NCAA President Says Student-Athlete Compensation Rule Changes Limited by Antitrust Lawsuits

NCAA President Mark Emmert stated in a panel that the NCAA’s planned reforms regarding student-athlete compensation will be limited by rulings in various antitrust cases. After California passed a law allowing for student-athlete compensation and many states looked to follow, the NCAA announced in a statement that it would allow student-athletes to benefit off their name, image, and likeness. The NCAA stressed that any changes would have to be consistent with the collegiate model. In addition to new laws and proposed legislation, the NCAA…
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An Unusual Coalition: Five U.S. Senators Spark Bipartisan Effort on Student-Athlete Compensation

A group of five United States senators announced that they will be discussing the drafting of federal legislation addressing the compensation of college athletes. The five senators are: Cory Booker, D-New Jersey; Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut; Mitt Romney, R-Utah; Marco Rubio, R-Florida; and David Perdue, R-Georgia. As we reported earlier, California became the first state to allow student-athletes to be compensated through endorsements or sponsorships. The NCAA was vehemently opposed to any efforts to mandate payment of college athletes and even threatened to ban California schools…
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FanDuel Owner to Become Largest Gambling Company in $6 Billion Deal, Targets U.S. Sports Betting Market

Flutter Entertainment PLC, the owner of Paddy Power and FanDuel, announced a $6 billion deal to purchase The Stars Group Inc. (TSG) and become the world’s largest online gambling company. Flutter, an Irish gambling conglomerate, owns gambling websites Paddy Power and Betfair, in addition to sports betting websites FanDuel, Sportsbet, and TVG. Meanwhile, Canadian company TSG owns the world’s largest poker website, PokerStars, as well as BetStars and Full Tilt Poker. The combined value of the companies is approximately $12 billion. Further, the combined…
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NCAA Trial Winds to a Close amid High Tensions and High Stakes

On October 19, 2018, the NCAA athletes submitted their closing arguments, firing away against the NCAA’s bar against compensating student athletes. The critical antitrust trial has centered on collegiate sports wages, with the plaintiffs arguing against the NCAA is, “economically invalid” in its arguments based on amateurism. The NCAA has countered that paying student athletes would harm both the demand for college sports and the integration of student-athletes in college campus. The athletes reject these arguments, alleging in their 51 page redacted brief that…
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SCOTUS Declines Opportunity to Reconsider MLB Antitrust Exemption

Major League Baseball’s immunity from antitrust violations under the Sherman Act has been called an “anomaly.” It has also been consistently upheld by courts since 1922, when it was unanimously affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States. The exemption was codified by Congress in the Curt Flood Act of 1998, maintaining an exemption for MLB and its clubs when conducting the “business of baseball” and providing more freedom to players seeking free agency and salary arbitration. Despite striking out with lower courts, two…
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College Athlete Compensation Suit Moved to Trial

On March 28, 2018, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled the 2015 O’Bannon decision did not bar the recent NCAA antitrust lawsuit. As previously covered, a class of college athletes are attempting to obtain a judgement that would lift the cap on college athlete’s compensation. In their lawsuit, the college athletes argued that the NCAA violated federal antitrust law by conspiring to impose an artificial ceiling on the scholarships and benefits that college athletes may receive as payment for their athletic services, which arguably have…
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Judge Preliminarily Approves NCAA’s $209 Million Antitrust Settlement

A U.S. District judge has granted preliminary approval for a $208.7 million settlement in the antitrust lawsuit between student-athletes and the NCAA/eleven athletic conferences. The approval came after revisions were added to exclude claims in other athletes’ suits and to modify class definitions. As background, the student-athletes’ original complaint, filed in 2014, challenged the NCAA’s rules prohibiting universities from paying students a larger sum than a full grant-in-aid — which covers the up to the full cost of university attendance. Not only did the…
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Show Me the Money: NCAA Agrees to Pay Over $200 Million to Former Student Athletes

In a historic moment, the NCAA agreed to settle a portion of a massive class-action lawsuit earlier this month. The total amount — $208.7 million — was agreed to by the NCAA to remedy student athletes who competed prior to January 2015, when the five major college athletic conferences, including the ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Pac-12, and Big 12, voted to increase the amount of an athletic scholarship to cover the cost of attending a university. The settlement requires the payment of roughly $6,700 dollars…
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The NCAA Continues to Block Student-Athletes From Transferring Universities: Protecting Fair Play or Violating Antitrust Laws?

Former Northern Illinois University football player, Peter Deppe, filed suit against the NCAA in which he alleged that the NCAA’s “year-in-residence” rule violates antitrust laws. NIU recruited Deppe as a walk-on punter, but designated him as a red shirt player for his first year. In August 2014, the special teams coach told Deppe that beginning in January 2015, he would receive an athletic-scholarship and take over as the starting punter. However, the special teams coach transferred schools, and NIU’s head coach informed Deppe that…
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Desperate Attempt From Caddies to Reverse Antitrust Class Action Dismissal

The Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour caddies are taking another swing at gaining revenue for advertisements on a caddy’s bib. The class action antirust case, of which over 150 caddies are involved, filed an appeal with the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. They are requesting the court to overturn the district court’s dismissal of their complaint concerning advertising logos and abuses made by the PGA Tour. This appeal stems from a lawsuit filed in January 2015. The caddies claim the PGA Tour violated and…
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