NCAA Student-Athlete Pay Rules, Opposition Grows

On October 30, 2019, the plaintiffs in the Alston v. NCAA case gained support in the form of an amicus curiae brief from the Open Markets Institute, Change to Win, the National Employment Law Project, economics professor Marshall Steinbaum, and law professors Sanjukta Paul and Veena Dubal. In the brief submitted to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the amici argue that the U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of California, Claudia Wilken, reached “an overly narrow” decision based upon…
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NCAA Plays Defense on All Fronts, College Athletes Seek Big Win in Ninth Circuit

On March 8, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of California, Claudia Wilken, ruled that the NCAA’s student-athlete compensation limits “unreasonably restrain trade in violation of . . . the Sherman Act.” A group of former and current student-athletes, including plaintiff Shawne Alston, applauded Wilken’s decision but is requesting that the Ninth Circuit invalidate caps on all forms of compensation. The NCAA appealed Wilken’s decision and is once again defending its student-athlete compensation rules before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the…
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NCAA Offers Lifeline: College Athletes To Benefit From Name, Image, Likeness

The NCAA announced it is starting the process to allow student-athletes to benefit off their name, image, and likeness. The move comes after multiple states introduced legislation permitting student-athletes to earn this form of compensation. Previously, we reported California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law the Fair Pay to Play Act. The law will take effect January 1, 2023 and will allow student-athletes to enter into endorsement deals. Since Gov. Newsom signed the California bill, multiple states introduced legislation, including New York. The move…
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FanDuel Owner to Become Largest Gambling Company in $6 Billion Deal, Targets U.S. Sports Betting Market

Flutter Entertainment PLC, the owner of Paddy Power and FanDuel, announced a $6 billion deal to purchase The Stars Group Inc. (TSG) and become the world’s largest online gambling company. Flutter, an Irish gambling conglomerate, owns gambling websites Paddy Power and Betfair, in addition to sports betting websites FanDuel, Sportsbet, and TVG. Meanwhile, Canadian company TSG owns the world’s largest poker website, PokerStars, as well as BetStars and Full Tilt Poker. The combined value of the companies is approximately $12 billion. Further, the combined…
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The Battle for Student-Athlete Pay Rages: New York Joins the Movement

California’s state legislature passed The Fair Pay for Play Act (SB-206), which is designed to allow student-athletes to earn compensation through the use of their name, image, and likeness. Previously, we reported that two South Carolina state lawmakers intend to introduce a similar bill. On September 23, 2019, the Empire State joined the movement after New York State Sen. Kevin S. Parker introduced a bill similar in language to the bill California recently passed. Parker believes this is about equity. He understands that student-athletes are…
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Catching Fire: South Carolina Lawmakers to Follow California’s Pay-to-Play Bill

The passage of California’s Fair Pay to Play Act (SB-206) has sparked a movement among state legislatures on the east coast. South Carolina intends to join the fray. South Carolina State Senator Marlon Kimpson says that he and South Carolina State Representative Justin Bamberg plan to introduce a bill that will permit college athletes to make money from the use of their names, images, and likeness. In addition to collegiate athletes earning a $5,000/year stipend, the bill will allow them the opportunity to earn money…
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California Prepared to Battle the NCAA Over Pay-to-Play

The California Senate unanimously voted to pass the California Assembly’s version of the Fair Pay to Play Act (SB-206) on September 11, 2019. The bill will allow student-athletes to earn compensation through endorsements or sponsorships. If signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, the bill would take effect January 1, 2023. If the governor does nothing, or he does not veto the bill, then the bill becomes law. Paying student-athletes for use of their name, image, and likeness contradicts current NCAA rules and regulations regarding student-athlete…
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Collision Course: California’s Pay-to-Play Bill Takes Aim at NCAA

On September 9, 2019, the California State Assembly voted 66-0 to pass an amended version of the Fair Pay to Play Act. The bill now moves back to the state senate for a vote, which is likely to pass, putting the state on a collision course with the NCAA over its rules prohibiting student-athletes from being compensated for use of their name, image and likeness. Previously, we reported that the California State Senate voted to pass the Fair Pay to Play Act (SB- 206) to…
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California NCAA Athletes Inch Closer to Earning Compensation

As previously reported, a California bill that would allow student-athletes to be paid for their likenesses has cleared yet another legal hurdle. The closely followed bill would allow college athletes to enjoy the capital gained from their name, images, and likeness. Under current NCAA rules, student-athletes are not permitted to accept payment for, or permit, “the use of his or her name or picture to advertise, recommend, or promote” the commercial sale of goods, or use their likeness to promote a service or product.…
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Ninth Circuit Affirms $42 Million Fee Award in NCAA in Antitrust Suit

On April 17, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a $42 million attorney fee award despite objections from former NCAA athletes. As we have previously covered, in November 2017, former Division I NCAA athletes won a settlement of $208.7 million against the NCAA. In their suit, former NCAA athletes challenged the NCAA’s practice of capping student scholarships at values less than the actual cost of attendance. Previously, class member Darrin Duncan articulated that the “central issue in the…
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