News & Analysis as of

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

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

September Antitrust Bulletin

On August 13, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued the first policy statement on Section 5 of the FTC Act in the agency’s 100-year history in a bipartisan, 4-1 vote. The one-page policy statement outlined the broad...more

Wanna Bet? Third Circuit Puts the Kibosh on Sports Gambling Just Before Start of NFL Season

For the second time in three years, the Third Circuit has rejected New Jersey’s attempt to circumvent the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PASPA”). PASPA, which Congress enacted in 1992 and prohibits state...more

NLRB Calls Audible — No Union for Northwestern

Over a year ago, the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Chicago concluded that scholarship athletes on the Northwestern University football team were “employees” within the meaning of the National...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

NLRB Declines Jurisdiction Over Northwestern Football Players — Punts to NCAA to Address Athletes' Grievances

On January 28, 2014, student-athlete members of the Northwestern University football team filed a representation petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) asserting they are “employees” of the university...more

Caitlyn on the track: Athletics, Title IX, and the transgender community

In our previous post, we discussed emerging federal policy regarding the application of federal anti-discrimination laws to the transgender community. We focused, in particular, on the “Statement of Interest” filed earlier...more

OFFSIDES: NLRB Punts on Whether College Football Players Can Unionize

Last year, in what was lauded as a potentially game changing decision (pun intended), Peter Sung Ohr, the Regional Director of Region 13 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) ruled that the grant-in-aid...more

NLRB Punts on Whether Northwestern University Football Players Be Allowed to Unionize

On Monday, the full National Labor Relations Board unanimously dismissed a petition by college football players at Northwestern who sought permission to unionize. This decision effectively overturned the regional director’s...more

NLRB Calls Out the Punt Team and Declines Jurisdiction Over Northwestern University Football Players

In a mild surprise given the current constitution of the Board (read – majority appointed by President Obama), the NLRB declined to assert jurisdiction in ruling on the petition of Northwestern University’s scholarship...more

NLRB’s Unanimous Decision Is Major Victory for College Sports

Yesterday, in a highly anticipated decision, the National Labor Relations Board (the Board) declined to exercise jurisdiction over the College Athletes Players Association’s (CAPA) representation petition. CAPA asked the...more

Ninth Circuit Issues Stay in O’Bannon Antitrust Lawsuit

Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (the “Ninth Circuit”) granted the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (the “NCAA”) request for a stay of a federal judge’s ruling that makes it illegal for the...more

Northwestern University Football Players Can’t Form Union, NLRB Says and Refuses to Determine if They Are “Employees”

Northwestern University football players cannot form a union, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) decided today. The NLRB based its ruling on its duty to maintain stability in labor relations and notably...more

Play for Pay? Not Today, Says the Ninth Circuit in the Latest NCAA Ruling

Whether the amateurism rules of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) violate federal antitrust laws remains an active issue before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. But the dramatic changes ordered by U.S....more

Justice Delayed or Justice Denied?

Many college sports aficionados are likely aware of the long-raging debate about whether college athletes in high revenue sports, like football and basketball, ought to be paid for their services. After all, college sports...more

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