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, Pac-12 Want Ninth Circuit on their Side in Student-Athlete Wage Suit

The NCAA and the Pac-12 filed a brief asking the Ninth Circuit to uphold the dismissal of a wage action brought by a former USC football player, arguing that not paying student-athletes is precisely what makes them amateurs. “FBS [Football Bowl Subdivision] football players are not Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Employees because amateurism — a system in which compensation is explicitly prohibited — ‘defines the economic reality’ of their activity.” The brief further argued the state law claims failed because California defines the players…
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Judge Gives Final Approval of NCAA’s $209 Million Settlement

On November 17, 2017, California U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken announced she will grant the final approval to the $209 million settlement for student-athletes from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and 11 athletic conferences. The settlement includes a $41.7 million fee request for class counsel, which amounts to 20 percent of the settlement’s common fund. The settlement partially resolves several lawsuits that were consolidated in 2014 in California’s Northern District. The lawsuit challenged the NCAA’s rules prohibiting universities from paying students more than a…
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Student-Athletes Square Up Against Lone Objector to Attorneys Fee Award in $209 Million NCAA Settlement

The fight over legal fees from the second-largest class-action settlement in NCAA history continues. One sole student-athlete objected to the $41 million attorneys’ fee award, which is 20 percent of the $208.7 million settlement. NCAA Division I football player, Darrin Duncan, called the fee award unfair and wanted to apply to the “mega fund rule,” which decreases fee awards as the settlement total increases. Plaintiffs’ class counsel had argued back in September that the fee request was reasonable considering the Ninth Circuit’s 25 percent fee…
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NCAA and Student-Athletes Request Final Approval of $75 Million Settlement

On September 29, 2017, former student-athletes asked the Illinois federal court to approve the $75 million settlement against the NCAA for head trauma. With the reports of young NFL players diagnosed with brain damage after death, the former student-athletes insist that the medical monitoring part of the deal cannot come soon enough. The final approval hearing is scheduled to be heard before the judge in November. The former student-athletes argued that the settlement is ready for final approval because the evaluation of the student-athletes’ claims…
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Fight for Legal Fees Begins in $209 Million Student-Athlete vs. NCAA Settlement

On Wednesday September 6, 2017, plaintiff’s lawyers in a class-action antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA, which settled for $208.7 million, filed for nearly $45 million in legal fees and costs. More than $41 million of that amount would cover attorney’s fees, $3.2 million would cover costs and expenses, and $20,000 each would go as a reward to the four class representatives. The overall fee request would make up only 21.5 percent of the settlement. The lawyers argue the fee request is adequate considering the Ninth…
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NCAA Responds to Former NIU Punters Attempt to Revive Antitrust Challenge

The NCAA has urged the Seventh Circuit to reject the appeal of former Northern Illinois University punter, Peter Deppe. As mentioned in our previous post, Deppe’s proposed class action suit, which revolves around the NCAA’s transfer rules and eligibility bylaws, was dismissed in March, 2017. In a Wednesday, June 14, 2017 brief, the NCAA voiced their opinion on Deppe’s appeal and his interpretation of a 2012 Seventh Circuit decision. Deppe claims that the Seventh Circuit decision requires the NCAA to prove the transfer rules…
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Student-Athletes Want Schools Held in Contempt

Seven NCAA schools failed to meet the court’s deadline to turn over their athlete contact information. The student-athletes that comprise of the 4.4 million member class want the schools to be forced to explain why they missed the deadline. The student information is needed for the proposed concussion settlement process. On June 6, 2017, Judge John Lee extended the opt out or objection date for the NCAA concussion settlement. This settlement has been in the works for some time, but without the cooperation of…
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NCAA Athletes Granted Deadline Extension to Opt Out of Concussion Settlement

Judge John Lee, an Illinois federal judge, extended the opt out or objection date for the NCAA concussion settlement. Class members now have until August 4, 2017 to exclude themselves or object to the settlement. The settlement impacts an estimated 4.4 million current and former NCAA student-athletes in 43 different sports. In July 2016, Judge Lee pre-approved the $75 million settlement fund. The proposed fund earmarks $70 million for a 50-year medical monitoring program to screen student-athletes for head injuries. The additional $5 million…
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UNC Attempts to Block NCAA’s Latest Allegations Over “Sham” Classes

On Friday, May 26, 2017, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill made public their response to the NCAA’s third, and latest, NCAA notice of allegation of sham course for athletes. Their response included that the classes in question were available to all students and any irregularities were academic in nature and not subject to NCAA enforcement. The NCAA’s latest notice of allegations were filed at the close of 2016, and accused UNC of providing improper extra benefits to student-athletes so that they could remain eligible…
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