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In re NCAA Athletic Grant-in-Aid Cap Antitrust Litigation
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
2018 WL 1524005 (2018)
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regulated the payment and benefits that student-athletes could receive in return for their athletic services. Several student-athletes (plaintiff) claimed that this regulation amounted to unlawful price fixing. The student-athletes brought the case to federal court. The student-athletes sought to prove that the NCAA’s rules on benefits were patently and inextricably stricter than was necessary to accomplish the NCAA’s pro-competitive objectives. The student athletes proposed two alternatives: (1) allowing the conferences, rather than the NCAA, to set the rules regulating benefits, and (2) enjoining all national rules that prohibit or limit any benefits that are tethered to educational expenses or incidental to athletic participation. The student athletes submitted evidence supporting these alternatives. First, the NCAA had already granted the conferences autonomy over a wide array of other issues. Additionally, the student-athletes asserted, because the NCAA already allowed certain benefits, it would be virtually as effective to the NCAA’s pro-competitive purposes to require the NCAA to allow all benefits in the applicable categories. The NCAA moved for summary judgment.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Wilken, J.)
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