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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NCAA Athletes Move Closer to Receiving Pay from Their Names, Images, and Likeness

On Wednesday, May 22, 2019, the California Senate voted (31-4) to pass the Fair Pay to Play Act to allow college athletes in the state to earn income from endorsements or sponsorships. The bill would protect college athletes in the state from losing eligibility for receiving such compensations. “The California Senate has spoken loud and clear: Student-athletes should enjoy the same right as all other college students – to earn income from their talent,” California State Sen. Nancy Skinner, who introduced the bill, said in…
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Update: Tempers Flare at Closing Arguments in the Student Athlete’s Wage Suit

During closing arguments in the NCAA student-athlete wage suit, on December 18, 2018, Beth Wilkinson, attorney representing the NCAA, told U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken that she was mistaken about some underlying facts of the case. At the start of closing arguments, Judge Wilken said that it “seems very clear” that the NCAA violated antitrust laws, but she questioned how the violation could be quantified. However, Wilkinson was quick to respond, saying “[w]e have not ever conceded that there was an antitrust violation.” Judge Wilken…
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Update: Additional Delays in NCAA Concussion Suit Prompt Joint Request for Independent Audit

As we have reported, the NCAA’s concussion settlement continues to experience delays due to difficulties in reaching potential claimants.  The initial suit was brought after a class of student athletes alleged that the NCAA did not adequately prevent or diagnose concussive injuries.  The settlement has been valued at approximately $75 million, to include a $70 million fund for evaluating concussive injuries over the next 50 years. On July 2, 2018, the NCAA and counsel for the class of plaintiffs filed jointly to postpone a…
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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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NCAA & Villanova Critique Student Athlete’s Amended Wage Suit

The Sports Law Insider previously reported on a putative class’ wage suit against the NCAA and several universities. The suit by former Villanova football player Lawrence “Poppy” Livers was brought in September 2017. Livers asserted that the NCAA, Villanova and other universities were violating the minimum wage provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Livers likened college athletes to paid student employees and claimed they should be compensated as such. However, Livers needed to show that the NCAA and the universities “willfully” violated the…
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NCAA Writes Another Letter to Court; Urges Refusal of Employee Status to Division I Players

On April 17, 2018, counsel for the NCAA submitted another letter to the Ninth Circuit, contending that a recent ruling should bear weight on the court’s ultimate decision whether to consider Division I athletes as employees. The NCAA has been entangled in a suit with former football player, Lamar Dawson, who alleges that the NCAA violated California law and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in its refusal to pay student athletes minimum wage or overtime. As we have recently reported, the NCAA first…
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Judge Delays NCAA $75 Million Settlement for the Fifth Time

On March 8, 2018, U.S. District Judge John Lee delayed final approval of a $75 million settlement for the fifth time after he learned that thousands of current and former NCAA student-athletes have still yet to be notified of the settlement. Judge Lee originally approved the $75 million settlement in July 2016, but delays, largely attributed to difficulties notifying more than 4 million student-athletes, including acquiring contact information and physically notifying the student-athletes, have prevented final approval. The most recent difficulty, and the reason for…
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NCAA Argues $42 Million Award is Unjustified

On February 15, 2018, an attorney representing the NCAA urged a panel of judges from the Ninth Circuit to reject a $42 million attorney’s fee award for attorneys representing student-athletes. Back in 2009, a class of players, led by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon, sued the NCAA claiming that the NCAA violated antitrust laws by wrongfully profiting off the likenesses of student-athletes and not offering scholarships at the full cost of attending the university. In 2015, the class of players won their suit; however,…
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