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 interests of the entire class. The NCAA opposes certification, arguing that conflicts would exist between the named plaintiffs and potential unnamed class members. More specifically, the NCAA argues that increased funding for football and basketball would lead to decreased funding for other sports.
These arguments came the day after the Ninth Circuit held that NCAA member universities were permitted to grant students athletes the full cost of attendance, but were not permitted to grant student athletes up to $5,000 per year for use of the students’ names and likeness. U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken stated that she does not believe this ruling will affect the student athletes currently seeking certification.