Update: NCAA Transfer Rule

As we have previously covered, the NCAA recently changed their transfer rules. In the past, student-athletes went through a “permission to contact” process. This 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 “notification” system that will allow the athletes to transfer without coaches’ permission. However, on June 19, 2018, various NCAA conferences, including the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big TenConference, Big…
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NCAA & Villanova Critique Student Athlete’s Amended Wage Suit

The Sports Law Insider previously reported on a putative class’ wage suit against the NCAA and several universities. The suit by former Villanova football player Lawrence “Poppy” Livers was brought in September 2017. Livers asserted 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” violated the…
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NCAA Settles Wrongful Death Suit Mid-Trial

On June 15, 2018, the NCAA settled a lawsuit brought by Debra Ploetz, wife of former University of Texas football player, Greg Ploetz. Ploetz played college football from 1968 to 1972 but later died in 2015 from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The lawsuit made it to a Dallas, Texas courtroom, but was settled after only three days of trial. The lawsuit was seen as a potential landmark case if the jury ruled against the NCAA, which is potentially the reason why the NCAA decided to…
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Former Athletes Say NCAA “Hiding the Ball” and Engaging in “Trial by Ambush”

On April 4, 2018 the Sports and Entertainment Law Insider discussed an ongoing lawsuit that was brought by a class of former college athletes seeking to lift the cap on student athlete compensation under NCAA rules. The case is being tried by U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken, who previously ruled in favor of student athletes on antitrust claims against the NCAA in O’Bannon. In March 2018, Judge Wilken denied the NCAA’s motion for summary judgment and sent the current case to trial. With trial…
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NCAA Loosens Transfer Rules

On Wednesday June 13, 2018, the NCAA changed their stringent transfer rules for their student athletes. In the past, student athletes went through a “permission to contact” process. This process limited their ability to transfer as their current college coaches were able to block the athlete from transferring to certain schools. For example, many coaches would not allow a player to transfer within their own conference. The only way to get around these bars, was for the student athlete to forego receiving financial aid at…
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Former Wrestling Coach Sues Pitt Over Firing

The University of Pittsburgh was hit with a discrimination lawsuit in Pennsylvania Federal Court on Monday, June 4, 2018, by former wrestling coach Jason Peters. Peters claims that Pitt discriminated against him based on him being African-American and denied him of his fourteenth amendment due process rights during the firing process. Additionally, the complaint states that Peters was fired without just cause and that Pitt violated Pennsylvania’s Wage Payment and Collection Law by failing to pay owed wages and provide him benefits. The suit specifically…
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Update: Cell Phone Evidence Upheld in NCAA Corruption/Bribery Case

As we have previously reported, former Adidas consultant, Merl Code, NBA agent, Christian Dawkins, and Adidas executive, Jim Gatto, came under fire in 2017 for alleged bribery and corruption practices relating to the NCAA. Specifically, they were accused of facilitating six-figure payments to basketball players and their families in exchange for assurance that the players would go on to attend Adidas-sponsored, NCAA Division I colleges, using Dawkins as an agent. Further accusations indicate that college coaches were similarly bribed in the scheme and encouraged…
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Arkansas Tech Sues NCAA Over Vacated Wins

The NCAA imposed sanctions on the Arkansas Tech athletic program for violations revolving around the school’s failure to monitor its housing operations from 2009 to 2013. Tech waived or paid $14,250 in housing security deposits for 57 prospects during this time period and also reserved on-campus apartments and dorms for student-athletes, which is a NCAA violation. Arkansas Tech believes the sanctions imposed by the NCAA are excessive and that the organization abused its discretion in the disciplinary process. Arkansas Tech contends the NCAA has failed…
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Former Division I Athletes Seek Reduction of “Grossly Excessive” Fees Awarded to NCAA in Antitrust Suit

As we have previously reported, former Division I football and basketball athlete plaintiffs won a settlement of $208.7 million from the NCAA for the NCAA’s antitrust practices capping student scholarships at values less than the actual cost of attendance. In a recent brief, class member Darrin Duncan articulates that the “central issue in the case is that [the NCAA] violated the antitrust laws by agreeing to and enforcing restrictive NCAA bylaws that cap the amount of athletically related financial aid and other benefits”. Since…
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UPDATE: Former USC Coach Losses Defamation Suit Against the NCAA

On May 21, 2018, a jury returned a verdict of 9-3, found that the NCAA did not defame former University of Southern California assistant football coach Todd McNair in its 2010 and 2011 statements. As we have previously reported, McNair accused the NCAA’s Infractions Committee of ending his coaching career in June 2010 when it found him guilty of unethical conduct in connection with the impermissible-benefits scandal involving the Reggie Bush scandal. The Reggie Bush scandal, also known as the Bush/O.J. Mayo scandal, arose…
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