Judge Highlights Inconsistencies in NCAA Rules against Paying Student Athletes

The NCAA antitrust trial continues, as Division I college basketball and football players vie for compensation, arguing that the current NCAA provisions illegally restrict player wages. On Friday, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken probed NCAA vice president Kevin Lennon on the association’s limits on student wages, pointing out apparent discrepancies between rules imposed on various conferences. Judge Wilken highlighted a NCAA provision adopted in 2014 that allows five conferences to independently determine their financial aid rules, despite NCAA bylaws imposing cost-of-attendance limits. Visibly perplexed,…
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NCAA Antitrust Trial Continues with Testimony from Pac-12 Commissioner

As part of the continuing NCAA antitrust action, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott took the stand on Tuesday, issuing a grave warning about the future of amateur sports if the judgment were to be awarded in the plaintiffs’ favor. Scott testified that any proposal to abandon the pay limit rules currently in place in the NCAA would “create significant consumer confusion,” making it “murkier” for broadcasters and fans to understand the nature of collegiate sports. He also stated that lifting such pay limits would be…
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UW Chancellor and AAC Commissioner Each Testify at NCAA Antitrust Trial

On September 17, 2018, University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) Chancellor, Rebecca Blank, and American Athletic Conference (AAC) Commissioner, Michael Aresco, each testified in the NCAA Antitrust trial. As we have previously reported, in this lawsuit a class of college athletes are attempting to challenge the existing NCAA amateurism rules and attempting to create an open market for various NCAA schools to compete for top college recruits. Pursuant to Chancellor Blank’s testimony, UW is considering dropping its athletic program in the event that the court forces…
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Former College Athletes Testify in NCAA Antitrust Trial

On September 7, 2018, three former college athletes, Shawne Alston, Martin Jenkins, and Justine Hartman, each testified that the NCAA “exploited them” by pushing them to prioritize athletics over academics. As we have previously reported, in this lawsuit a class of college athletes are attempting to challenge the existing NCAA amateurism rules and attempting to create an open market for various NCAA schools to compete for top college recruits. Hartman, a former University of California basketball player, testified that the NCAA exploited her by…
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Sparks Fly on Day Two of the NCAA Antitrust Trial

On September 5, 2018, a Stanford University professor, Dr. Roger Noll, testified as an economist expert on behalf of the college athletes in the ongoing NCAA antitrust trial. Dr. Noll criticized the NCAA’s amateurism rules, claiming that college basketball and football is not a “fragile enterprise dependent on how much players get paid.” As we have previously reported, in this particular lawsuit, a class of college athletes are attempting to challenge the existing NCAA amateurism rules and attempting to create an open market for…
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NCAA Antitrust Trial Starts With a Bang

On September 4, 2018, University of San Francisco professor, Daniel Rascher, testified as an economist expert on behalf of the college athletes. In his testimony, Rascher likened the NCAA to an illegal “cartel” because to their habitual practice of limiting how much money college athletes could be paid. As we have previously reported, in this particular lawsuit, a class of college athletes are attempting to challenge the existing NCAA amateurism rules and attempting to create an open market for various NCAA schools to…
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NCAA Antitrust Bench Trial Set to Begin

On September 4, 2018, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken is set to preside over a bench trail between the NCAA and a group of college athletes who want an injunction placed on NCAA amateurism rules. This lawsuit, brought by a class of college athletes, came in the wake of the O’Bannon decision, where a court held that NCAA rules prohibiting college athlete’s ability to profit from their likenesses were anti-competitive. However, as we have previously reported, the final decision, in O’Bannon, held that…
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College Athletes Move to Force America East Conference Commissioner to Testify

On August 22, 2018, a class of college athletes filed a motion to compel the testimony of Amy Huchthausen, Commissioner of the NCAA America East Conference. According to the motion, the NCAA canceled Ms. Huchthausen’s deposition two days before she was scheduled to be deposed. The NCAA claimed that she was no longer going to be called as a witness at the upcoming college athlete’s compensation trail, a stark contrast to their previous statements. As we have previously reported, a class of college athletes…
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O’Bannon Evidence to be Used by both Litigants in NCAA Antitrust Trial

In a controversial move, U.S. District Judge Wilken has announced that, in the antitrust action brought by student athletes against the NCAA, she will admit evidence from the O’Bannon case, despite objections from both litigants. In the case at hand, the athletes are pursuing claims that the NCAA illegally restrains their income potential by prohibiting pay beyond the students’ scholarship. Judge Wilken’s statement permitting the use of O’Bannon evidence will allow the NCAA in to use O’Bannon’s expert testimony for impeachment purposes, and will also…
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UFC Moves for Summary Judgment in Antitrust Class Action

On July 30, Zuffa LLC—parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (“UFC”)—moved for summary judgment, requesting the dismissal of an antitrust suit filed against them by a proposed class of mixed martial arts (“MMA”) fighters. While the MMA fighters allege that the UFC engaged in anti-competitive practices to dominate the MMA industry and restrict fighters’ wages, the UFC counters that there is no evidence of such activity, instead contending that fighters’ wages are increasing. The action was originally filed in 2014 by fighters Cung…
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