(Anti)trust the Process: Could a Ban-But-Not-Break Gamble lead to the NCAA’s Doomsday Scenario?

Money and power. The NCAA for years has had both but now may end up with neither. The recent passing of California’s Fair Pay to Play Act has the potential to fundamentally change college sports forever. This groundbreaking legislation allows athletes from in-state schools to earn compensation through endorsements. Trying to prevent the floodgates from opening, the NCAA is firmly planting its foot down, demonstrating its unwillingness to move off the status quo. Instead, they are threatening to ban California schools from competition rather than…
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Ex-Athlete, Now Congressman, Ready to Suit Up Against the NCAA

On September 30, 2019, it was reported that California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law the Fair Pay to Play Act. Previously, we have reported that the bill will allow student-athletes at the 58 member schools within California to receive compensation for the use of their name, image, and likeness. Within days of  Newsom signing California’s Fair Pay to Play Act, U.S. Congressman Anthony Gonzalez, of Ohio, announced his intention to propose a federal bill to give student-athletes the opportunity to benefit from the use…
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Amended California Student-Athlete Bill Nabs Endorsement of LeBron James

A recent bill introduced to give student-athletes the right to earn compensation has garnered star support. The bill, SB-206, was recently endorsed by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. The superstar took to Twitter to voice his support for the recently amended bill that would allow students to receive compensation for the use of their names, images, and likenesses. “Everyone is [sic] California – call your politicians and tell them to support SB 206! This law is a GAME CHANGER. College athletes can responsibly…
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California NCAA Athletes Inch Closer to Earning Compensation

As previously reported, a California bill that would allow student-athletes to be paid for their likenesses has cleared yet another legal hurdle. The closely followed bill would allow college athletes to enjoy the capital gained from their name, images, and likeness. Under current NCAA rules, student-athletes are not permitted to accept payment for, or permit, “the use of his or her name or picture to advertise, recommend, or promote” the commercial sale of goods, or use their likeness to promote a service or product.…
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Potential New Tax Law Would Allow NCAA Athletes to Profit From Their Image

On March 14, 2019, Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) introduced a bill that would allow NCAA athletes to profit from their image and likeness. The Student-Athlete Equity Act, which is co-sponsored by Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), would amend the definition of an “amateur” in the federal tax code and would allow NCAA student-athletes to get paid when they, or more specifically their image, appears in video games, advertisements, and other public media. In a statement, Rep. Walker said, “Signing an athletic scholarship with a school…
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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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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 Wilken Listens to Additional Arguments on College Athlete Compensation

On January 16, 2018, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken once again presided over a court where a class of college athletes attempted to obtain a judgement that would lift the cap on college athlete’s compensation. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) argued that this most recent class-action suit is barred by the Ninth Circuit’s September 2015 O’Bannon decision. As we have continued to cover, back in 2014, Judge Wilken presided over the O’Bannon decision, where she sided with the college athletes in an…
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NCAA Wins Motions in Antitrust Litigation

On January 3, 2018, Judge Nathanael M. Cousins denied the class of former NCAA student-athlete’s motion to reopen discovery in the NCAA antitrust litigation. The litigation began in March 2014, when former student-athletes claimed that the NCAA violated antitrust laws by capping scholarship awards below the actual cost of college attendance. The former student-athletes wanted to reopen discovery to gain access to a public opinion survey conducted by the NCAA, which according to the players said that 79 percent of Americans believe that big universities…
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On Appeal, Former USC Linebacker Tackles Judge’s Ruling with Misapplication of Law Claims

In September 2016, Lamar Dawson, a former USC linebacker, filed a class-action suit against both the NCAA and Pac-12 Conference alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and California Labor Law. Dawson claimed the NCAA and Pac-12 failed to pay athletes minimum wage, failed to pay overtime, and failed to make timely compensation to athletes. He argued that he, among other student athletes, were without a doubt employees. The NCAA and Pac-12 moved to dismiss the suit in January 2017, and in April, Judge…
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