NCAA Responds to Court Ruling


Business Resource Proposal

This short article was published on the NCAA website just two days after the official court ruling in the O’Bannon v. NCAA antitrust class action lawsuit. The article discusses the NCAA’s plans to appeal the ruling, as they feel they have not violated any antitrust laws. The article mentions the fact that the NCAA agrees with the fact that athletic scholarships still leave the athletes with expenses, as the cost of attendance is greater than what is covered and allowed by these scholarships. They have claimed that “the Division 1 Board of Directors passed a new governance model allowing schools to better support student-athletes, including covering the full cost of attendance, one of the central components of the injunction” (NCAA).

This article not only helps me to further understand the perspective and intentions of the NCAA (or at least the intentions they want others to believe they have), but will assist me in making recommendations, as it reveals their current plans for moving forward. Because the article is in direct response to the court ruling, it does not address some of the other issues I plan to discuss in my paper, yet will be useful nonetheless. Upon further investigation I discovered that the NCAA filed an appeal on November 15th, 2014 and has focused on what it believes are three distinct flaws made by Judge Wilken in the initial ruling:

  • Wilken declined to follow the 1984 Oklahoma v. Board of Regents case that ended the NCAA’s monopoly on television broadcast. That Supreme Court ruling included language that “athletes must not be paid” and the NCAA argued other district courts have upheld Board of Regents.
  • Antitrust laws don’t apply to the challenged rules “because they do not regulate ‘commercial’ activity,” the NCAA wrote. “Whatever economic consequences these rules may have, their purpose is to define who is eligible to play the sports that college sponsor.
  • The O’Bannon plaintiffs lack antitrust injury. The NCAA argues the players are seeking payments for use of their names, images and likenesses in live TV, archived footage and video games yet “no state recognizes such a right in telecast of games and other claimed non-commercial uses, and the First Amendment and the Copyright Act would bar enforcement of any such right regardless.”

The ‘[o]pening arguments by the NCAA in its appeal of the Ed O’Bannon antitrust ruling argue heavily that a federal judge erred by not applying a 1984 Supreme Court ruling that the NCAA believes protects amateurism in college sports” (Solomon).

I plan to argue against the NCAA, however not so much on the details of whether or not the NCAA has violated antitrust laws, but whether the changes instituted by the court ruling will ultimately prove to be beneficial. The information in the NCAA article is very accurate, as it is posted on their website, however the underlying intentions of the “business,” or governing agency, may be unknown.

Link to NCAA article

Link to supporting CBSSports article

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