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Ed O' Bannon wins NCAA anti-trust suit
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The Final Dakar
Games Meister
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Aug 11, 2014, 01:10 PM
 
Missed this Friday, but potentially big news.
Judge releases ruling on O'Bannon case: NCAA loses

A federal judge ruled Friday that the NCAA's limits on what major college football and men's basketball players can receive for playing sports "unreasonably restrain trade" in violation of antitrust laws.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken, in a 99-page ruling in favor of a group of plaintiffs led by former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon, issued an injunction that will prevent the NCAA the "from enforcing any rules or bylaws that would prohibit its member schools and conferences from offering their FBS football or Division I basketball recruits a limited share of the revenues generated from the use of their names, images, and likenesses in addition to a full grant-in-aid."
Wilken's ruling said the NCAA will be able to cap the amount of new compensation that Football Bowl Subdivision and Division I men's basketball players can receive while they are in school, but that cap will not be allowed to be an amount that is less than the athletes' cost of attending school. (It is widely acknowledged that the NCAA's current version of a scholarship — which basically comprises tuition, room, board, books and manadatory fees — does not cover costs of attendance like transportation and various incidental expenses. In the wake of Thursday's Division I NCAA Board of Directors vote approving autonomy for the Power Five conferences, cost of attendance scholarships might not be far off anyway.)

The ruling also will allow schools and conferences to deposit money in trust for football and men's basketball players that will become payable when they leave school or their eligibility expires. Under this setup:

•The NCAA will be allowed to set a cap on the amount of money that may be held in trust, but that cap cannot be less than $5,000 in 2014 dollars for every year the athletes remain academically eligible.

•Schools will be allowed to offer less than the NCAA maximum amount if they so choose, but they cannot unlawfully conspire with each other in setting the amounts they offer.

•The NCAA will be allowed have rules that prevent the athletes from using the money being held in trust for them to obtain other financial benefits while they are in school.

•The NCAA also will be able to have rules that prevent schools from offering different amounts of deferred money to athletes who are in the same recruiting class on the same team.

•The amounts that schools decide to place in trust for the athletes may vary from year to year.
The NCAA is almost certain to appeal Wilken's ruling, which may have an impact on another set of antitrust cases that are before her.

In those cases, two sets of plaintiffs are challenging the NCAA's limits on what athletes can receive under and athletic scholarship. One of those cases — which is against the NCAA and 12 Division I conferences — seeks monetary damages based on the difference between the value of an athletic scholarship as currently defined by the NCAA — tuition, mandatory fees, room, board and books — and the actual cost of attending college, a figure that includes out-of-pocket costs such as transportation to and from school. The damages in that case, which would be tripled under antitrust law, could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars if the plaintiffs prevail.
     
   
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