What’s Next, Civil Litigation Against Sports Memorabilia Dealers for Improper Dealings with College-Athletes?

Your favorite college football team loses its star quarterback or running back due to a suspension for NCAA violations related to compensation received from a sports memorabilia dealer for autographing multiple items that the dealer sells.  The college suffers damage in the form of potential lost ticket sales, merchandising, bowl revenue, and negative publicity.  Does the university have any recourse against the dealer who stands outside the reach of NCAA oversight but who profits from the offending transactions? NCAA Bylaw 12.5.2.1 prohibits student-athletes from accepting…
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Sports Leagues and NCAA Challenge Christie’s Sports Bill

Four major professional sports leagues and the NCAA (collectively the “leagues”) responded to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s partial repeal of New Jersey’s ban on sports betting. The leagues filed a federal lawsuit on Monday seeking a temporary injunction on sports betting in New Jersey. The state’s first sports bet is scheduled for Sunday at Monmouth Park racetrack, where ten tellers will be taking bets on the NFL. The leagues argue that Governor Christie’s sports betting bill accomplishes “what it unsuccessfully attempted to do…
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Judge Wilken Keeps Scholarship Lawsuits Against NCAA Alive

On Thursday, October 9, Northern District of California Judge, Claudia Wilken, denied the NCAA’s motion to dismiss pending class action lawsuits against it for scholarship related antitrust violations. The NCAA filed its motion to dismiss the cases after the same judge, Claudia Wilken, ruled against the NCAA in the O’Bannon case finding the association was in violation of antitrust laws for its denial of player compensation.  The NCAA argues here that the Alston and Jenkins cases should be dismissed as the issue of player scholarships…
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NCAA Fights PA Law to Spread Penn State’s Sandusky Fine Nationwide

On Monday, October 6, the NCAA filed a motion in federal court, asking to have a newly enacted Pennsylvania law, which manipulates the Penn State Sandusky fine, invalidated as it is unconstitutional. The NCAA’s motion is directed at the Institution of Higher Education Monetary Penalty Endowment Act, which was enacted in 2013 in response to a fine levied against Penn State University.  In 2012, the NCAA and Penn State agreed to a Consent Decree penalizing the university for the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal. …
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Court Nixes NCAA-PSU’s Attempt to Dismiss Lawsuit over $60M Fine

A Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court denied the NCAA’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by state Senator Jake Corman and Treasurer Rob McCord.  The suit is seeking to enforce the 2012 Higher Education Monetary Penalty Endowment Act (the “Act”) on the $60 million fine imposed on Penn State (“PSU”).  In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal, the NCAA in 2012 imposed the penalty as part of a consent decree.  Under the Act, the NCAA fine must be used to prevent child sexual abuse…
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Ninth Circuit Takes NCAA’s Appeal of the O’Bannon Case in Expedited Manner

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear the NCAA’s appeal of the O’Bannon case in a speedy manner after the parties filed a joint motion last week to expedite the schedule for briefs and oral arguments so that they have a decision before the permanent injunction by Judge Claudia Wilken becomes effective on August 1, 2015. Typically, the Ninth Circuit does not schedule appeals before all briefs are filed.  Originally, the NCAA was to submit its opening brief by November 28, and the…
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NCAA Using the O’Bannon Decision to Have Two Other Similar Suits Dismissed

While the NCAA is appealing the O’Bannon decision by Judge Claudia Wilken, it is using Judge Wilken’s ruling in that case as the reason why she should dismiss two other scholarship suits before her. One lawsuit was brought by several former men’s and women’s basketball players in 11 conferences as well as football players, including former West Virginia running back Shawne Alston.  The other suit covered players in men’s basketball and football, including Clemson football player Martin Jenkins. In the O’Bannon case, Judge Wilken had…
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Another Headache for the NCAA Concussion Litigation

Once again, the NCAA has found itself at the forefront of concussion-related litigation. A Montgomery County (Md.) Circuit Court Judge granted a motion to compel the NCAA president, Mark Emmert, to be deposed in a lawsuit over the death of a college athlete. In 2011, the parents of a Frostburg State University (Frostburg) football player filed suit when their 22 year-old son, Derek Sheely, died after sustaining several concussions during preseason football training. The wrongful-death suit accused the football coach of conducting “gladiatorial” high-speed…
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NCAA Appeals O’Bannon Decision

On Wednesday August 20, the NCAA filed the much anticipated notice of appeal from the judgment and order of Judge Claudia Wilken, which granted a permanent injunction on the NCAA’s ban of student athlete compensation. Judge Wilken entered the order on August 8 in favor of the O’Bannon plaintiffs, ruling that the NCAA is in violation of antitrust laws by prohibiting the member schools from offering student-athletes a limited share of the revenues generated from the use of their names, images, and likenesses. Chief legal…
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Injunction on NCAA Player Compensation Set for August 1, 2015

Tuesday, August 19, the terms of the recent Order lifting the NCAA’s ban on student-athlete compensation was clarified and set in motion. The O’Bannon plaintiffs and the NCAA filed a joint stipulation last week asking for Judge Claudia Wilken to clarify her order in terms of when the ban on player compensation was to kick in.  The parties at first disagreed over whether any students currently enrolled would be eligible for student-athlete pay in the future, however the disagreement was resolved. The parties’ stipulation designates…
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