Former Quarterback Seeks Additional Docs to Support Class Certification Against NCAA
John Rock, former Gardner-Webb University quarterback, has urged the NCAA to turn over information that he believes will help establish class certification.
Rock initiated an antitrust suit against the NCAA back in 2012, alleging that the organization’s “artificial” scholarship cap and former prohibition on multi-year athletic-based scholarships represented illegal restraints on trade. The suit was later dismissed in 2013, based on the Indiana District Court’s finding that the plaintiff failed to identify a “cognizable market” that suffered from the “anti-competitive” effects of the NCAA’s regulations. However, the suit was later reinstated when Rock amended his complaint and identified the “cognizable market” as Division I NCAA football players who received an athletic scholarship that was later revoked or reduced, causing the students to pay tuition out of pocket. Subsequently, Rock moved for class certification and was again granted permission to amend his complaint — this time, to align the class definition with the definitions set forth in the motion for class certification. Rock defined the class more broadly as Division I football players that were recruited by FBS schools (Division I Football Bowl Subdivision) but did not receive their scholarship for the duration of their college career.
The former quarterback now anticipates that the NCAA will challenge class certification and argue that proposed members of the class are not “ascertainable.” For purposes of class certification, there must be an “ascertainable class” of clearly identified and defined individuals. Rock claims that he will need the NCAA to disclose certain information in order to clearly identify members of the class. Specifically, the former quarterback requests that the NCAA provide reports of players that were sought after by Division I programs and a list of schools which began offering multi-year athletic-based scholarships after the ban was lifted.
The plaintiff’s action seeks damages and a court order requiring Division I programs to offer multi-year scholarships and to prevent the NCAA from enforcing scholarship caps that limit the amount of scholarships offered to student-athletes.