University lectures can provoke fear and excitement. An unorthodox account of Superfoota’s first day in a law class in the company of final years, provokes a smarter way to learn and even much more, an exciting one.
Strathmore University, Nairobi: A few minutes after 2:45 PM, Miss Sarah, Seth and I arrive to one of the many lecture halls at the School of Law. We look the part but are clearly not the real deal, except for miss Sarah, she is going to be our lecturer for the next 2 or so hours. Hours that we barely notice, I think she does however; her PDF document projected to the front of the class on a backdrop of a white sheet is almost hitting the bottom.
This is not your ordinary class, well, not even an ordinary unit for law students.
This wont be Superfoota’s story, this is the story of an extraordinary lesson on football transfers taught to law students- under the Unit Sports and Entertainment Law.
Like any civilized unit, rules exist here- not in plenty, but in fact and deeds. A dispute panel constituted by the students opens up to a whole new world of student centered learning. Here, rules can be made and conflicts resolved- those that relate from lateness to I think #SnoreClass, that shall be self explanatory at the end of this piece.
Because this is not the first week of the class, we shall be joining at week four. The week three assignment involved groups drafting up FIFA Agent contracts, forming of disciplinary panels and trading players amongst themselves (in this case students acting as players too). The trade got to be incentivised in some way but of which must not involve use of indecent proposals, hard cash – which shall go on for 10 weeks and earning the students 3 marks per week (30 in total).
All this is actually before the actual lesson of the day begins. The introduction session however welcomes you to the new world of teaching. Sports and Entertainment takes place online, its only wise that a hashtag (#SnoClass) details it.
Not every student is on twitter, but that doesn’t keep everyone away from enjoying its fruits. Twitter has a simple way of being able to monitor a hashtag even without logging in, and with a projected version available for everyone? Its a win-win.
There are always light moments riding on the hashtag, but that does not really matter. The notes, links and even conversations on the same take the gulp of the crop.
Transfers in Football
*It’s the main leagues off season right now it only makes too much sense that the excitement rubs off onto most of us, but this doesn’t apply to all of us.
In a series of tweets made earlier by the lecturer (@snolegal), she is able to avail her materials to students as early as 6 hours before the actual lesson, furnished with links leading to documents and videos.
This afternoon, the lesson ranged from player registration and transfer with examples from top leagues and even the Kenya premier league, In addition, how FIFA get involved and the federation constitutions governing player transfers were also discussed amongst others.
As upcoming sports lawyers, the questions asked revolve around issues of age, conflicts of constitutions (Football Associations and federations) mostly revolving around International Transfer Certificates (ITC’s) and even tapping up of players.
The ITC issue in particular made for a good listen as many players especially in Kenya, have failed to realize their dreams and those of their agents, a subject, this class seeks to change going into the future. (The latest being that of Paul Were- full story here)
For parents and future parents, you might never have an idea that FIFA’s Regulations on Status & transfer of Players actually protects your talented young one from exploitation by foreign clubs. With a proper explanation of the ‘Bridge Transfer’ system where clubs used to get youngsters to their clubs at lower fees. The explanation of the importance of a player passport is key knowledge for legal practitioners interested in Sports Law.
But still, there’s a lighter duty: that of a small assignment to carry home. Group leaders based on companies formed and registered in the previous week’s group assignment are picked to act as players marked for transfers/clients. The groups therefore for this weeks assignment are to be separated into leagues of six (La Liga, English Premier League, Ligue 1, MLS, Bundesliga and Serie A) the onus is now for clubs in the various league to bid for them. With their knowledge of the ITC, TMS and Deadline Day being tested, it’s exciting to see how this will turn out. Each team needs to negotiate with the other for the transfer of the players and this involves a player agreement being issued. Thereafter the small issue of an ITC shall have to be issued allowing players to move from one league to another. The signings are for a week- which sounds cool, doesn’t it?
With Superfoota going to act as the Transfer Matching System, the excitement is fever pitch, another chance to impact on the lives of some amazing brains.
I’ll tell you what- one of the ‘players’ being marked for a transfer marked the end of the lesson on a high when he asked, “what if I fail the medical? Hahaha, he got the gist, didn’t he?
As we walk out, my question to @Snolegal is simple, “What do you enjoy most about what you do in that class?” Her answer is similarly simple and the perfect description of what the future mode of sport, law and teaching is headed for: “Hmmmm… It has to be the students. They’re absolute legends! I can’t begin to tell you their level of engagement and inquisitiveness. They rise to the challenges I give them on a weekly basis and have adapted well to my unorthodox style of teaching.
PS: #SnoreClass was pulled on one of the students who was caught dozing off.
Teacher @Snolegal is too cool, she has a youtube promo for her lectures, check it out here. DJ Kimera, take it away