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From Field of Dreams to field of law, former MLB commish coming to ASU.
Former MLB commish Bud Selig joining ASU Law.
February 9, 2016

Selig, who led Major League Baseball for more than two decades, will join Sports Law and Business program

The man who called the shots for Major League Baseball for more than two decades is joining the rotation at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

Former MLB Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig has been named the O’Connor Distinguished Professor of Sports in America and will join the Sports Law and Business program, where he will teach and serve as the founding president of the Sports Law and Business Advisory Board. 

Bud Selig

 

Selig (pictured at left), who has had a second home in the Valley for years, said teaching at ASU after his July 2015 retirement as MLB commissioner was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

“One of my daughters went to ASU, and the more I met with (ASU Law Dean) Doug Sylvester and knowing the vision of Michael Crow, the more attractive this all became,” said Selig, who was calling from his home state of Wisconsin.

“Frankly, these are all of the things that appealed to me so this was, I guess, cue the baseball term — a natural.”

Selig said he’s excited to teach Sports Law and Business because it’s a dynamic and growing branch of the law.

“It’s a field that didn’t exist when I first got into the business,” said Selig, who served as acting commissioner in 1992 before being named official commissioner in 1998. “I don’t think any of us understand how big this is going to be, and I really believe ASU is going to be a pioneer in this field.”

Selig sees Phoenix as an emerging baseball town, which would only help ASU’s new program attract students.

“Phoenix is a growing market, a dynamic market and I know there were some people who early on questioned what kind of baseball market it is. I think this year you’re going to see Phoenix emerge as a great market,” Selig said. “I love what the Diamondbacks have done. I’m a big fan of Tony La Russa, and I have a lot of faith in him. And Ken Kendrick is stunning. There’s growth potential in Phoenix for everything.”

At ASU, the new professor will help select two Selig Sports Law and Business Scholars — one from the incoming jurisprudence class and another from the Master of Sports Law and Business or Master of Law.

He will also lead efforts to bring speakers to ASU Law as part of the Bud Selig Speaker Series on Sports in America.

“In my long, 50-something career I’ve met a lot of fascinating people, and depending on the subject, I’ll bring in people who have had experience in this field,” Selig said. “Everybody will not only be surprised by the quality but by how exciting they are.”

ASU Law Dean Douglas Sylvester said Selig’s presence is a major boost for the university and its students.

“Our students will have an invaluable opportunity to tap into the vast experience and knowledge Selig brings to the Sports Law and Business program from his 22-and-a-half years as commissioner,” Sylvester said. “In those years he oversaw and initiated strategic changes that transformed Major League Baseball. In addition, Bud is a natural teacher with years of experience in mentoring students and imparting his knowledge to the next generation of sports leaders.” 

“I don’t think any of us understand how big (Sports Law) is going to be, and I really believe ASU is going to be a pioneer in this field.”
— Bud Selig

During his tenure as commissioner, the MLB expanded the wild-card postseason format, instituted interleague play, implemented instant replay, brokered a labor agreement with the Players’ Association that has resulted in 21 years of labor peace, developed revenue sharing that led to greater competitive balance and crafted the most comprehensive drug-testing policy in professional sports.

Under Selig, baseball rose in popularity, with record-breaking attendance, and with revenue increasing from $1.2 billion in 1992 to a record $9 billion-plus in 2014.

This is Selig’s third assignment as a professor at the university level. He has taught at Marquette University Law School since 2009, and, last fall, he began teaching a course titled, “Baseball and American Society since World War II,” in the history department at the University of Wisconsin, his alma mater. There in 2010, he endowed the Allan H. Selig Chair in Sport and Society in the United States.

Selig said not only will he offer his vast experience to mentor students, but will also be their biggest fan.

