College Athletes

News & Analysis as of

The National Labor Relations Board 2015 Year in Review - An Overview of Major Developments in Labor Law

To mark the 80th birthday of the National Labor Relations Act, the National Labor Relations Board apparently decided to make history in 2015. The Board did just that, issuing several ground breaking decisions, and in the...more

Arkansas Football and Non-Competes?

Three years ago, we addressed the question of why college football programs do not use non-compete restrictions to prevent coaches from moving to direct rivals. At the time, we mentioned the fact that Arkansas was a program...more

Student-Athletes Strike Back: Will the University of Missouri’s Football Team Strike Reinvigorate the Labor Movement in College...

On Saturday, November 7, 2015, several African American members of The University of Missouri’s varsity football team announced their intention to go on strike—refusing to attend practices, play in scheduled games or...more

Entertainment and Media Litigation Update - October 2015

The "Dancing Baby" Case—Ninth Circuit Rules That "Fair Use" Must First Be Considered Before Sending Takedown Notices Under the DMCA - Why it matters: On September 14, 2015, the Ninth Circuit ruled in Lenz v. Universal...more

Back-to-School Athletics Update

We are pleased to provide you with the following update authored by our new senior colleague, Jeffrey Orleans, former Executive Director of the Ivy League, who has joined our firm of counsel with a focus on athletics issues. ...more

The Lessons (and Wisdom) of Rihanna

Everyone these days seems to think they are entitled to more money, from the United States Department of Labor (DOL) claiming that there really are no independent contractors to the thousands of United Automobile Workers...more

How the NLRB Spent Its Summer — Could Be a Chilly Autumn

For those of us in the employment field attempting to recover from the languor of long summer days, it’s time to catch up and ask what the NLRB has been up to during the dog days. The answer – a lot. And so we take this...more

Ninth Circuit Rules in O’Bannon Case that Some of the NCAA Compensation Rules are Unlawful Restraints of Trade

On September 30, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, in part, a district court’s ruling that some of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) compensation rules were unlawful restraints on trade in...more

O’Bannon v. NCAA – A Split Decision by the Ninth Circuit

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its highly anticipated decision in the O’Bannon case on September 30, 2015. This case was an appeal of the United States District Court for the Northern District...more

O’Bannon v. NCAA - USCA, Ninth Circuit, September 30, 2015

Ninth Circuit affirms in part and reverses in part district court’s judgment that NCAA rule on student-athlete compensation was unlawful restraint on trade, holding that member schools were permitted to raise cap on...more

NCAA Dodges Judicial Bullet in Federal Case Challenging Amateurism Rules

As a lifelong Boise State University fan, and gamer who pre-ordered the EA Sports NCAA Football 2008 game (with Jared Zabransky on the cover), I was probably more excited than your average legal beagle to read last week’s...more

The NCAA Ruling : How Far Should Courts Go In Redefining Market Rules?

In O’Bannon v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, Case No. 14-16601 (9th Cir. Sept. 30, 2015), the Ninth Circuit applied the Rule of Reason to the NCAA’s amateurism rules, and concluded that while the NCAA can ban cash...more

Ninth Circuit Disallows Additional Compensation for College Athletes

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit ruled in the long awaited O’Bannon v. NCAA case, which challenged NCAA rules that bar student-athletes from “being paid for the use of their names, images, and likenesses” (NILs) – part of the...more

$800K Settlement Illustrates Unique Issues Raised In Title IX Litigation

Student-on-student sex-assault cases have recently taken center stage in the higher education arena. The last two months have seen legal developments in this area which aptly illustrate the seemingly Sisyphean task facing...more

Federal Appeals Court Rejects Payments To College Athletes

This morning, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the NCAA is subject to antitrust laws and that its payment rules are too restrictive in attempting to maintain amateurism. However, in what can only be deemed a...more

NCAA Play for Pay? Ninth Circuit Rules Antitrust Rule of Reason Does Not Require Payments for ‘Name, Image, or Likeness’

On September 30, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling that the amateurism rules of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) violate federal antitrust laws. The Ninth Circuit panel...more

Divided Ninth Circuit Splits the O’Bannon Baby

In a two to one decision, a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld in part and reversed in part the district court injunction that prohibited universities from denying certain forms of compensation to Division I...more

Ninth Circuit Rules on NCAA’s Appeal in O’Bannon

After a lengthy discussion in which the Ninth Circuit ruled that the NCAA’s compensation rules are subject to scrutiny under antitrust laws, the Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the District Court’s...more

Court Rules NCAA Can Block Colleges from Paying Student-Athletes, But Allows Scholarships for “Full Cost of Attendance”

In a partial victory for the NCAA, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned in part a permanent injunction issued by the District Court for the Northern District of California, which had required the NCAA to allow...more

NLRB Ruling on Northwestern Football Players Highlights Need for Congressional Action on College Sports

In August, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or "the Board") unanimously ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to decide whether college football players at Northwestern University are "employees" under the National Labor...more

Monitors Third Annual Report

This is the third annual report of the independent athletics integrity monitor (“Monitor”) pursuant to article IV of the Athletics Integrity Agreement (“AIA”) among the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”), The...more

Executive Labor Summary - July / August 2015

Quickie elections seem here to stay, but Senate Republicans aren’t giving up. On July 29, the National Labor Relations Board won another challenge to its “quickie election” rules pursued by employer groups. This time, Judge...more

NLRB Decision on Student-Athlete Unionization a Win for Colleges, But Title IX Still in Play

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a unanimous decision on Aug. 17, 2015, dismissing a petition filed by Northwestern University scholarship football players seeking to unionize under the National Labor...more

National Labor Relations Board Releases Unanimous Decision in Favor of Northwestern University and the NCAA

On August 17, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) declined to assert jurisdiction in Northwestern University and College Athletes Players Association (CAPA), the union-organizing case involving grant-in-aid...more

NLRB Punts on First Down: Declines to Exercise Jurisdiction in Northwestern University Football Players Union Representation Case

The NLRB’s decision is limited to the facts presented by the Northwestern case, and the Board may assert jurisdiction in another case involving scholarship athletes at a later date. On August 17th, the National Labor...more

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