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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NCAA Asks Ninth Circuit to Adhere to Seventh Circuit Ruling

On June 29, 2018, in a letter, lawyers representing the NCAA asked the Ninth Circuit to adhere to the Seventh Circuit’ recent decision and not revive a proposed wage-and-hour class action lawsuit brought by former NCAA football player, Lamar Dawson. The lawyer’s asked the Ninth Circuit to adhere to the June 25, 2018 Seventh Circuit ruling that upheld the NCAA’s controversial “year-in-residence rule.” The rule mandates that if a student athlete transfers from a division one institution to another division one institution, they are…
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NCAA’s ‘Year in Residence’ Rule Here To Stay

The Sports Law Insider has previously reported on the NCAA’s attempt to modernize their transfer rules. The NCAA has transitioned into a notification based system in which student athletes no longer have to receive permission from their current schools to transfer. Instead, they  enter their name into a national database that then notifies their current school of their decision to leave. However, the NCAA did allow individual conferences to install more stringent regulations if they wished. The Sports Law Insider then reported on the Athletic…
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SCOTUS Declines Opportunity to Reconsider MLB Antitrust Exemption

Major League Baseball’s immunity from antitrust violations under the Sherman Act has been called an “anomaly.” It has also been consistently upheld by courts since 1922, when it was unanimously affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States. The exemption was codified by Congress in the Curt Flood Act of 1998, maintaining an exemption for MLB and its clubs when conducting the “business of baseball” and providing more freedom to players seeking free agency and salary arbitration. Despite striking out with lower courts, two…
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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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NCAA Wins Motions in Antitrust Litigation

On January 3, 2018, Judge Nathanael M. Cousins denied the class of former NCAA student-athlete’s motion to reopen discovery in the NCAA antitrust litigation. The litigation began in March 2014, when former student-athletes claimed that the NCAA violated antitrust laws by capping scholarship awards below the actual cost of college attendance. The former student-athletes wanted to reopen discovery to gain access to a public opinion survey conducted by the NCAA, which according to the players said that 79 percent of Americans believe that big universities…
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