Student-Athlete Attorneys Look to Score in NCAA Concussion Settlement Agreement

On January 13, 2017, attorneys filed a request for $15 million in fees in an Illinois federal court after an early approval of a $75 million settlement by the NCAA for concussion-related health concerns for NCAA student-athletes. The attorneys argued the fee request is reasonable compensation due to the novelty of the case, and their 18,000 hours of attorney-time invested. A hearing is scheduled for May for final approval of the settlement.

The multidistrict litigation included an estimated four million former NCAA student-athletes, and $70 …

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Efforts of UPenn Athletes to Obtain Employee Status Denied Once Again

Following the dismissal of a suit brought by UPenn athletes seeking compensation as employees under the FLSA, the athletes are arguing that the Seventh Circuit’s reliance on a 1992 Seventh Circuit case, which rejected Fair Labor Standards claims brought by a prisoner, essentially placed them on similar legal footing as prison laborers. Though the athletes are aware fighting for employee status as college athletes is far-fetched based on the courts’ consistent denial of such claims, the UPenn athletes’ argument rests on the proposition that they …

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As March Madness Looms, NCAA Opens Another Violation Investigation into UNC Academic Practices

Just when the University of North Carolina thought it was past the rounds of sanctions centering on academic integrity issues, the NCAA filed a third “Notice of Allegations” as 2016 came to a close. In the most recent notice, the NCAA alleged that the university provided improper extra benefits to student-athletes so that they could remain eligible for athletic competition. The notice goes on to allege that members of the men’s basketball and football programs received improper benefits, restoring a reference to the university’s premier …

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Federal Judge Pre-Approves NCAA Concussion Settlement

On Thursday, July 14, 2016, an Illinois federal judge granted preliminary approval of a $75 million settlement for concussion-related personal injury claims brought by a class of student-athletes against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee said he expects the settlement to be finalized next year after further resolution of issues between the two parties.

Seventy million of the settlement will be used to fund a 50-year medical monitoring program to screen student-athletes for head injuries. The remaining $5 million …

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NCAA Class Action Battling Over Discovery

The NCAA is clashing further with the class members of the “grant-in-aid” class action over the production of documents during discovery. The NCAA student athlete scholarship class action lawsuits were consolidated to the California federal court in a multidistrict litigation. According to the complaint, the NCAA conferences (NCAA, Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, and ACC) “colluded” to offer scholarship to student athletes which are insufficient to pay the full costs of attending college. The student athletes claim this violates federal antitrust laws.

In March, …

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NCAA: What To Do With $9 Million?

The marathon antitrust case commenced in 2009 between the NCAA and former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon and other former student athletes continues to this day. Several disgruntled former student athletes are suing the NCAA for wrongfully profiting off their likeness. The former students argue that the NCAA wrongfully used and profited from their names, images and likeness in various ways — including video games like EASports — without being compensated for it.

Last May, U.S. District Judge Wilken ordered the NCAA to immediately pay …

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Student-Athlete Pay Cap Claims Return, NCAA Seeks Shelter Under O’Bannon Ruling

The NCAA is seeking to remove multidistrict litigation antitrust claims relating to the organization’s rules regarding student-athlete compensation. Currently, the NCAA maintains that college athletics is a form of competitive amateurism. The NCAA’s unwillingness to pay student-athletes compensation beyond the cost of attendance is based in the belief that college sports are hobbies played by amateur athletes. On Monday, May 18, 2016, the NCAA claimed that the issue of student-athlete compensation has already been litigated in the O’Bannon case ruling (2015).

Previously, in a …

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NCAA Athlete Compensation: Student-Athletes File Petition for Rehearing

On Wednesday, October 14, 2015,  former student-athletes filed a petition with the Ninth Circuit for a rehearing en banc on its decision to uphold the rule that NCAA athletes do not need to be compensated beyond the cost of attending college.

The federal trial court originally held that: (1) universities may grant to student athletes the full cost of attendance; and (2) universities may allow student athletes to receive up to $5,000 per year as compensation for the use of their names and likenesses. On …

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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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