NCAA: What To Do With $9 Million?

The marathon antitrust case commenced in 2009 between the NCAA and former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon and other former student athletes continues to this day. Several disgruntled former student athletes are suing the NCAA for wrongfully profiting off their likeness. The former students argue that the NCAA wrongfully used and profited from their names, images and likeness in various ways — including video games like EASports — without being compensated for it. Last May, U.S. District Judge Wilken ordered the NCAA to immediately pay…
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Student-Athletes Challenging the NCAA’s ‘Grant-in-Aid’ Rules Seek to Continue Lawsuit By Distancing Themselves from O’Bannon

On May 31, 2016, student-athletes fighting NCAA bylaws which prevent compensation beyond the cost of attending college filed an opposition to the NCAA’s bid for judgement on the pleadings of their anti-trust claims. The key element of their opposition is that they are raising claims wholly different from the landmark O’Bannon v. NCAA case which had a momentous ruling in late 2015. By arguing that the issues are different from the O’Bannon case they stop the court from dismissing the case to prevent re-litigating…
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O’Bannon and Former Student-Athletes Continue Pursuit of Supreme Court Review

On May 26, 2016, former NCAA student-athletes, led by former basketball player Ed O’Bannon, filed a reply brief further urging the Supreme Court to review the Ninth Circuit’s reversal of compensation for the NCAA’s use of student-athletes’ image and likeness. The student-athletes’ contend that the NCAA misconstrued Supreme Court precedent to justify using amateurism as an excuse for its anti-competitive rules which violate federal anti-trust law. This request to the Supreme Court was the result of a recent Ninth Circuit decision which found the NCAA…
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NCAA Victory: Order to Post $42 Million Bond Lifted

On Friday, May 23, 2016, California U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled in favor of the NCAA’s fee bond appeal, granting the organization’s request to not post bond while it appeals the O’Bannon decision. The NCAA filed the fee bond appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court on May 10, 2016, arguing that it was unnecessary to reserve more than $42 million in attorneys’ fees and costs associated with the O’Bannon case. The NCAA claimed that the fee bond would place undue detriment on the organization,…
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Student-Athlete Pay Cap Claims Return, NCAA Seeks Shelter Under O’Bannon Ruling

The NCAA is seeking to remove multidistrict litigation antitrust claims relating to the organization’s rules regarding student-athlete compensation. Currently, the NCAA maintains that college athletics is a form of competitive amateurism. The NCAA’s unwillingness to pay student-athletes compensation beyond the cost of attendance is based in the belief that college sports are hobbies played by amateur athletes. On Monday, May 18, 2016, the NCAA claimed that the issue of student-athlete compensation has already been litigated in the O’Bannon case ruling (2015). Previously, in a…
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NCAA Appeals Fee Bond, Argues Detriment to Mission

On Tuesday, May, 10, 2016, the NCAA appealed to the Ninth Circuit, arguing that it was unnecessary to reserve more than $42 million in attorneys’ fees and costs associated with the appeal in the O’Bannon case. Initially, the judge ordered that the NCAA pay plaintiffs’ attorneys for the college athletes’ name, image, and likeness class action suit a total of $44.4 million in fees and $1.5 million in costs, but the fees were later reduced $40.8 million. The NCAA claims that the players’ attorneys are…
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Sports Litigation and Cases to Keep an Eye on in the New Year (Part II)

Part one of our look ahead at some of hottest sports litigation topics focused on the Deflategate appeal and the battle in New Jersey over the legalization of sports betting. Today, we’ll look at the latest surrounding the NCAA anitrust litigation, concussion litigation in the NHL, and the FIFA corruption scandal. NCAA Antitrust Litigation The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in O’Bannon v. NCAA cleared the way for collegiate schools to offer student athletes the full cost of attending college, but also prevents schools from…
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NCAA Athlete Compensation: Ninth Circuit Denies Plaintiffs Request for Rehearing En Banc

On Wednesday, December 16, 2015, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of appeals denied a rehearing request for its prior ruling in O’Bannon v. NCAA — the case involving the issue whether Division I student athletes should be compensated. Ed O’Bannon, the named plaintiff representing student athletes, seemingly won at the trial court level. District Judge Claudia Wilken found the NCAA’s ban on compensating student athletes violates federal antitrust laws. Judge Wilken concluded that “less restrictive” means were available to preserve student athletes’ amateur status. She…
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Student-Athlete Time Demands: NCAA D-I Council Takes Another Look

Over the course of the first week of October, the NCAA Division I Council began discussions on the time demands of college athletics. Member schools will discuss the demands among themselves, and they will also consider student-athlete input. Currently, while in-season, D-I college sport teams are subject to a 20-hour-per-week limit on the athletes’ combined game and practice time. During the off-season, programs are limited to 8 hours per week. The Council discussions come following the September 30, 2015 U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’…
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NCAA Athlete Compensation: The Ninth Circuit Filed its Opinion on Appeal

On September 30, 2015, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals filed its opinion in the appeal of the O’Bannon v. NCAA antitrust lawsuit.  At the federal trial court level, District Court Judge Claudia Wilken held that the NCAA’s ban on compensating student athletes violates federal antitrust laws.  Judge Wilken concluded that “less restrictive” means were available to preserve student athletes’ amateur status, and therefore, she held that NCAA member universities were permitted to engage in the following acts: (1) universities may grant to student…
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