Mark D. Hall v. University of Minnesota

530 F. Supp. 104 (1982)

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Mark D. Hall v. University of Minnesota

United States District Court for the District of Minnesota
530 F. Supp. 104 (1982)

Facts

Mark D. Hall (plaintiff) was a student and varsity basketball player at the University of Minnesota (Minnesota) (defendant). Hall was enrolled in a non-baccalaureate-degree program at Minnesota’s main campus. After completing 90 credits, Hall needed to be accepted into a degree program to maintain his athletic eligibility. Hall applied to the University without Walls (UWW), a college within the Minnesota system, but his application was denied. Under academic rules promulgated by the Big Ten Conference (Big Ten), Hall was eligible based on his grade point average and accumulated credits alone, but he needed to be enrolled in a degree program. Hall was the only student athlete who met Big Ten academic standards but was refused admission into a degree program. According to Hall, he was only interested in maximizing his potential to play professionally, not in attaining a degree. Hall would have had to sit out a full season if he transferred to another school. Based on Hall’s application, UWW’s admissions committee approved his application, but in an unprecedented move, the directors of the program intervened to ensure that his application was rejected. The directors made this decision after receiving information from Minnesota’s dean that raised concerns about Hall’s record. These concerns included that (1) Hall had earned A’s in courses he was not enrolled in; (2) Hall’s work needed to be monitored heavily; (3) Hall turned in work done by others and passed it off as his own; and (4) every grade of withdrawal on Hall’s transcript was originally an F. Hall’s case was contrary to UWW’s policy, expressly laid out in a pamphlet it distributed, that information presented in an application would determine whether a candidate was accepted and that UWW’s admissions committee would determine whether an application was approved. Hall sought an injunction ordering Minnesota to admit him, arguing that he was deprived of due process of law under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lord, C.J.)

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