Several Canadian hockey players were denied eligibility by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) (defendant) to play hockey at the University of Denver (D.U.) (plaintiff) because they had accepted room and board while playing for a Canadian amateur hockey team prior to attending D.U. Officials at D.U. defied the NCAA’s ineligibility determination and allowed the players to participate in games. Consequently, the NCAA imposed sanctions on D.U. including barring the school from future television and post-season appearances and demanded that the school return the championship trophy the hockey team won in 1973. Colorado Seminary (plaintiff), which owned and managed D.U., brought suit against the NCAA alleging violations of the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the U.S. Constitution and seeking injunctive relief declaring the NCAA’s eligibility rules unconstitutional. The district court judge dismissed the due process claim because there is no constitutional right to play sports during one’s college education. The court then addressed D.U.’s equal protection claim.