College Athletes

News & Analysis as of

Proposal Made to the Knight Commission Re Alternative Regulatory Scheme for College Sport

The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics met in Washington, D.C. on May 19, 2015. Manatt’s Sports Law Practice Group Chair, Ron Katz, was invited to give a statement on alternative regulatory schemes for college...more

ESPN v. University of Notre Dame Security Police Department

Earlier this year, ESPN sued the University of Notre Dame Security Police Department, alleging that Notre Dame was withholding police documents involving campus crimes allegedly committed by a number of student-athletes. ...more

Penalty! The California Court of Appeal Calls Foul on the NCAA’s Attempt to Seal Records of the USC/Reggie Bush Investigation

In a significant victory for open court filings, the California Court of Appeal rejected an effort by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) to seal 400 pages of documents in a dispute between the NCAA and a...more

The UNC Former Student-Athletes’ Litigation: The Defense Enters the Field

We wrote last month about the lawsuit filed against the University of North Carolina and the NCAA by former UNC student-athletes Rashanda McCants and Devon Ramsey....more

March (Appellate) Madness

It has been a few months since we updated on the O’Bannon antitrust case, where federal judge Claudia Wilken ruled last summer that the NCAA’s amateurism rules violated federal antitrust laws. But this week, as the rest of...more

Court Finds Misappropriation Claims Arising From Licensing of Copyrighted Photographs Are Preempted

Judge André Birotte Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has dismissed a lawsuit brought by former college athletes alleging that the licensing of copyrighted photographs from their NCAA...more

Update on Athletes’ 75-1.1 Lawsuits Against UNC

Last November, we posted on the putative class action that former UNC football player Michael McAdoo has filed against UNC in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. ...more

How can a university manage an all-powerful college coach?

From decorated pros to college benchwarmers, many young men and women who played sports often refer back to a coach who had a tremendous impact on his or her life and eventual career. This is true even when people don’t...more

College Athletes as Employees

Spring 2014 saw the first ever attempt to form a union among Division I college athletes, specifically the football team at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. The National Labor Relation Board’s (“NLRB” or “Board”)...more

No 'Hiding the Ball' - Court Prohibits NCAA from Sealing Trial Record

In McNair v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (filed 2/16/2015, No. B245475), the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District, held that the NCAA may not limit public access to certain documents...more

The National Labor Relations Board 2014 Year in Review - Overview of the Board's Significant Actions

Introduction - If the National Labor Relations Board seemed to be on the ropes in 2013, it certainly came out swinging in 2014. Last year, we reported that the Board faced a number of serious legal battles. Although...more

Davis v. Electronic Arts: Another Right of Publicity Loss for Media Companies

On January 6, 2015, Electronic Arts, Inc. (“EA”), maker of Madden NFL video games, lost its appeal to dismiss claims by approximately 6,000 retired professional football players in Michael Davis, et. al v. Electronic Arts,...more

Year in Review: NLRB Edition

With the new year upon us, we have rounded up some of the most important NLRB decisions of 2014. By all accounts, the NLRB was as active as ever in 2014. Its decisions and rulemaking will preoccupy HR and LR professionals in...more

NCAA Faces $50 Million Lawsuit for TBIs: College Athletes Experience Life-Threatening Side Effects from Head Trauma

Over the last several years, sports coaches and athletes have gained an increased awareness that traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) sustained on the field can have serious and life-threatening consequences. Sustaining a...more

Michigan Passes Student-Athlete Union Ban

Michigan is poised to officially ban student-athletes at public colleges and universities from forming or joining a labor union. Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to sign the recently passed bill into law by the end of the year. ...more

The College Football Playoff™ college football playoff

This past Sunday, the College Football Playoff Committee unveiled the four college football teams that will be participating the very first playoff in college football. The festivities begin Jan. 1, 2015, with Oregon battling...more

Law Professors Suit Up for NCAA in O’Bannon Appeal

On November 21, 2014, professors of antitrust law from 15 universities filed an amicus brief in support of the NCAA’s appeal in O’Bannon v. NCAA. (This blog has previously covered the O’Bannon case; the most recent entry...more

NCAA appeals district court decision in O’Bannon v. NCAA

On November 14, 2014, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) filed a brief in the Ninth Circuit challenging a district court’s injunction on the enforcement of NCAA rules barring college athlete compensation as...more

Social media boosting college football popularity

Harris Poll, a company that has asked adult fans to identify their favorite sport each year since 1985, recently reported that professional football is the most popular sport in America — for the 30th year in a...more

NCAA Appeals Ruling on Compensation for Student-Athletes

On November 14, 2014, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) submitted its initial brief to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the Northern District of California’s August decision that the NCAA’s...more

Division I Athlete Commences Collective Action Seeking Pay For Play

A complaint recently filed in the Southern District of Indiana alleges that the NCAA and its Division I Member Schools have jointly agreed and conspired to engage in a widespread pattern, policy, and practice of failing to...more

Player Eligibility Above Academic Integrity? Ways to Avoid UNC-Chapel Hill’s Academic Scandal

An independent investigation of the African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM) Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggests that this prestigious institution placed player eligibility above academic...more

Former College Athlete Claiming Temporary Employee Status Sues NCAA Because She Wasn’t Paid Minimum Wage

A former soccer player from the University of Houston, Samantha Sackos, has filed a putative class action in the Southern District of Indiana against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and all NCAA Division I...more

Paul Watler Speaks: Old-School Investigative Sports Reporting: Still Relevant After All These Years

As a young lawyer in 1985, a case came my way that combined several passions: college football, newspaper journalism and the First Amendment. I was the associate attorney assigned to help apply legal muscle in support of our...more

The Next Cleat Drops… College Athletes Sue for Unpaid Wages

If college athletes are employees under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), then why not under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”)? That proposition predictably follows from the recent determination by the Chicago...more

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