Student-Athlete Time Demands: NCAA D-I Council Takes Another Look

Over the course of the first week of October, the NCAA Division I Council began discussions on the time demands of college athletics. Member schools will discuss the demands among themselves, and they will also consider student-athlete input. Currently, while in-season, D-I college sport teams are subject to a 20-hour-per-week limit on the athletes’ combined game and practice time. During the off-season, programs are limited to 8 hours per week. The Council discussions come following the September 30, 2015 U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’…
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NCAA Student-Athletes Continue Fight For Class Certification

On Thursday, October 1, 2015,  a group of student athletes continued their fight for class action certification in their lawsuit against the NCAA. The lawsuits, filed on behalf of former and current NCAA athletes, aims to reduce NCAA restrictions on scholarship caps for Bowl Subdivision D-1 football players and for men’s and women’s basketball teams. In order to obtain class certification, the plaintiffs must demonstrate that all of their cases involve common questions of law or fact and that the “named” plaintiffs will protect the…
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NCAA Athlete Compensation: The Ninth Circuit Filed its Opinion on Appeal

On September 30, 2015, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals filed its opinion in the appeal of the O’Bannon v. NCAA antitrust lawsuit.  At the federal trial court level, District Court Judge Claudia Wilken held that the NCAA’s ban on compensating student athletes violates federal antitrust laws.  Judge Wilken concluded that “less restrictive” means were available to preserve student athletes’ amateur status, and therefore, she held that NCAA member universities were permitted to engage in the following acts: (1) universities may grant to student…
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Student Athletes Appeal Settlement in Class Action Lawsuit Against NCAA, Electronic Arts

A new development emerged Wednesday, September 16, 2015 in the case against Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) and the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) as two plaintiffs are appealing the approval of a $60 million settlement. The case—a class action lawsuit brought by student athletes—involves the use of students’ names, images, and likeness in EA’s NCAA video game series. The class action has two underlying lawsuits: Keller v. Electronic Arts Inc. et al and O’Bannon, Jr. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association et al. A…
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The NCAA Continues Opposition of Class Certification in Scholarship Antitrust Actions

On Tuesday September 8, 2015, the NCAA continued its opposition of class certification in a multidistrict antitrust litigation, which seeks to reduce NCAA restrictions on scholarship caps for Bowl Subdivision D-1 football players and for men’s and women’s basketball teams. The lawsuits, filed on behalf of past and current NCAA athletes, also aim to reduce restrictions on what schools can offer their players—like compensation, for example. The plaintiff’s initial filing seeking class certification came in April 2015. For the individual cases to be certified,…
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NLRB Ends Northwestern Football Players’ Attempt at Unionization

A unanimous decision by the National Labor Relations Board on Monday ended the Northwestern University scholarship football players’ bid to unionize without addressing the key issue that has plagued collegiate athletics for so many years: whether college athletes are employees and entitled to such compensation. The case was brought before the five-member board for review after an NLRB regional director found that the football players who put in “more hours than ‘many undisputed full-time employees’ work” are employees and thus can unionize. According to the…
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Stay Right Where You Are: Ninth Circuit Grants NCAA Request to Put Injunction on Hold

On Friday, July 31, a panel of judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to put a ruling that ordered the NCAA to allow universities to offer student athletes a limited share of revenue on hold.  The NCAA had requested this stay of the injunction on Friday, July 17, asking that the ruling be paused until the 9th Circuit could issue its opinion in the case. In the brief order, the three-judge panel that reviewed the case said that it would stay…
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An Uphill Battle: NCAA Embroiled In Federal Litigation On Multiple Fronts

The NCAA is under fire, defending cases in both the Northern District of California and the Ninth Circuit. The California proceedings are now focused on attorneys’ fees – specifically, whether or not the NCAA has to pay them. Earlier this month, U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins, in an opinion that referenced the popular television series “Game of Thrones,” awarded Plaintiff Ed O’Bannon $46 million in attorneys’ fees. The NCAA opposed the award, claiming that O’Bannon’s legal team – which is comprised of over 30…
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Hold Everything: NCAA Seeks To Stay Deferred Payments to Players

On Friday, July 17, the NCAA asked the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to pause an injunction that allows college athletes to receive deferred compensation for the use of their names, images, and likenesses.  Under the injunction, the NCAA must allow for schools to pay football and men’s basketball players up to the federally defined cost of attendance, plus $5,000 per year for use of their names and likenesses, starting on August 1. The NCAA immediately appealed Judge Claudia Wilken’s ruling, and oral arguments were…
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Let’s Try That Again: Ex-NCAA Athletes Appeal Publicity Rights Suit to Sixth Circuit

On Monday, July 13, a group of ten former student athletes filed a notice of appeal with the Sixth Circuit regarding their publicity rights’ claims.  Ultimately, this effort fits into the much larger battle of whether student athletes should receive compensation for their participation in sporting events. The former college athletes are disputing U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp’s dismissal of their claims on grounds that they failed to sufficiently back their arguments that they deserve compensation under Tennessee law.  The plaintiffs are seeking to prove…
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