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…
Continue reading...

Michael Avenatti Arrested for an Attempt to Extort up to $26.5 Million From Nike

On March 25, 2019, celebrity lawyer and outspoken President Trump critic, Michael Avenatti, was arrested and taken into custody after federal prosecutors charged him with numerous crimes, including conspiracy to commit extortion, bank fraud, and wire fraud. According to a federal criminal complaint, on March 19, 2019, Avenatti met with Nike representatives claiming to represent a youth basketball coach who had information that Nike employees made illicit payments to the families of high school athletes. Avenatti and his alleged co-conspirator Mark Geragos, a high-profile criminal…
Continue reading...

Former Northwestern University Football Player Sues NCAA

On March 18, 2019, former Northwestern University football player, Jay Tant, filed a proposed concussion class action lawsuit against the NCAA. In the class action suit, Tant alleged that the NCAA failed to protect the school’s players from the dangers of concussion and head injuries despite knowing the risks. According to Tant, the NCAA knew, since 1933, of the dangers of concussions and the long-term risks they posed to student-athletes however, the NCAA only began to implement concussion protocols in 2010. Tant, a standout tight…
Continue reading...

Texas A&M Wants out of the “12th Man” Copyright Suit

On March 15, 2019, Texas A&M University urged U.S. District Court Judge Andrew S. Hanen that the Texas A&M Athletic Department is not a separate entity and therefore is entitled to immunity in the Texas A&M “12th Man” copyright suit. As we have continued to report, in 2014, Michael J. Bynum, an author, sued Texas A&M after it posted on its website the “heart” of Mr. Bynum unpublished book, 12th Man: The Life and Legend of Texas A&M’s E. King Gill. According to…
Continue reading...

Potential New Tax Law Would Allow NCAA Athletes to Profit From Their Image

On March 14, 2019, Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) introduced a bill that would allow NCAA athletes to profit from their image and likeness. The Student-Athlete Equity Act, which is co-sponsored by Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), would amend the definition of an “amateur” in the federal tax code and would allow NCAA student-athletes to get paid when they, or more specifically their image, appears in video games, advertisements, and other public media. In a statement, Rep. Walker said, “Signing an athletic scholarship with a school…
Continue reading...

Ex-Auburn Assistant Coach Pleads Guilty

Former Auburn basketball assistant coach, Chuck Person, has reportedly plead guilty to a conspiracy charge. Person, who was previously accused of accepting bribes and encouraging Auburn basketball players to sign with certain financial advisors and business managers, is the latest NCAA figure to be caught up in the NCAA corruption/Bribery scandal and trial. As we have continued to report, the scandal, which concluded in a trail and convictions, involved Adidas executive Jim Gatto, Adidas contractor Merl Code, and sports business manager Christian Dawkins. Each…
Continue reading...

Former Penn Basketball Coach Takes the Stand, Admits Accepting Bribes

On March 8, 2019, former head basketball coach at the University of Pennsylvania, Jerome Allen, took the stand as a government witness in the trial of Philip Esformes. Allen, now with the Boston Celtics, previously plead guilty, in October 2019, to a bribery-related money laundering charge. Allen testified against Esformes, a healthcare executive, claiming that Esformes bribed him with $300,000 in bags full of cash and wire transfers so Esformes’ son, Morris, could qualify as a “recruited” basketball player, which would help him get accepted…
Continue reading...

NCAA Escapes Wrongful-Death Suit

In February 2016, at Mount Ida College in Massachusetts, after a two-hour off season workout with his football team, Michael Mazza returned to his dorm room and tragically died. According to an eyewitness, “[h]e sat on the couch and stiffened up. His head went back. His friends thought he was fooling around, but his lips were turning white and he wasn’t breathing.” Thirty minutes later, at 20 years old, Michael Mazza was pronounced dead. An autopsy revealed that the cause of death was “probable…
Continue reading...

College Athlete Compensation Decision

On March 8, 2019, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken issued an injunction prohibiting the NCAA from enforcing rules that are “overly and unnecessarily restrictive.” In yet another decision, Judge Wilken changed the landscape of the NCCA’s amateurism and compensation rules. For the second time, Judge Wilken ruled that the NCAA’s amateurism and compensation rules violated federal antitrust laws. Specifically, the NCAA can no longer “limit compensation or benefits related to education;” however, the NCAA “may continue … to limit compensation and benefits that are unrelated…
Continue reading...

NCAA Head Coaches Sean Miller and Will Wade Face Subpoenas in Upcoming Federal Basketball Corruption Trial

On February 25, 2019, reports began circulating that indicate both Arizona head basketball coach Sean Miller and LSU head basketball coach Will Wade will be subpoenaed in connection with the upcoming April 22 federal basketball corruption trial. Back in October, a Manhattan federal jury convicted former Adidas executive James Gatto, business manager and aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins, and former Adidas consultant Merl Code of fraud charges arising out of this college basketball pay-for-play scandal. Throughout the course of trial, several NCAA coaches’ names emerged…
Continue reading...