Collision Course: California’s Pay-to-Play Bill Takes Aim at NCAA

On September 9, 2019, the California State Assembly voted 66-0 to pass an amended version of the Fair Pay to Play Act. The bill now moves back to the state senate for a vote, which is likely to pass, putting the state on a collision course with the NCAA over its rules prohibiting student-athletes from being compensated for use of their name, image and likeness. Previously, we reported that the California State Senate voted to pass the Fair Pay to Play Act (SB- 206) to…
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Ninth Circuit Rejects Lamar Dawson’s Bid to Revive Lawsuit

On August 12, 2019, a panel of Ninth Circuit judges rejected Lamar Dawson’s bid to revive a proposed class action lawsuit, which claimed that the NCAA and Pac-12 Conference improperly denied student-athletes minimum wage and overtime. In their ruling, the panel noted that the Pac-12 and NCAA did not provide Dawson, a former University of Southern California linebacker, with a scholarship or have the power to hire or fire him and, thus, they were not his employer, nor was he their employee. According to Chief…
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Again Ninth Circuit Unlikely to Revive Lamar Dawson’s Lawsuit

On October 15, 2018, attorneys representing Lamar Dawson, a linebacker who played for the University of Southern California between 2011 and 2015, attempted to revive a proposed class action lawsuit against the NCAA and the Pac-12 Conference. According to Dawson’s attorneys, the NCAA and the Pac-12 Conference should be considered employers of college football players, because they set limits on pay and work hours, within the meaning of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Dawson’s attorneys are seeking to reverse U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg’s…
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NCAA Antitrust Trial Continues with Testimony from Pac-12 Commissioner

As part of the continuing NCAA antitrust action, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott took the stand on Tuesday, issuing a grave warning about the future of amateur sports if the judgment were to be awarded in the plaintiffs’ favor. Scott testified that any proposal to abandon the pay limit rules currently in place in the NCAA would “create significant consumer confusion,” making it “murkier” for broadcasters and fans to understand the nature of collegiate sports. He also stated that lifting such pay limits would be…
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Update: NCAA Transfer Rule

As we have previously covered, the NCAA recently changed their transfer rules. In the past, student-athletes went through a “permission to contact” process. This process limited their ability to transfer as their current college coaches were able to block the athlete from transferring to certain schools. Now, starting in October 2018, the NCAA has shifted to a “notification” system that will allow the athletes to transfer without coaches’ permission. However, on June 19, 2018, various NCAA conferences, including the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big TenConference, Big…
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Update on Lamar Dawson’s Student-Athlete Wage Suit

On April 4, 2018, attorneys representing the NCAA wrote a letter to the Ninth Circuit notifying the court that the U.S. Supreme Court recently reversed a Ninth Circuit decision that the plaintiff, Lamar Dawson, cited in his opening brief. As we have previously reported, Dawson began a class-action lawsuit in September 2016, alleging the NCAA and Pac-12 violated California law and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by not paying student-athletes minimum wage or overtime. In April 2017, the NCAA’s motion to dismiss was…
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California Court Strikes Down NCAA Student-Athletes Document Request on Pac-12 ESports Competitions

A California judge has denied student-athletes’ request for production of PAC-12 Conference’s documents regarding ESports competition between its members schools. As background, the plaintiffs, student-athletes, filed suit against the NCAA regarding its rules that prohibit universities from offering athletic scholarships exceeding a full grant-in-aid — one that covers up to the full cost of attendance. Essentially, the plaintiffs alleged that the value of their scholarships was illegally capped, because the “Power Five” conferences passed NCAA Legislation, in January, 2015, which “allowed for schools to increase…
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