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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Judge Delays NCAA $75 Million Settlement for the Second Time

On February 6, 2018, U.S. District Judge John Lee again delayed final approval of a $75 million settlement after he learned thousands of current and former NCAA student-athletes have still yet to be notified of the settlement. Judge Lee expressed his frustration with the notification process, and he once again delayed finial approval given that nearly 13,000 class members have not yet learned about the case and its proposed settlement. The $75 million dollar settlementwas initially approved by Judge Lee in July 2017. Seventy…
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NCAA College-Athletes Move to Secure Settlement

On January 31, 2018, a class of college-athletes, suing the NCAA over the alleged anti-competition cap benefits, asked Judge Claudia J. Wilken to issue an appeal bond. As we have previously covered, the class secured a court approved settlement of over $209 million, the second largest settlement in NCAA history. However, Darrin Duncan was the only member of the class of 53,748 that objected to the $209 million settlement. Mr. Duncan has since appealed the court approved settlement. Now, the rest of the class…
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NCAA Pushes Vote on Transfer Rule

On January 17, 2018, an NCAA committee voted to prolong a potential vote on whether to change the Division I transfer rule. Under the “academic year in residence” rule, a transfer student must spend an academic year in residence at the school to which they are transferring. This means that players who want to transfer have to wait one year before they can start playing at their new university. As we have previously covered, this rule has been subject of several lawsuits, and…
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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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