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Banks v. NCAA

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
977 F.2d 1081 (1992)


Facts

Braxton Banks (plaintiff), the starting fullback for Notre Dame’s football team, injured his knee during his sophomore year. Due to the injury, Banks decided to sit out his entire senior year in order to give his knee a chance to recover. By that time, another player took over Banks’ position as starting fullback and eventually became the top-rated NFL prospect for that position. In the winter of 1990, Banks debated whether to turn professional or return to Notre Dame to play football one more year. After meeting with NFL scouts and a player-agent known to his family, Banks decided to enter the NFL draft and to sign an agent representation agreement. At that point, pursuant to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) (defendant) rules and bylaws, Banks forfeited any remaining future college football eligibility. Banks was not selected to play by any NFL professional team due to his knee injury. Thereafter, Banks returned to Notre Dame to complete his degree, but the NCAA would not waive its rules to allow him to play football for the university. Banks filed suit against the NCAA alleging antitrust violations, including § 1 of the Sherman Act. The district court granted the NCAA’s motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), and Banks appealed.

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Holding and Reasoning (Coffey, J.)

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