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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NCAA Faces Another Concussion Class Action Over Breach of Protective Duty

The NCAA faces another potential class action after several former college football players filed suit in Indiana federal court attacking the organization’s concussion protocol, or lack thereof. Some might say the organization should have seen it coming in light of the modified $75 million dollar medical monitoring settlement the NCAA reached with players last May. The original settlement was modified out of concerns that the settlement would preclude players from bringing individual personal injury claims based on contract principles, and left open the possibility of…
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Under a Microscope: NCAA Reviewing Academic Standards of Division I Student-Athletes

On October 13, 2016, the NCAA announced that it opened an overarching review on its academic standards for Division I student-athletes. The target of this investigation is to maintain academic quality for these student-athletes, and the committee has already approved a new transfer policy in its effort to accomplish this goal that retroactively applies to the 2012-2013 academic year. Under the old policy, when a student-athlete would transfer to another school, the transfer sometimes harmed the original school’s academic progress rate, or APR, which is…
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UNC & NCAA Seek Dismissal of Academic Fraud Claims

On Monday, March 30, both the University of North Carolina and the NCAA filed motions to dismiss the lawsuit they’re facing brought by two former student-athletes for failing to provide them a meaningful education. The lawsuit, filed in January, stems from the highly publicized academic fraud scandal where it was shown that the University of North Carolina had been offering “paper classes” to boost grades.  These classes required very little work, lacked academic integrity, and provided failing student athletes the grade boost necessary to…
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NCAA Says Athletes Counsel Overcharged It for Attorney Fees

The NCAA wants more than 80% discount on the bill presented by the lawyers who represented the student-athlete plaintiffs in the O’Bannon case pursuant to a judgment in that case. In a court filing, the NCAA argued that since the court’s decision in the O’Bannon case was a “limited success” as it only allowed players to share licensing revenue but awarded no damages, $9.1 million was more reasonable than the plaintiffs lawyers’ demand of $51 million.  Further, it accused the plaintiffs legal team…
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