Category Archives: NCAA

Cases against the NCAA and its Conferences over Athletic Scholarship Rules Get Consolidated

On June 4, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation decided to consolidate two lawsuits over athletic scholarship rules in the Northern District of California where similar litigation is pending. Currently presiding over the Ed O’Bannon case on misappropriation of likeness, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken will hear the two cases over the cap imposed on athletic scholarships—one brought by Shawne Alston and the other by Marvin Jenkins. Alston filed a suit against the NCAA, SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 in March…

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NCAA Players Agree to a $40 million Settlement with EA Sports

Leaving the NCAA as a sole defendant, NCAA football and basketball players reached a settlement with EA Sports in the case involving alleged misappropriation of the athletes’ likeness.  The $40 million settlement after attorney fees would provide approximately $4,000 to as many as 100,000 former and current NCAA players whose images EA Sports used in its college basketball and football video games since 2003.  The agreement awaits an approval by a federal judge presiding over the case.  For each registered eligible player, the settlement amount…

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NCAA Separation Order

The NCAA is currently facing two related antitrust lawsuits regarding their ban on student-athlete compensation.  The first case, brought by former student-athlete and professional athlete Ed O’Bannon, is now set for trial on June 9, 2014.  The second case, brought by former student-athlete Sam Keller, is set for March of 2015. Ed O’Bannon brought his case in 2009, 10 years after his retirement, when he saw his name and likeness being broadcasted by the NCAA during a basketball tournament.  O’Bannon is not seeking a monetary…

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NCAA Fights Consolidation in Anti-trust Scholarship Cases

The NCAA, facing legal battles on several fronts regarding student-athlete compensation, is fighting to keep multiple class action suits from being centralized. Former student-athlete, Shawne Alston, filed a lawsuit in Oakland, CA, back in March, 2014, claiming the NCAA has violated federal anti-trust laws by fixing scholarship awards below the actual full cost of attendance.  Many students, including Alston, need to take out loans in addition to their scholarships to cover their actual full cost of attendance because registration fees and other daily living expenses…

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What Are the Potential Effects of the Northwestern NLRB Decision on New York Compensation Claims?

Prior entries to Goldberg Segalla’s Sports and Entertainment Law Insider blog have discussed in detail some of the legal and practical issues for college football programs made by the recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision regarding Northwestern University football players. (Recent blog entries have analyzed the ramifications on university athletic programs and student-athletes, as well as the responses of coaches and players.) In addition to the civil liability issues discussed in those articles, particularized problems would arise in the workers’ compensation context…

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To Unionize, or Not to Unionize? Northwestern Football Players Cast Historic Vote Following Controversial NLRB Ruling

On April 25, Northwestern University’s scholarship football players voted on whether to form the first union for college athletes. This came on the heels of a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling that the university’s scholarship football players were employees, and that they (as workers) had the right to form a union and were entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.  The NLRB agreed with the players on almost every point made at last month’s hearing, including acknowledging that athletes spend well in excess of the weekly…

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Northwestern Football Players Encouraged to Just Say No to Union

Last month the Chicago office of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued a ruling stating that athletes at private universities are employees of their respective schools and have the right to unionize.  Now, with Northwestern’s players scheduled to vote on unionization on April 25, Pat Fitzgerald, the school’s football coach, is urging his players to vote against the measure. The players leading the unionization effort are hoping to secure things such as better medical coverage, four-year scholarships, and even the possibility of being paid. …

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NLRB Ruling Allows College Football Players to Unionize — and the Ramifications Could Be Huge

A recent decision by regional director Peter Sung Ohr of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) declared that Northwestern University football players are school employees, and have the right to unionize. This move could have vast potential ramifications for academic athletics and the NCAA, two groups that have traditionally worked together to set rules for players classified as “student-athletes.” The cause was spearheaded by former Northwester quarterback Kain Colter and the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA), a union which advocates for student athletes’ rights. During…

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Are March Madness Office Pools Legal?

Brace yourselves, employers: March Madness is upon us. Thursday, March 20, is the first full day of the 2014 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Division I Basketball Championship Tournament games, and the tourney does not conclude until the Championship Game on Monday, April 7, in Arlington, Texas. During the tournament’s three weeks, the United States economy will lose an estimated $1.2 billion in productivity as employees watch early round games, participate in office pools, and discuss the outcomes with co-workers. (Fantasy sports activity in…

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Collegiate Athletes Bring in a Ringer for New Action Against NCAA

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) is currently defending student amateurism on several fronts across the country in legal battles with big potential monetary implications.  In one ongoing lawsuit, former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon leads a class action on behalf of former and current NCAA players, alleging that the organization’s practice of licensing and profiting from student images and likenesses without their consent violates federal antitrust laws.  Elsewhere, Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter organized a union movement at the school and requested that the National…

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