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English v. NCAA

Louisiana Court of Appeal, Fourth Circuit
439 So.2d 1218 (1983)


Facts

Jon English (plaintiff) enrolled at Michigan State University with the intent of playing quarterback for the university’s football team during the 1979-1980 season. After realizing that his playing prospects at Michigan State were poor, English transferred first to a junior college in Pennsylvania and then to Iowa State, seeking to play football during the 1981-1982 season. After having little success there, English transferred again to a junior college in Louisiana and then sought to enroll and play football at Tulane University in the fall of 1983. English’s father was Coach of the Tulane football team. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) (defendant) declared English ineligible to play for Tulane based on a rule requiring student-athletes to let a full year elapse “since the transfer from the first four-year college.” After unsuccessfully attempting to persuade the NCAA otherwise, English brought suit. The trial court held for the NCAA and English appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Schott, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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Dissent (Barry, J.)

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