Student Athletes Agree To $208 Million Settlement Of Antitrust Action Against NCAA, Conferences Challenging NCAA Rules Limiting Athletic Scholarships
Plaintiffs, student-athletes, filed separate class actions in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, District of Minnesota, Eastern District of Louisiana, and District of New Jersey challenging the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)'s by-laws limiting athletic grants-in-aid (athletic scholarships) to tuition and fees, room and board, and books. Plaintiffs claimed such scholarships did not cover the full cost of attending college and that defendants collectively shared "monopsony" power over college athletes. The antitrust actions were centralized and transferred to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on June 13, 2014. In addition to the NCAA, 11 conferences were sued by the student-athletes, including Pac-12 Conference, The Big Ten Conference Inc., The Big 12 Conference Inc., Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, Mid-American Athletic Conference Inc., Mountain West Conference, Sun Belt Conference and Western Athletic Conference. Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on July 11, 2014. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss, which was denied by Judge Claudia Wilken on Oct. 9, 2014.
On Feb. 3, 2017, plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary approval of a settlement under which defendants agreed to pay $ 208,664,445, which, after deduction of fees and expenses, would be disbursed to student-athletes who attended Division I schools that would have awarded the full cost of attendance (COA) at those schools, but-for the NCAA by law in effect until Jan. 1, 2015 capping the maximum grant-in-aid at less than COA. The average recovery for a class member who played his or her sport for four years would be approximately $ 6,763. Current and former athletes who played Division I bowl subdivision football or Division I men's or women's basketball from March 2010 through 2017 would be eligible for payments.
Plaintiffs are represented by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP and Pearson Simon & Warshaw LLP. Defendants are represented by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, Proskauer Rose LLP, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Mayer Brown LLP, Polsinelli PC, Covington & Burling LLP, Walter Haverfield LLP, Bryan Cave LLP and Jones Walker.
Plaintiffs' expert in sports economics, Daniel A. Rascher, Ph.D., provided the expert report (attached below), which was used to support allegations that liability, anticompetitive impact, and damages were common to the members of each of the proposed classes.
Lexis Advance subscribers may view the complete summary here: In Re: National Collegiate Athletic Association Athletic Grant-In-Aid Cap Antitrust Litigation; 2017 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 119
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