NCAA Bribery Suit Continues Less One Defendent

The NCAA corruption and bribery case is still ongoing, though now with one less defendant. We recently reported on a motionfiled February 9, 2018, in which the defendants moved to suppress evidence arising from an allegedly flawed warrant application by the United States Attorney’s Office. Also on February 9, and in further progression of the case, a federal judge complied with a request by federal prosecutors to dismiss the charges against defendant Jonathan Brad Augustine, former director of an Adidas-sponsored travel basketball organization called…
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Judge Denies Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss in NCAA Corruption/Bribery Case

On February 15, 2018, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan denied defendants, Christian Dawkins, Jim Gatto, and Merl Code, motion to dismiss corruption and bribery charges. As we have previously reported, Adidas executive Jim Gatto, Adidas contractor Merl Code, and sports business manager Christian Dawkins were accused of facilitating six-figure payments to basketball players and their families in exchange for promises that the players would enroll in Adidas sponsored NCAA Division I schools and later would hire Dawkins. In their motion to dismiss, Gatto, Code, and…
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Filing Mistake Could Cost Government in NCAA Corruption/Bribery Case

On February 9, 2018, defendants in the NCAA corruption and bribery case filed a motion to suppress key government evidence. The motion outlines several procedural breaches, the most important is the claim of “a failure to identify the authorizing justice official” in paperwork to obtain a warrant for a wiretap. On April 7, 2017, a court issued an order permitting the federal government to wiretap Munish Sood’s cellphone for thirty days. The goal of the wiretap was to target communications between Mr. Sood and Christian…
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Judge Delays NCAA $75 Million Settlement for the Second Time

On February 6, 2018, U.S. District Judge John Lee again delayed final approval of a $75 million settlement after he learned thousands of current and former NCAA student-athletes have still yet to be notified of the settlement. Judge Lee expressed his frustration with the notification process, and he once again delayed finial approval given that nearly 13,000 class members have not yet learned about the case and its proposed settlement. The $75 million dollar settlementwas initially approved by Judge Lee in July 2017. Seventy…
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NCAA College-Athletes Move to Secure Settlement

On January 31, 2018, a class of college-athletes, suing the NCAA over the alleged anti-competition cap benefits, asked Judge Claudia J. Wilken to issue an appeal bond. As we have previously covered, the class secured a court approved settlement of over $209 million, the second largest settlement in NCAA history. However, Darrin Duncan was the only member of the class of 53,748 that objected to the $209 million settlement. Mr. Duncan has since appealed the court approved settlement. Now, the rest of the class…
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NCAA Wins Another Trademark Infringement Suit

On January 18, 2018, U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson granted the NCAA’s motion, and subsequently, entered a default judgement against Kizzang LLC. Kizzang provides online sweepstakes and fantasy sports entertainment services. As we have previously covered, the suit originally began in March 2017 when the NCAA opposed Kizzang’s attempt to register the marks “April Madness” and “Final 3.” The NCAA sued Kizzang alleging trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition. The NCAA complained that Kizzang’s marks infringed, diluted, and unfairly competed with the…
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NCAA Pushes Vote on Transfer Rule

On January 17, 2018, an NCAA committee voted to prolong a potential vote on whether to change the Division I transfer rule. Under the “academic year in residence” rule, a transfer student must spend an academic year in residence at the school to which they are transferring. This means that players who want to transfer have to wait one year before they can start playing at their new university. As we have previously covered, this rule has been subject of several lawsuits, and…
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Judge Wilken Listens to Additional Arguments on College Athlete Compensation

On January 16, 2018, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken once again presided over a court where a class of college athletes attempted to obtain a judgement that would lift the cap on college athlete’s compensation. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) argued that this most recent class-action suit is barred by the Ninth Circuit’s September 2015 O’Bannon decision. As we have continued to cover, back in 2014, Judge Wilken presided over the O’Bannon decision, where she sided with the college athletes in an…
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Former USC Linebacker Attempts to Revive NCAA Suit

A former University of Southern California linebacker, Lamar Dawson, again tried to convince the Ninth Circuit to revive his class action suit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Pacific-12 Conference (Pac-12). As we have previously covered, Dawson began the class-action lawsuit in September 2016 alleging the NCAA and Pac-12 violated California law and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by not paying college football players a minimum wage or overtime. “The reality of the relationship between the students and the universities…
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NCAA Wins Motions in Antitrust Litigation

On January 3, 2018, Judge Nathanael M. Cousins denied the class of former NCAA student-athlete’s motion to reopen discovery in the NCAA antitrust litigation. The litigation began in March 2014, when former student-athletes claimed that the NCAA violated antitrust laws by capping scholarship awards below the actual cost of college attendance. The former student-athletes wanted to reopen discovery to gain access to a public opinion survey conducted by the NCAA, which according to the players said that 79 percent of Americans believe that big universities…
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