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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New Jersey State Assembly’s Not-So-Flowery Debate on Student-Athlete Pay

New Jersey is the latest state to advance a student-athlete pay-for-play bill. On November 14, 2019, New Jersey State Assemblywoman Lisa Swain and Assemblyman P. Christopher Tully introduced Assembly Bill 5863, or the New Jersey Fair Play Act. Previously, we reported a slate of states, including California, passed or introduced student-athlete compensation bills. Like many of those bills, the New Jersey bill will allow student-athletes to earn compensation using their name, image, or likeness. However, some New Jersey State Assembly members voiced their concerns with…
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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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Leave Us Out of It: NCAA Field Hockey Concussion Suit

On December 2, 2019, the NCAA filed a reply memorandum in support of its motion for summary judgment against former American University student-athlete, Jennifer Bradley. In April 2014, Bradley filed suit against the NCAA, American University, and other entities and individuals. Bradley alleged the defendants breached their duty of care after she suffered a head injury while competing in a NCAA field hockey match. During a September 2011 match, Bradley was hit in the head with a hockey stick. She soon began to experience signs…
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One More Time: New Lawsuit Argues NCAA Must Pay Athletes Minimum Wage

Trey Johnson, a former defensive back for Villanova University, has sued the NCAA, arguing that the organization has violated federal labor law and that it must pay student-athletes a minimum wage. In his lawsuit, Johnson argues that student-athletes clearly constitute employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Specifically, he notes that college students in work-study programs are classified as employees, meaning that they are subject to minimum wage laws. Meanwhile, student-athletes, who work longer schedules and create the need for some of these work-study…
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(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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New York Introduces Bill Entitling College Athletes to Ticket Sale Proceeds

New York Sen. Kevin S. Parker (D-Brooklyn) recently introduced a bill that would allow college athletes to become eligible to receive compensation. The bill would allow college athletes to sign endorsements, but was recently amended to allow athletes to also enjoy a 15 percent cut of the income generated from ticket sales. This change comes after reports revealed Parker planned to add language that required schools to share 15 percent of all athletics revenue with athletes. “At the conclusion of each school year, each college…
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NCAA Determines Former ULM Assistant Basketball Coach Engaged in Misconduct

On August 17, 2018, an NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions (COI) panel determined that a former University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) assistant men’s basketball coach, who was not identified in the decision, engaged in academic misconduct on behalf of two student-athletes. Further, the coach also violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he failed to cooperate with the investigation. According to the COI panel, the coach violated academic policies when, in the summer of 2017, he obtained two student-athletes’ computer login information for two…
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O’Bannon Evidence to be Used by both Litigants in NCAA Antitrust Trial

In a controversial move, U.S. District Judge Wilken has announced that, in the antitrust action brought by student athletes against the NCAA, she will admit evidence from the O’Bannon case, despite objections from both litigants. In the case at hand, the athletes are pursuing claims that the NCAA illegally restrains their income potential by prohibiting pay beyond the students’ scholarship. Judge Wilken’s statement permitting the use of O’Bannon evidence will allow the NCAA in to use O’Bannon’s expert testimony for impeachment purposes, and will also…
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