Student-Athlete Time Demands: NCAA D-I Council Takes Another Look

Over the course of the first week of October, the NCAA Division I Council began discussions on the time demands of college athletics. Member schools will discuss the demands among themselves, and they will also consider student-athlete input. Currently, while in-season, D-I college sport teams are subject to a 20-hour-per-week limit on the athletes’ combined game and practice time. During the off-season, programs are limited to 8 hours per week. The Council discussions come following the September 30, 2015 U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’…
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NCAA Student-Athletes Continue Fight For Class Certification

On Thursday, October 1, 2015,  a group of student athletes continued their fight for class action certification in their lawsuit against the NCAA. The lawsuits, filed on behalf of former and current NCAA athletes, aims to reduce NCAA restrictions on scholarship caps for Bowl Subdivision D-1 football players and for men’s and women’s basketball teams. In order to obtain class certification, the plaintiffs must demonstrate that all of their cases involve common questions of law or fact and that the “named” plaintiffs will protect the…
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Student Athletes Appeal Settlement in Class Action Lawsuit Against NCAA, Electronic Arts

A new development emerged Wednesday, September 16, 2015 in the case against Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) and the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) as two plaintiffs are appealing the approval of a $60 million settlement. The case—a class action lawsuit brought by student athletes—involves the use of students’ names, images, and likeness in EA’s NCAA video game series. The class action has two underlying lawsuits: Keller v. Electronic Arts Inc. et al and O’Bannon, Jr. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association et al. A…
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Let’s Try That Again: Ex-NCAA Athletes Appeal Publicity Rights Suit to Sixth Circuit

On Monday, July 13, a group of ten former student athletes filed a notice of appeal with the Sixth Circuit regarding their publicity rights’ claims.  Ultimately, this effort fits into the much larger battle of whether student athletes should receive compensation for their participation in sporting events. The former college athletes are disputing U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp’s dismissal of their claims on grounds that they failed to sufficiently back their arguments that they deserve compensation under Tennessee law.  The plaintiffs are seeking to prove…
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New Settlement Proposal Made in NCAA Concussion Lawsuit

On April 14th, the NCAA filed a new proposed $75 million settlement deal to resolve the class-action concussion lawsuit filed against it.  The lawsuit resulted from the consolidation of several cases after former student athletes sued the organization for downplaying and/or neglecting to inform them of the long-term, life altering risk and consequences of sports-related head injuries. The revised proposal was submitted to address deficiencies in the prior settlement deal that federal judge John Z. Lee rejected last December.  In essence, the core…
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NCAA Urges Court to Toss Student-Athletes’ Sexual Discrimination Claims

The NCAA filed a motion to dismiss the sexual discrimination action brought against it by former soccer players at Kean University, citing the action is time barred and the complaint contained no specific discrimination allegation by the NCAA. The motion argued that Shannon Pedersen, Emily Cristaldi, and Jaclyn Janicky failed to specifically allege that the association discriminated female athletes differently when it sent a notice informing the university of a possible rule violation by the school in 2011.  Additionally, several claims stated in the original…
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O’Bannon Plaintiffs Urge 9th Circuit to Affirm Pay-Rule Ban

On January 23, O’Bannon Plaintiffs filed a response to NCAA’s appellate brief that asked the Ninth Circuit to reverse the lower court’s decision allowing student-athletes to be paid. In a 851-page long filing, the plaintiffs argued that the a limited compensation to $5,000 for every year of academic eligibility pursuant to the court’s decision is “such modest payment” to jeopardize NCAA’s policy on amateurism, a concept that has evolved and eroded admittedly by NCAA.  Further, the plaintiffs stressed that because the injunction was not mandatory,…
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O’Bannon Plaintiffs & NCAA Ask Judge to Set Timetable for Athlete Pay

On Thursday, August 14, the O’Bannon plaintiffs and the NCAA filed a joint submission to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California seeking clarification of Judge Claudia Wilken’s injunction on the NCAA’s ban of player compensation. The two parties to the lawsuit have come to an agreement over when the injunction should take place.  Judge Wilken’s original ruling left the results somewhat ambiguous, and the current joint submission was submitted to clarify.  The parties’ submitted a proposed order designating the injunction…
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Playing Basketball for a Division I School is a Hobby?

According to the NCAA manual, it is.  “The Principle of Amateurism” of the manual states that “[s]tudent participation in intercollegiate athletics is an avocation, and student-athletes should be protected from exploitation by professional and commercial enterprises.”  Further, “[s]tudent-athletes shall be amateurs in an intercollegiate sport, and their participation should be motivated primarily by education and by the physical, mental and social benefits to be derived.” The logic for the NCAA is that because student-athletes are amateurs in an intercollegiate sport, whose participation is an avocation,…
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NCAA Litigation May Lead to Compensation of Student Athletes

It is well known that student athletes do not receive any of the revenue that their schools generate from ticket sales, television revenues, jersey sales, or similar profit-generating business transactions arising out of college athletics. However, former University of California at Los Angeles basketball player, Ed O’Bannon has commenced an action in the Northern District of California against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Collegiate Licensing Company seeking to recover damages from the licensing of his likeness to entities such as EA Sports
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