Former Athletes Say NCAA “Hiding the Ball” and Engaging in “Trial by Ambush”

On April 4, 2018 the Sports and Entertainment Law Insider discussed an ongoing lawsuit that was brought by a class of former college athletes seeking to lift the cap on student athlete compensation under NCAA rules. The case is being tried by U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken, who previously ruled in favor of student athletes on antitrust claims against the NCAA in O’Bannon. In March 2018, Judge Wilken denied the NCAA’s motion for summary judgment and sent the current case to trial. With trial…
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NCAA Loosens Transfer Rules

On Wednesday June 13, 2018, the NCAA changed their stringent transfer rules for their student athletes. In the past, student athletes went through a “permission to contact” process. This process limited their ability to transfer as their current college coaches were able to block the athlete from transferring to certain schools. For example, many coaches would not allow a player to transfer within their own conference. The only way to get around these bars, was for the student athlete to forego receiving financial aid at…
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Former Wrestling Coach Sues Pitt Over Firing

The University of Pittsburgh was hit with a discrimination lawsuit in Pennsylvania Federal Court on Monday, June 4, 2018, by former wrestling coach Jason Peters. Peters claims that Pitt discriminated against him based on him being African-American and denied him of his fourteenth amendment due process rights during the firing process. Additionally, the complaint states that Peters was fired without just cause and that Pitt violated Pennsylvania’s Wage Payment and Collection Law by failing to pay owed wages and provide him benefits. The suit specifically…
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Update: Cell Phone Evidence Upheld in NCAA Corruption/Bribery Case

As we have previously reported, former Adidas consultant, Merl Code, NBA agent, Christian Dawkins, and Adidas executive, Jim Gatto, came under fire in 2017 for alleged bribery and corruption practices relating to the NCAA. Specifically, they were accused of facilitating six-figure payments to basketball players and their families in exchange for assurance that the players would go on to attend Adidas-sponsored, NCAA Division I colleges, using Dawkins as an agent. Further accusations indicate that college coaches were similarly bribed in the scheme and encouraged…
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Arkansas Tech Sues NCAA Over Vacated Wins

The NCAA imposed sanctions on the Arkansas Tech athletic program for violations revolving around the school’s failure to monitor its housing operations from 2009 to 2013. Tech waived or paid $14,250 in housing security deposits for 57 prospects during this time period and also reserved on-campus apartments and dorms for student-athletes, which is a NCAA violation. Arkansas Tech believes the sanctions imposed by the NCAA are excessive and that the organization abused its discretion in the disciplinary process. Arkansas Tech contends the NCAA has failed…
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Former Division I Athletes Seek Reduction of “Grossly Excessive” Fees Awarded to NCAA in Antitrust Suit

As we have previously reported, former Division I football and basketball athlete plaintiffs won a settlement of $208.7 million from the NCAA for the NCAA’s antitrust practices capping student scholarships at values less than the actual cost of attendance. In a recent brief, class member Darrin Duncan articulates that the “central issue in the case is that [the NCAA] violated the antitrust laws by agreeing to and enforcing restrictive NCAA bylaws that cap the amount of athletically related financial aid and other benefits”. Since…
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UPDATE: Former USC Coach Losses Defamation Suit Against the NCAA

On May 21, 2018, a jury returned a verdict of 9-3, found that the NCAA did not defame former University of Southern California assistant football coach Todd McNair in its 2010 and 2011 statements. As we have previously reported, McNair accused the NCAA’s Infractions Committee of ending his coaching career in June 2010 when it found him guilty of unethical conduct in connection with the impermissible-benefits scandal involving the Reggie Bush scandal. The Reggie Bush scandal, also known as the Bush/O.J. Mayo scandal, arose…
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Putative Class Action against NCAA and Universities Dismissed for Untimeliness

On May 17, 2018, a federal judge dismissed a putative class’ wage suit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and several universities for failing to file within the two-year period required under the statute of limitations.  Lawrence “Poppy” Livers, a former Villanova University football player, brought a claim in September 2017, asserting that the NCAA, Villanova, and other universities were violating the minimum wage provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Specifically, Livers contended that he and other college athletes with scholarships should…
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Update: Foul Ball Leads to Lawsuit Against College and NCAA

On February 14, 2018, former Division II college baseball player Joseph Gutowski filed suit against West Chester University of Pennsylvania and the NCAA after injuries he sustained during a game in 2016. In his complaint, Gutowski alleges that a foul ball hit him directly in the head during a home game in April 2016, while he was seated on the players’ bench in the dugout. Claiming permanent injuries, he is now seeking damages for breach of contract, negligence, unjust enrichment, and negligent infliction of…
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NCAA’s Response to Legal Gambling: Rule Changes and Support for Federal Regulation

In response to the May 14, 2018 Supreme Court ruling which opened the door for states to legalize sports gambling, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) released a statement outlining its reaction to the decision. The statement is headlined with support for federal regulation of the sports gambling industry as a “necessary safeguard to the integrity of college sports.” In addition, the NCAA Board of Governors has temporarily suspended its rule prohibiting championship events from being held in states that offer legal sports betting in…
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