Draftkings and Fanduel: “No Doubt” Right of Publicity Lawsuit Should be Dismissed

As we have previously reported, former NCAA football players, Akeem Daniels, Cameron Stingily, and Nicholas Stoner recently filed a lawsuit against Draftkings, Inc. and Fanduel, Inc. In their lawsuit, the former NCAA players allege that Draftkings and Fanduel violated an Indiana state right-of-publicity statute when they used the former players names, images, likenesses, and statistics in online fantasy sports contests. After the case was dismissed in United States District Court, it was appealed to the Seventh Circuit. A Seventh Circuit appellate panel certified the…
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NCAA: Fans “Overwhelmingly Oppose” Paying Student-Athletes

On November 9, 2018, in their closing argument and brief, the NCAA defended its rules, restricting payments for student-athletes, arguing that NCAA fans value amateurism and “overwhelmingly oppose” paying student-athletes. The NCAA argued that the rules restricting student-athlete pay ensured that student-athletes were integrated into college campuses and, at the same time, promoting amateurism, which increases the demand for college sports. According to the NCAA, if the student-athletes were paid, fans would stop watching NCAA sports. As we have continued to cover, the…
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NCAA Corruption/Bribery Trial Fallout

As we previously reported, on October 24, 2018, a Manhattan federal jury convicted former Adidas executive James Gatto, business manager and aspiring sports agent Christopher Dawkins, and former Adidas consultant Merl Code of fraud charges arising out of a high-profile college basketball pay-for-play scandal. The breadth of the NCAA Corruption/Bribery Scandal rocked the NCAA. While the trial concluded with convictions, it is not likely that the story ends here. Many experts believe that various NCAA Division I Schools are now in the crosshairs of…
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Notre Dame Football Player to Proceed with CTE Suit

The Supreme Court of Ohio has ruled that the estate of a former Notre Dame football player may proceed with their fraud and negligence claims, which allege that CTE is a “latent” disease and thus exempt from the typical statute of limitations. The decision is noteworthy because, while negligence claims must usually be filed two years from the injury, “latent” diseases have a modified timeline: the two year time bar begins at the time an individual learned of the injury, not when the injury…
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NCAA to Commence New Committee to Monitor Sports Gambling

With the legalization of sports betting underway since May, 2018, the NCAA has announced its plan to establish a committee to oversee “the expansion of legalized sports wagering,” named the Board of Governors Ad Hoc Committee on Sports Wagering. In December of 2017, the longstanding federal restrictions barring the activity were struck down by Murphy v. NCAA, with the court determining that individual states could decide whether to legalize sports betting. The majority of states are expected to do so, allowing the respective state…
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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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Two Former Adidas Officials and a Business Manager Found Guilty in High-Profile “Pay-for-Play” NCAA Scandal

On October 24, 2018, a Manhattan federal jury convicted three men of fraud charges arising out of a high-profile college basketball pay-for-play scandal. Per the trial that opened on October 2, 2018, former Adidas executive James Gatto, business manager and aspiring sports agent Christopher Dawkins, and former Adidas consultant Merl Code had previously admitted their conduct ran afoul of NCAA rules, but denied breaking any law and staunchly advocated that they were acting with school’s knowledge and consent. Prosecutors had argued that these secret payments…
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Again Ninth Circuit Unlikely to Revive Lamar Dawson’s Lawsuit

On October 15, 2018, attorneys representing Lamar Dawson, a linebacker who played for the University of Southern California between 2011 and 2015, attempted to revive a proposed class action lawsuit against the NCAA and the Pac-12 Conference. According to Dawson’s attorneys, the NCAA and the Pac-12 Conference should be considered employers of college football players, because they set limits on pay and work hours, within the meaning of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Dawson’s attorneys are seeking to reverse U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg’s…
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Take Two: NCAA Moves to Dismiss Student Athlete’s Wage Suit

On October 8, 2018, the NCAA moved to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit led by Lawrence “Poppy” Livers, a former Villanova University football player. As we have previously reported, Livers sued to the NCAA claiming that the NCAA, Villanova, and other universities were violating the minimum wage provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Livers likened college athletes to paid student employees and claimed they should be compensated as such. However, Livers needed to show that the NCAA and the universities “willfully”…
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NCAA Considering More Changes to Transfer Rules

On October 5, 2018, the NCAA Division I Council announced that it plans, in 2019, to vote on four changes to transfer proposals. As we previously reported, in June 2018, the NCAA and various conferences voted to change student-athletes transfer rules. Previously, student-athletes went through a “permission to contact” process. The process limited their ability to transfer as their current college coaches were able to block the athlete from transferring to certain schools. Now, starting in October 2018, the NCAA has shifted to a…
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