Category Archives: NCAA

Efforts of UPenn Athletes to Obtain Employee Status Denied Once Again

Following the dismissal of a suit brought by UPenn athletes seeking compensation as employees under the FLSA, the athletes are arguing that the Seventh Circuit’s reliance on a 1992 Seventh Circuit case, which rejected Fair Labor Standards claims brought by a prisoner, essentially placed them on similar legal footing as prison laborers. Though the athletes are aware fighting for employee status as college athletes is far-fetched based on the courts’ consistent denial of such claims, the UPenn athletes’ argument rests on the proposition that they…

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NCAA Faces Another Concussion Class Action Over Breach of Protective Duty

The NCAA faces another potential class action after several former college football players filed suit in Indiana federal court attacking the organization’s concussion protocol, or lack thereof. Some might say the organization should have seen it coming in light of the modified $75 million dollar medical monitoring settlement the NCAA reached with players last May. The original settlement was modified out of concerns that the settlement would preclude players from bringing individual personal injury claims based on contract principles, and left open the possibility of…

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Is the First College Sports PAC for the Purpose of Preventing Pay for Play?

The athletic directors at 129 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) colleges and universities announced recently that they are forming a political action committee, called LEAD1, to lobby Congress. Not only can PACs give limited donations to candidates and parties, they can also — as a result of Citizens United — spend as much as they want to support or defeat a candidate, party, or legislation. LEAD1 is the first college sports PAC. Conventional wisdom holds that the FBS athletic directors created LEAD1 to try to…

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As March Madness Looms, NCAA Opens Another Violation Investigation into UNC Academic Practices

Just when the University of North Carolina thought it was past the rounds of sanctions centering on academic integrity issues, the NCAA filed a third “Notice of Allegations” as 2016 came to a close. In the most recent notice, the NCAA alleged that the university provided improper extra benefits to student-athletes so that they could remain eligible for athletic competition. The notice goes on to allege that members of the men’s basketball and football programs received improper benefits, restoring a reference to the university’s premier…

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Could a Sport’s Revenue be the Difference-Maker in Fight for Paid Student-Athletes?

A federal judge in California held a Seventh Circuit’s decision inapplicable to the Fair Labor Standards Act case brought by former University of Southern California linebacker, Lamar Dawson. District Court Judge Richard Seeborg rejected the defendants’ motion to stay the wage-and-hour case in spite of the NCAA and PAC 12’s motion to dismiss Dawson’s claims. Dawson brought this class action suit after leaving USC in December 2015, arguing he was “denied full pay for all hours worked, including overtime pay, and was frequently permitted to…

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Former Track & Field Athletes Petition for En Banc Review in the Face of Latest Defeat in Student-Athlete Employment Fight

Two former NCAA track and field athletes are petitioning the Seventh Circuit to overrule itself, in one of the highest profile student-athlete lawsuits since the Ed O’Bannon litigation. Plaintiffs Gillian Berger and Taylor Hennig competed for the University of Pennsylvania, and argue that the hours spent training and competing for their school violated the wage-and-hour provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The defendants, which include the NCAA, won a motion to dismiss the case this past February. That order was upheld by…

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“UConn’t do that!” Ex-Soccer Player Suing University for Revoking Athletic Scholarship

In a bizarre lawsuit, a former soccer player from the University of Connecticut (UConn) is filing suit against her alma mater for taking her athletic scholarship away, but not for the reason you might think. It all started in 2014 after the UConn women’s soccer team won the American Athletic Conference title game. In a moment of jubilation, then-freshman Noriana Radwan hugged a teammate and then looked to the television camera directly in front of her, and proudly “flipped the bird,” likely without any idea…

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Ohio Takes a Closer Look at Accrual of Injury in Concussion Case

The long-lasting nature of a concussion injury may be a way around the statute of limitation problems for athletes bringing concussion suits. The Ohio Court of Appeals, which revived a former Notre Dame football player’s case against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), recently reasoned that there was nothing about the player’s condition prior to diagnosis (within the statute of limitations) that would have alerted him that his injury was the result of the NCAA alleged tortious conduct. Steven Schmitz, who passed away…

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Student Athletes: Don’t Quit Your Day Job

On December 5, 2016, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in a case brought by former student athletes of the track and field team at the University of Pennsylvania, against the University, the NCAA and several other Division I universities. The former student athletes claimed that during their time in college athletics they were employees of the defendants and therefore entitled to a minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The district court held that the student athletes, who formerly attended…

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Upon Further Review: NCAA Sends University of Hawaii Basketball Case Back to Committee on Infractions

On October 28, 2016, an internal NCAA appellate board said that the Division I Committee on Infractions should reconsider sanctions imposed on the University of Hawaii’s men’s basketball program. The Division I Infractions Appeals Committee found there was insufficient evidence showing that the university permitted men’s basketball coach Gib Arnold to act unethically, finding “there needs to be a connection between the behavior of the coach and the university.” In 2015, the NCAA’s Division I Committee on Infractions found that Arnold violated NCAA rules concerning…

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