Category Archives: NCAA

Judge Wilken Listens to Additional Arguments on College Athlete Compensation

On January 16, 2018, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken once again presided over a court where a class of college athletes attempted to obtain a judgement that would lift the cap on college athlete’s compensation. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) argued that this most recent class-action suit is barred by the Ninth Circuit’s September 2015 O’Bannon decision. As we have continued to cover, back in 2014, Judge Wilken presided over the O’Bannon decision, where she sided with the college athletes in an…

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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 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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Rick Pitino Shoots Back at Adidas’ Motion to Dismiss Emotional Distress Suit

Dribbling around the allegations connecting him to a bribery scandal, former University of Louisville men’s basketball coach, Rick Pitino, fought back against Adidas’ arguments to toss his claim alleging emotional distress. Adidas filed a motion at the end of November to either dismiss the case for failure to state a claim or stay it in favor of mandatory arbitration because of a provision in a contract between Pitino and Adidas. Pitino, in response, argued the product endorsement contract with Adidas does not apply to…

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NCAA Sanctions University of Northern Colorado

On December 15, 2017, the NCAA hit the University of Northern Colorado’s men’s basketball team with sanctions for the former head coach and other staff members completing coursework and paying tuition for poorly performing prospects. Additionally, one player was given extra, off-site practice. Specifically, the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions found that the former head coach, B. J. Hill, was fueled by his want to “succeed at any cost.” To accomplish this goal, as well as follow his high-performing predecessor’s footsteps, Hill recruited many…

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Louisville Athletics Association Contends Pitino Must Pay Forfeited Funds

On December 13, 2017, the University of Louisville Athletics Association stated that Rick Pitino, the former men’s basketball head coach, should cover the penalties issued by the NCAA against the school. The University of Louisville Athletics Association filed counterclaims against Pitino in his federal suit over his termination. The university received penalties from the NCAA panel because of allegations that a former operations director used strippers and escorts to attract potential players. However, once the FBI investigation was complete, there were only charges against an…

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NCAA Rules Ole Miss Lacked Control Over Football Program

On December 1, 2017, an NCAA panel decided that the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) promoted an “unconstrained culture of booster involvement in football recruiting,” and handed out more penalties to the school over recruiting misconduct, including impermissible benefits given to athletic prospects and academic fraud. The decision comes from a case against Ole Miss for 21 allegations of NCAA rule violations over a five year period, including providing prospective athletes with cash, housing, apparel, and other improper benefits. The NCAA panel found that the…

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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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Estate of Former UNC Player Sues NCAA and ACC

The estate of former University of North Carolina offensive lineman, Ryan Hoffman, has sued both the ACC and NCAA on claims of negligence, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment in relation to head injuries Hoffman sustained while playing for UNC. The action seeks to establish a class action including former UNC players or their representatives. Hoffman’s suit alleges the ACC and NCAA failed to provide adequate medical attention addressing severe and/or multiple concussions, failed to protect Hoffman and other players from brain trauma leading to…

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