think that the NCAA needs to do something to give the athletes additional benefits.

“Athletes collectively do make a lot of money for the colleges and the NCAA, and the players struggle (financially).

“They (NCAA and schools) certainly could provide a lot more benefits without it being in the form of a paycheck.

“But the NCAA doesn’t even allow that.”

After a brief pause, Gianola continued, “Something needs to be done because kids in athletics struggle just to make ends meet. And to get through college, the benefits don’t cover everything.

“I think the NCAA needs to be taken down a couple notches. They’re a little bit out of control. They’re running the organization as a dictatorship and getting into areas and making decisions affecting kids’ lives that they have no business making.”

As far as existing national litigation, Gianola said, “I think the NCAA needs to be sued for a lot of things. I’m not sure about head injuries, but it seems like those are the most detrimental to football players. And I think some of the rules they are making will help with that.

“But, again, I think the NCAA needs to be sued on a bunch of stuff.”

Gianola, who is 56 years old, has had a highly successful law practice in Morgantown for more than 25 years. He was a record-setting placekicker at both Morgantown High and WVU.

Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 042014 old white Happy birthday to The Old White

    As Greenbrier owner Jim Justice proudly stood behind the podium on the first tee box addressing a crowd at the 100th anniversary of the historic Old White TPC Course, a surprise guest emerged from the bushes by the tennis center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042014 bubba Watson becoming a West Virginian

    Greenbrier owner Jim Justice was glued to the television a week ago today, watching Bubba Watson try to chase down his second green jacket at Augusta National Golf Club.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042014 spartans LOCAL ROUNDUP: Spartans win Spring Break Wooden Bat Classic

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • St. Joe’s Lewis named 2014 High School Coach of the Year

    Huntington St. Joseph girls basketball coach Shannon Lewis has made a habit of celebrating success in Charleston over the last few years.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041914 old white Old White to celebrate 100 years

    The home of The Greenbrier Classic will be having a birthday today, and the celebration should be something special.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mullens, Pineville to meet in Anderson Memorial

    After many years away from the sideline, legendary Mullens High School coach Don Nuckols is returning to the game of basketball.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041914 D'Antoni Lakers mum on D’Antoni

    Mike D’Antoni was still the Los Angeles Lakers’ coach when he left their training complex to spend the Easter weekend out of town with his family.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914 gibby WVU trying to find speed on defense

    Tony Gibson took over as West Virginia’s new defensive coordinator over the winter with the goal of trying not to do too much to rock the boat. As the fourth coach to hold that spot in as many years, the Van native — in his second stint as a Mountaineer assistant — knew that his players needed some stability.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041814 Sisler Diamond Classic continues today

    Fayetteville pitcher Kaitlyn Sisler pitched five innings of shutout softball as the Pirates beat Oak Hill 10-0 Wednesday in the Diamond Classic in Fayetteville.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni’s Lakers future still unclear

    With the Los Angeles Lakers season officially over — the Lakers beat the Spurs 113-100 Wednesday but finished 27-55 overall, the most losses in the club’s history and the franchise’s worst winning percentage since the Minneapolis Lakers in 1957-58 — Marshall fans will be keeping a close eye on what’s going on in Tinsel Town over the coming days.

    April 17, 2014