EA, NCAA Class Action: Plaintiffs Want Settlement Objectors to Post Bond

On Thursday, October 15, 2015, the plaintiffs in the Electronic Arts, Inc., NCAA right of publicity class action insisted that a federal court impose an appeal bond on settlement objectors. The lawsuit — a class action alleging unauthorized use of former and current student-athletes’ names and likeness — ended in a $60 million settlement in June. However, two student athletes — Nathan Harris and Darrin Duncan — have appealed the court’s denial of their objections to the settlement. The class members in support of the…
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NCAA Athlete Compensation: Student-Athletes File Petition for Rehearing

On Wednesday, October 14, 2015,  former student-athletes filed a petition with the Ninth Circuit for a rehearing en banc on its decision to uphold the rule that NCAA athletes do not need to be compensated beyond the cost of attending college. The federal trial court originally held that: (1) universities may grant to student athletes the full cost of attendance; and (2) universities may allow student athletes to receive up to $5,000 per year as compensation for the use of their names and likenesses. On…
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NCAA, EA Seeking Attorney Sanctions

On Monday, October 12, 2015, defendants NCAA and Electronic Arts, Inc. (EA) filed a petition urging a federal court to sanction plaintiffs’ attorney Scott Kron for “profane” and “outrageous” outbursts during a meeting. The lawsuit — a class action alleging unauthorized use of student-athletes’ names and likeness — ended in a $60 million settlement in June. However, two student athletes objected to the settlement and have appealed the court’s denial of their objections. Nathan Harris, one of the two objectors, is represented by attorney Scott…
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Football Insurance? You Bet

This post first appeared on Goldberg Segalla’s Professional Liability Matters blog.  Professional athletes are worth a lot of money. When they are on top of their game they are capable of raking in the dough for themselves and their organizations.  However, if they become injured or otherwise unable to perform a lot of money is at stake.  Therefore, it’s not unusual for athletes to obtain disability insurance policies, covering them in the event of a career ending injury.  In fact with respect to collegiate athletes,…
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Student-Athlete Time Demands: NCAA D-I Council Takes Another Look

Over the course of the first week of October, the NCAA Division I Council began discussions on the time demands of college athletics. Member schools will discuss the demands among themselves, and they will also consider student-athlete input. Currently, while in-season, D-I college sport teams are subject to a 20-hour-per-week limit on the athletes’ combined game and practice time. During the off-season, programs are limited to 8 hours per week. The Council discussions come following the September 30, 2015 U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’…
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NCAA Student-Athletes Continue Fight For Class Certification

On Thursday, October 1, 2015,  a group of student athletes continued their fight for class action certification in their lawsuit against the NCAA. The lawsuits, filed on behalf of former and current NCAA athletes, aims to reduce NCAA restrictions on scholarship caps for Bowl Subdivision D-1 football players and for men’s and women’s basketball teams. In order to obtain class certification, the plaintiffs must demonstrate that all of their cases involve common questions of law or fact and that the “named” plaintiffs will protect the…
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NCAA Athlete Compensation: The Ninth Circuit Filed its Opinion on Appeal

On September 30, 2015, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals filed its opinion in the appeal of the O’Bannon v. NCAA antitrust lawsuit.  At the federal trial court level, District Court Judge Claudia Wilken held that the NCAA’s ban on compensating student athletes violates federal antitrust laws.  Judge Wilken concluded that “less restrictive” means were available to preserve student athletes’ amateur status, and therefore, she held that NCAA member universities were permitted to engage in the following acts: (1) universities may grant to student…
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Student Athletes Appeal Settlement in Class Action Lawsuit Against NCAA, Electronic Arts

A new development emerged Wednesday, September 16, 2015 in the case against Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) and the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) as two plaintiffs are appealing the approval of a $60 million settlement. The case—a class action lawsuit brought by student athletes—involves the use of students’ names, images, and likeness in EA’s NCAA video game series. The class action has two underlying lawsuits: Keller v. Electronic Arts Inc. et al and O’Bannon, Jr. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association et al. A…
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The NCAA Continues Opposition of Class Certification in Scholarship Antitrust Actions

On Tuesday September 8, 2015, the NCAA continued its opposition of class certification in a multidistrict antitrust litigation, which seeks to reduce NCAA restrictions on scholarship caps for Bowl Subdivision D-1 football players and for men’s and women’s basketball teams. The lawsuits, filed on behalf of past and current NCAA athletes, also aim to reduce restrictions on what schools can offer their players—like compensation, for example. The plaintiff’s initial filing seeking class certification came in April 2015. For the individual cases to be certified,…
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NLRB Ends Northwestern Football Players’ Attempt at Unionization

A unanimous decision by the National Labor Relations Board on Monday ended the Northwestern University scholarship football players’ bid to unionize without addressing the key issue that has plagued collegiate athletics for so many years: whether college athletes are employees and entitled to such compensation. The case was brought before the five-member board for review after an NLRB regional director found that the football players who put in “more hours than ‘many undisputed full-time employees’ work” are employees and thus can unionize. According to the…
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