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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Both the NCAA and Student-Athletes Plan to Appeal Ruling on NCAA Pay Rules

On Friday, April 5, 2019, the plaintiffs from the controversial NCAA antitrust suit filed a notice of cross-appeal in California federal court. The student-athletes seek a broader ruling than that of the lower court, which held that the NCAA’s player pay restrictions violate antitrust laws, seeking a holding that expands pay beyond education-expenses alone. The athletes’ cross-appeal follows defendant NCAA’s filing their own notice of appeal, two weeks earlier. The organization has criticized the district court’s ruling, accusing the courts of “micromanaging” its rules, and …

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Youth Hockey “Boys Club” Prevents Tier 1 Application, Suit Says

On February 21, 2019, Reapers Hockey Association Inc. (Reapers), an organization that hopes to become Illinois fifth Tier 1 youth hockey club, filed a lawsuit against the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois Inc. (AHAI), the committee in charge of granting Tier 1 charters. According to the lawsuit, the AHAI governs all organized amateur hockey in Illinois, but the AHAI has only served the pecuniary interests of the existing four hockey clubs that possess a Tier I charter. It was alleged that the AHAI and its …

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The City of Oakland Sues the NFL

On December 11, 2018, the city of Oakland, California, sued the NFL and all thirty-two NFL teams, over the decision to relocate the Raiders to Las Vegas. In March 2017, the Oakland Raiders announced  that they planned to relocate to Las Vegas by 2020. According to the complaint, Oakland went to extraordinary efforts to keep the Raiders from leaving, but the ultimate decision was purely monetary: Las Vegas offered $750 million, ostensibly for a new stadium. Allegedly, as a part of the deal to …

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NCAA Trial Winds to a Close amid High Tensions and High Stakes

On October 19, 2018, the NCAA athletes submitted their closing arguments, firing away against the NCAA’s bar against compensating student athletes. The critical antitrust trial has centered on collegiate sports wages, with the plaintiffs arguing against the NCAA is, “economically invalid” in its arguments based on amateurism.

The NCAA has countered that paying student athletes would harm both the demand for college sports and the integration of student-athletes in college campus. The athletes reject these arguments, alleging in their 51 page redacted brief that …

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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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