NCAA Says District Court Got It Wrong

Citing NCAA v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma where the Supreme Court found the NCAA’s amateurism rules were procompetitive, the NCAA claimed the district court erred in finding such rules anti-competitive and “embracing an analysis that conflicts with fundamental antitrust principles.”  The NCAA emphasized that the Supreme Court held that amateurism rules were valid because they

“enable[] a product to be marketed which might otherwise be unavailable.”

In a filing submitted on February 11, the organization criticized the plaintiffs’ argument that the NCAA itself recognized college sports have turned into a professionalized big business that undermined its rendition of amateurism.  The NCAA replied that “commercialism and amateurism are not incompatible” and they co-existed for a long time.  However, with the NCAA’s amateurism rules, it argued college sports faced less commercial pressures.

Additionally, the NCAA criticized the court filing submitted by student-athletes failed to focus on antitrust law or to respond to the arguments that the NCAA laid out.  The NCAA further argued that plaintiffs “seek primarily to sow dislike of the NCAA, by cataloguing its every supposed misdeed—including, curiously, actions that indisputably benefit student-athletes.”

The NCAA’s chief legal officer Donald Remy in a statement released on Thursday said,

“While the plaintiffs continue their attempt to direct the court away from antitrust law, we maintain what other courts have acknowledged — the NCAA has not violated the law.”

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