United States District Court for the Northern District of California
No. C 09-3329 CW (2014)
O’Bannon (plaintiff) brought a class action suit against the NCAA (defendant) for violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. O’Bannon claimed that NCAA rules prohibiting payment in addition to scholarships to student-athletes unreasonably restrained trade in the market for Division I educational and athletic opportunities. The NCAA claimed four procompetitive justifications for its rules: (1) a commitment to amateurism, (2) promotion of competitive balance among Division I teams, (3) the integration of academics and athletics, and (4) increased output of its product. O’Bannon put forth potential changes to the NCAA rules that would be less restrictive means of achieving the NCAA’s goals, including permitting payment of a stipend not to exceed the entire cost of attending college (i.e., including food and other expenses in addition to tuition) and allowing schools to hold payments in trust until the student-athletes leave school.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Wilken, J.)
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