College Athlete Compensation Suit Moved to Trial

On March 28, 2018, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled the 2015 O’Bannon decision did not bar the recent NCAA antitrust lawsuit. As previously covered, a class of college athletes are attempting to obtain a judgement that would lift the cap on college athlete’s compensation. In their lawsuit, the college athletes argued that the NCAA violated federal antitrust law by conspiring to impose an artificial ceiling on the scholarships and benefits that college athletes may receive as payment for their athletic services, which arguably have…
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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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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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NCAA Argues O’Bannon Win Insufficient for a Grant of $42 Million in Attorneys’ Fees

The NCAA has moved for the Ninth Circuit to deny a $42 million attorney’s fees request regarding the underlying litigation over rules barring student-athletes from receiving compensation for their names, images, and likeness, as the NCAA alleged the win was only partial, and thus, such a large award is inappropriate. As background, a California district court issued an injunction, which prevented the NCAA from capping student-athletes financial aid amounts below the full cost of attendance, and that student-athletes could receive up to $5,000 per…
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O’Bannon Attorneys Attempt to Cash In with the Ninth Circuit

On February 16, 2017, attorneys for the student-athletes in the infamous O’Bannon case argued in front of the Ninth Circuit that they are entitled to over $42 million in attorney’s fees. The attorney’s obtained an injunction from the district court that the NCAA could not cap student-athlete aid packages at below the full cost of attendance, and that student-athletes could receive up to $5,000 per year in cash payments for use of their name, image, and likeness. However, the appellate court reversed the district court’s…
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Supreme Court Denies Review of O’Bannon Lawsuit

On October 3, 2016, the United States Supreme Court announced that it denied requests from both the NCAA and former student athletes to review the ruling in the infamous O’Bannon lawsuit. As a result, the Court will not attempt to tackle the issue of compensation for college student athletes, leaving the Ninth Circuit’s panel decision intact. In response, the chief legal counselor of the NCAA, Donald Remy, promptly released a statement reacting to the court’s decision. According to Remy, while they are obviously disappointed…
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NCAA Unhappy with O’Bannon Support in Antitrust Suit

Following the Ninth Circuit decision that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) violated antitrust laws by denying students compensation for the use of their likeness, the NCAA petitioned the Supreme Court to hear its appeal. In an unexpected turn of events in the O’Bannon v. NCAA lawsuit, the NCAA is arguing that O’Bannon is secretly in favor of the NCAA bid. In the Ninth Circuit ruling, the court in essence maintained that student-athletes should be compensated for the use of their name and likeness. However,…
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O’Bannon Requests Supreme Court Kick First Amendment Question

While the O’Bannon appeal from the Ninth Circuit awaits a response from the Supreme Court, both sides have continued to strategically downplay the opposition’s arguments. Most recently, O’Bannon filed a July 1, 2016 brief advising the Supreme Court not to consider whether the Ninth Circuit should have barred the antitrust suit over compensation for athletes’ images and likenesses on First Amendment grounds. O’Bannon argues that the constitutional argument is not a central issue to the case. O’Bannon, on behalf of the former NCAA athletes, has…
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NFHS Lines Up Behind NCAA in O’Bannon Appeal, Files Amicus Brief in Support

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has filed an amicus brief supporting the NCAA in its petition to the Supreme Court appealing the Ninth Circuit’s decision in the case of O’Bannon v. NCAA. In its brief, the NFHS extolled the virtues of amateurism, and warned that “[a]llowing college athletes to receive compensation in any form not tied to their college education not only would threaten the unique nature of college athletics, and thus much of its appeal, but also would diminish…
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NCAA: What To Do With $9 Million?

The marathon antitrust case commenced in 2009 between the NCAA and former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon and other former student athletes continues to this day. Several disgruntled former student athletes are suing the NCAA for wrongfully profiting off their likeness. The former students argue that the NCAA wrongfully used and profited from their names, images and likeness in various ways — including video games like EASports — without being compensated for it. Last May, U.S. District Judge Wilken ordered the NCAA to immediately pay…
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