“I’ll tell you what I’m going to tell students when I start teaching at ASU,” Selig said. “I’ll say, ‘You have the best education at ASU and now you’re in a great field. Do what you want to do. There is no substitute for hard work … and dream big.’ ”

 

Reporter , ASU Now

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As goes New Hampshire, so goes the nation? Not necessarily

The New Hampshire voters have spoken, but what do their results mean?
ASU political prof says Trump's New Hampshire win is significant.
February 9, 2016

ASU politics professor on the Granite State's first-in-the-nation primary election

Democrats and Republicans in a snowy New Hampshire have cast their ballots and, as is so often the case, have picked different winners than the voters in Iowa just eight days before.

GOP Granite Staters chose businessman Donald J. Trump, giving him a commanding victory over the rest of the field. On the Democratic side, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) scored a more than 20-percentage-point victory over the candidate who once seemed unbeatable, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Richard Herrera, an associate professor in ASU's School of Politics and Global StudiesThe School of Politics and Global Studies is an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences., spoke to ASU Now about what the results in New Hampshire mean and where the primary contest may head next.

Question: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign seems to have worked very hard to lower expectations in New Hampshire. And, to be sure, Sen. Bernie Sanders has been leading in the polls there for a while. But is it fair to give her a pass? What does it say about the Clinton campaign that she won Iowa in a photo finish and lost New Hampshire — which she won in 2008 — by such a wide margin?
 
Answer: It’s not unusual for candidates to try to set expectations in primary contests. I don’t think she gets a pass, but I also don’t think she should take much flak for trying to set her bar. She pulled in about 40 percent of the vote, which compares well with what she received in 2008 in a five-way race. 2016 is a different race, so substantively not as comparable across eight years.

Q: Is Sanders writing the sequel to the book Barack Obama authored in 2008 by coming out of nowhere to effectively challenge the powerful Clinton political machine? Is he likely to be the Democratic nominee?

A: Sanders must demonstrate support across a diverse population as Obama did. Obama bounced back from New Hampshire with a win in South Carolina and strong showings in Nevada, Colorado and other states. New Hampshire is overwhelmingly homogeneous, and most of the upcoming contests will be in states that are more reflective of Democratic party constituencies.

Q: Trump’s theory of the campaign had been that he is the only “winner” in the race. That took a hit last week when he came in second in Iowa. Does a big margin of victory in New Hampshire make him the candidate to beat again?
 
A: Yes, it does. His campaign regenerates momentum with a big win in New Hampshire. He can reclaim his “winner” mantle with the results from Tuesday's vote.  
 
Q: Throughout the Republican primary we’ve been talking about which so-called “establishment” candidate would emerge to challenge Donald Trump and Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, the winner in Iowa. Many analysts believed New Hampshire would winnow the field and identify that person. But now it seems more muddled than ever. Do you see any clarity?
 
A: The big surprise is the surge of John Kasich (of Ohio). He may be the the only remaining governor to continue with a viable campaign. HIs strong finish will help him raise campaign funds and may signal him to establishment donors as the alternative to Trump and Cruz. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) trailed the front-runners badly. This past week he took hits from Gov. Chris Christie and others, and those seem to have made a difference. The beneficiary is Kasich.

Q: Jeb Bush has looked at New Hampshire as his firewall, and in many ways pulled out all the stops, including bringing his 90-year-old mother to campaign with him in the New England snow. Is fourth place in the Granite State good enough for the former Republican front-runner? Or has the party moved on?

A: Without a clear third-place finish, this may have been Bush’s last push. He may continue but has failed to show he can be the establishment candidate. Finishing behind Cruz, in a state Cruz was projected to not fare well, continues the narrative that he is a poor candidate.

Q: Exit polls in New Hampshire indicated that voters care far less about electability than finding someone who “shares my values.” That has been a trend during this primary season. Does that portend a general election pitting fringe candidates against one another?
 
A: I don’t think so. Primary voters can be poor indicators of the national electorate. It may also be the case that for Democrats, younger voters who are now supporting Sanders may be driving that trend in this phase of the election. For Republican voters, that trend may be the case across more demographic groups than usual, but it would still be very odd for most Republicans to support a candidate who polls worse against Clinton (still the expected Democratic nominee) than another Republican candidate.

Top photo by Kelsey Wyatt, via Wikimedia Commons