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…
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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…
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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…
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Judge Explains Reasoning in NCAA Corruption/Bribery Trial

On January 17, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan explained his reasoning behind precluding the defendants use of an expert witness in the NCAA corruption/bribery trial. 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. In a memorandum, Judge Kaplan explained that expert witness Dr. Daniel…
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Tidal Wave of Former College Football Players Plan to File Lawsuits Against NCAA

Reportedly, over 200 former NCAA college football players are planning to sue the NCAA. The lawsuits allege that the NCAA was negligent in failing to protect the former players from long-term brain damage, even though the NCAA knew about the dangers. The tip of the iceberg were several lawsuits filed on January 25, 2019. In one lawsuit, former Cameron University football player, Abe Mack IV, sued the NCAA for injuries sustained a result of NCAA’s “reckless disregard for [his and others similarly situated] health…
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“Physically Damaging Workouts” cited in $12M Suit Against University of Oregon and NCAA

Doug Brenner, former offensive lineman for the University of Oregon, has brought suit against the school, the NCAA, and two coaches for $11.5 million. Brenner contends that the “extreme” workouts players were forced to endure resulted in such “serious, lifelong injuries,” and that his body is “ruined.” Coach Willie Taggart and strength and conditioning Coach Irele Oderinde were recently added to the complaint, and Brenner alleges that the coaches implemented “physically impossible and unreasonably repetitious” routines for Brenner and the other football players. Brenner…
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Update: Tempers Flare at Closing Arguments in the Student Athlete’s Wage Suit

During closing arguments in the NCAA student-athlete wage suit, on December 18, 2018, Beth Wilkinson, attorney representing the NCAA, told U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken that she was mistaken about some underlying facts of the case. At the start of closing arguments, Judge Wilken said that it “seems very clear” that the NCAA violated antitrust laws, but she questioned how the violation could be quantified. However, Wilkinson was quick to respond, saying “[w]e have not ever conceded that there was an antitrust violation.” Judge Wilken…
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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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