Category Archives: NCAA

NCAA Says UNC “Sham” Classes Did Not Violate Rules

On October 13, 2017, an NCAA panel ruled that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) did not violate NCAA policy for offering “sham” classes. The issues in the case were discovered in August 2011 and the following three years in which UNC conducted a number of internal and external reviews. The reviews led to a criminal indictment against Julius Nyang’oro, the former chair of the department of the “sham” classes, for obtaining property by false pretenses. Those charges were later dropped. A…

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Northwestern Bricks its Shot for Motion to Strike in Johnnie Vassar Suit

On Friday, September 29, 2017, an Illinois federal judge denied the motion Northwestern University (NU) had filed at the end of January to strike portions of a former basketball player’s complaint that mentioned settlement negotiations. “Clearly, the purpose of this allegation is not to show liability by referencing a settlement agreement but rather to allege Northwestern’s bad act in making a misrepresentation to Vassar,” the judge’s order stated.  The complaint alleged that NU offered a “cash payment” to “make Johnnie go away and free-up…

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NCAA and Student-Athletes Request Final Approval of $75 Million Settlement

On September 29, 2017, former student-athletes asked the Illinois federal court to approve the $75 million settlement against the NCAA for head trauma. With the reports of young NFL players diagnosed with brain damage after death, the former student-athletes insist that the medical monitoring part of the deal cannot come soon enough. The final approval hearing is scheduled to be heard before the judge in November. The former student-athletes argued that the settlement is ready for final approval because the evaluation of the student-athletes’ claims…

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On Appeal, Former USC Linebacker Tackles Judge’s Ruling with Misapplication of Law Claims

In September 2016, Lamar Dawson, a former USC linebacker, filed a class-action suit against both the NCAA and Pac-12 Conference alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and California Labor Law. Dawson claimed the NCAA and Pac-12 failed to pay athletes minimum wage, failed to pay overtime, and failed to make timely compensation to athletes. He argued that he, among other student athletes, were without a doubt employees. The NCAA and Pac-12 moved to dismiss the suit in January 2017, and in April, Judge…

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Louisville Ejects Coach Rick Pitino Following FBI Bribery Investigation

Amid a federal bribery scandal, on Wednesday, September 28, 2017, the University of Louisville placed head basketball coach Rick Pitino on unpaid administrative leave, which, according to his lawyer, means he has “in effect, been fired.” Federal prosecutors allege Pitino and executives at Adidas funneled $100,000 to the family of a recruit to play basketball at Louisville – a program Adidas sponsors.  Louisville’s athletic director, Tom Jurich, was placed on paid leave. Neither Pitino nor Jurich were specifically named in the criminal complaints…

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Bribery Scandal Rocks the NCAA

Federal investigators in New York arrested ten individuals and then publicized three complaints on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 that depict a thriving black market for teenage athletes and “the dark underbelly of college basketball.” The covert probe began in 2015, when a fallen financial adviser agreed to wear a wire for the FBI. Calls and meetings were wiretapped, and coaches unknowingly talked to undercover agents posing as financial advisors. One scheme involved four NCAA assistant basketball coaches at schools in the “Power 5” conferences of…

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Former Player Objects to Class Counsel Fee Request in NCAA Deal

Despite a final approval on the settlement for the class of former football players’ suit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for its handling of concussions, there is still a dispute over how much the class counsel should get for attorney fees. Class counsel requested $15 million for attorney fees, but a former college football player, Anthony Nichols, told the judge that the counsel should not get more than $8 million. Nichols based this number off of the fact that the initial settlement had…

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Ninth Circuit Refuses Reconsideration of NCAA No-Felons Rule

On September 11, 2017, the Ninth Circuit refused to reconsider its ruling that the NCAA could continue its policy excluding convicted felons from coaching in NCAA youth basketball tournaments. The denial of reconsideration stems from a lawsuit brought by Dominic Hardie, a youth basketball coach, who had a drug-related felony from 2001. Hardie sued the NCAA in February 2013 claiming that the NCAA had abandoned a policy that forgave nonviolent felonies after seven years. According to Hardie’s brief, African-Americans are more than three times…

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Fight for Legal Fees Begins in $209 Million Student-Athlete vs. NCAA Settlement

On Wednesday September 6, 2017, plaintiff’s lawyers in a class-action antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA, which settled for $208.7 million, filed for nearly $45 million in legal fees and costs. More than $41 million of that amount would cover attorney’s fees, $3.2 million would cover costs and expenses, and $20,000 each would go as a reward to the four class representatives. The overall fee request would make up only 21.5 percent of the settlement. The lawyers argue the fee request is adequate considering the Ninth…

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Game Developer Moves to Transfer Trademark Suit Outside of NCAA Home Ground

On August 31, 2017, defendant Kizzang LLC, a game developer, filed a motion in its case against the NCAA to either move the case from the Indiana Federal Court or dismiss it for lack of jurisdiction and venue. The suit stems from the allegations that Kizzang infringed on the NCAA’s trademarks, “March Madness” and “Final Four.” Kizzang claimed the NCAA filed the suit in the Indiana Federal Court only out of convenience and that none of its allegations included any direct contact with the…

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