Legal Fees Sought After NCAA Trademark Suit Deemed “Exceptional Case”

As we have previously reported, the NCAA has recently triumphed over a year-long trademark suit when its motion requesting an entry of default was granted back in January 2018, and a default judgment rendered thereafter. The suit alleged that defendants Robert Alexander and Kizzang LLC had infringed, diluted, and unfairly competed with the NCAA by using and attempting to register the marks “April Madness” and “Final 3.” The marks were strikingly similar to the NCAA’s well-known trademarks of “March Madness” and the “Final…
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Judge Delays NCAA $75 Million Settlement for the Fifth Time

On March 8, 2018, U.S. District Judge John Lee delayed final approval of a $75 million settlement for the fifth time after he learned that thousands of current and former NCAA student-athletes have still yet to be notified of the settlement. Judge Lee originally approved the $75 million settlement in July 2016, but delays, largely attributed to difficulties notifying more than 4 million student-athletes, including acquiring contact information and physically notifying the student-athletes, have prevented final approval. The most recent difficulty, and the reason for…
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Pitino Recommends Legal Action to Reclaim Louisville’s National Title

The Louisville basketball team drama continues as former coach Rick Pitino asks the school to consider taking legal action to address the NCAA’s requirement that the team forfeit its national title. In February, Louisville appealed the NCAA’s decision that forced the team to forego its 2013 national title, as well as 123 wins dating back to 2011, and to pay about $600,000 in penalties. The Infractions Appeals Committee was unsympathetic to the team’s plea and affirmed the above sanctions. On February 21, 2018, immediately…
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Judges Want Media Leaks in NCAA Corruption and Bribery Case to Stop

On February 28, 2018, U.S. District Judges Lewis A. Kaplan and Edgardo Ramos denied the government’s “gag order” and both judges agreed that they plan to issue stronger protective orders that would clearly prohibit further media leaks. A gag order is a judge’s order prohibiting attorneys and parties from talking to the media or the public about an ongoing case. This most recent update on the NCAA corruption and bribery case comes in the wake of recent Yahoo Sports and ESPN reports. Simply put, there…
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NCAA President Responds to Corruption/Bribery Case Report

On February 23, 2018, NCAA president, Mark Emmert, released a statement in response to allegations made in a Yahoo Sports report. As we have previously covered, Yahoo Sports reported that financial records, documents, and wiretaps tied to prominent former NBA agent, Andy Miller, and his former associate, Christian Dawkins, have provided the federal prosecution with a detailed window into the ongoing NCAA corruption/bribery case. According to the documents, payments as high as $73,000 were paid to current NCAA basketball players like Duke University’s,…
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NCAA Argues $42 Million Award is Unjustified

On February 15, 2018, an attorney representing the NCAA urged a panel of judges from the Ninth Circuit to reject a $42 million attorney’s fee award for attorneys representing student-athletes. Back in 2009, a class of players, led by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon, sued the NCAA claiming that the NCAA violated antitrust laws by wrongfully profiting off the likenesses of student-athletes and not offering scholarships at the full cost of attending the university. In 2015, the class of players won their suit; however,…
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University of Arizona Men’s Basketball Coach Accused of Offering $100,000 to Star Player

On February 25, 2018, ESPN reported that the FBI had several wiretapped conversations between the University of Arizona Wildcats’ head coach, Sean Miller, and Christian Dawkins. Reportedly, the two had several conversations about paying $100,000 to guarantee that freshman star center, Deandre Ayton, signed with Arizona. As we have previously reported, Dawkins currently stands accused of facilitating six-figure payments to basketball players and their families in exchange for promises that the players would enroll at Adidas sponsored NCAA Division I schools and later would…
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NCAA Corruption/Bribery Case Update

On February 21, 2018, Yahoo Sports reported that financial records, documents, and wiretaps tied to prominent former NBA agent, Andy Miller, and his former associate, Christian Dawkins, have provided the prosecution with a detailed window into the ongoing NCAA Corruption and Bribery case. As we have continued to report, this case involves Adidas executive Jim Gatto, Adidas contractor Merl Code, and sports business manager Christian Dawkins. Each stand accused of facilitating six-figure payments to basketball players and their families in exchange for promises that…
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NCAA Affirms Sanctions Against Louisville Basketball Team

As we have previously covered, the Louisville men’s Division I basketball team has been under scrutiny since news surfaced in 2015 about its inappropriate recruitment practices involving escorts and strippers, which started back in 2011. Since then, the team has endured the firing of its head coach, self-imposed penalties, and much embarrassment. In June 2017, the NCAA issued penalties, including a five-game suspension of former coach Rick Pitino, four years’ probation for the entire team, and show-cause penalties for former coach Andre McGee,…
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Notre Dame Forced to Vacate 2012 and 2013 Wins

On February 13, 2018, the NCAA’s Division I Infractions Appeals Committee (IAC) announced that the University of Notre Dame’s football team must vacate 21 wins accumulated during the 2012 and 2013 football seasons. Back in November 2016, an NCAA panel sanctioned Notre Dame after the school self-reported that a student trainer had done coursework and given benefits to a group of football players. As a result of the ruling, wins from the 2012 and 2013 seasons were vacated, Notre Dame was put on probation, Notre…
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