Ninth Circuit Takes NCAA’s Appeal of the O’Bannon Case in Expedited Manner

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear the NCAA’s appeal of the O’Bannon case in a speedy manner after the parties filed a joint motion last week to expedite the schedule for briefs and oral arguments so that they have a decision before the permanent injunction by Judge Claudia Wilken becomes effective on August 1, 2015.

Typically, the Ninth Circuit does not schedule appeals before all briefs are filed.  Originally, the NCAA was to submit its opening brief by November 28, and the plaintiffs were to file their answer by December 29.  If the NCAA would choose to submit reply, it would add another 14 days from December 29.  Given the holidays during this period, the parties would likely have sought extensions, causing the briefing to continue well into March next year.  In such situation, the oral arguments for this case would not have been calendared until late next year.

The new schedule is for the NCAA to file its opening brief by November 14 and for the plaintiffs to submit their answer by January 21.  If the NCAA chooses to respond to the answer, the reply papers then will be due on February 11.  In addition, the court ordered the appeal to be scheduled “as soon as practicable.”

According to the filing, the NCAA wants the appeals court’s decision rendered before its member schools “make fundamental changes to the administration of collegiate athletics and to their relationship with students” to comply with the injunction order by Judge Wilken.


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