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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Former USC Linebacker Attempts to Revive NCAA Suit

A former University of Southern California linebacker, Lamar Dawson, again tried to convince the Ninth Circuit to revive his class action suit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Pacific-12 Conference (Pac-12). As we have previously covered, Dawson began the 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 college football players a minimum wage or overtime. “The reality of the relationship between the students and the universities …

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NCAA, Pac-12 Want Ninth Circuit on their Side in Student-Athlete Wage Suit

The NCAA and the Pac-12 filed a brief asking the Ninth Circuit to uphold the dismissal of a wage action brought by a former USC football player, arguing that not paying student-athletes is precisely what makes them amateurs. “FBS [Football Bowl Subdivision] football players are not Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Employees because amateurism — a system in which compensation is explicitly prohibited — ‘defines the economic reality’ of their activity.” The brief further argued the state law claims failed because California defines the players …

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Judge Gives Final Approval of NCAA’s $209 Million Settlement

On November 17, 2017, California U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken announced she will grant the final approval to the $209 million settlement for student-athletes from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and 11 athletic conferences. The settlement includes a $41.7 million fee request for class counsel, which amounts to 20 percent of the settlement’s common fund.

The settlement partially resolves several lawsuits that were consolidated in 2014 in California’s Northern District. The lawsuit challenged the NCAA’s rules prohibiting universities from paying students more than a …

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Student-Athletes Square Up Against Lone Objector to Attorneys Fee Award in $209 Million NCAA Settlement

The fight over legal fees from the second-largest class-action settlement in NCAA history continues. One sole student-athlete objected to the $41 million attorneys’ fee award, which is 20 percent of the $208.7 million settlement. NCAA Division I football player, Darrin Duncan, called the fee award unfair and wanted to apply to the “mega fund rule,” which decreases fee awards as the settlement total increases.

Plaintiffs’ class counsel had argued back in September that the fee request was reasonable considering the Ninth Circuit’s 25 percent fee …

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NCAA and Student-Athletes Request Final Approval of $75 Million Settlement

On September 29, 2017, former student-athletes asked the Illinois federal court to approve the $75 million settlement against the NCAA for head trauma. With the reports of young NFL players diagnosed with brain damage after death, the former student-athletes insist that the medical monitoring part of the deal cannot come soon enough. The final approval hearing is scheduled to be heard before the judge in November.

The former student-athletes argued that the settlement is ready for final approval because the evaluation of the student-athletes’ claims …

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Fight for Legal Fees Begins in $209 Million Student-Athlete vs. NCAA Settlement

On Wednesday September 6, 2017, plaintiff’s lawyers in a class-action antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA, which settled for $208.7 million, filed for nearly $45 million in legal fees and costs. More than $41 million of that amount would cover attorney’s fees, $3.2 million would cover costs and expenses, and $20,000 each would go as a reward to the four class representatives. The overall fee request would make up only 21.5 percent of the settlement.

The lawyers argue the fee request is adequate considering the Ninth …

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NCAA Responds to Former NIU Punters Attempt to Revive Antitrust Challenge

The NCAA has urged the Seventh Circuit to reject the appeal of former Northern Illinois University punter, Peter Deppe. As mentioned in our previous post, Deppe’s proposed class action suit, which revolves around the NCAA’s transfer rules and eligibility bylaws, was dismissed in March, 2017. In a Wednesday, June 14, 2017 brief, the NCAA voiced their opinion on Deppe’s appeal and his interpretation of a 2012 Seventh Circuit decision.

Deppe claims that the Seventh Circuit decision requires the NCAA to prove the transfer rules …

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