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NCAA files response to plaintiffs’ request for more discovery

Today the NCAA asked the court to deny the plaintiffs’ request for additional discovery.  Fact discovery in this case closed approximately one year ago on Jan. 15, 2013.  The plaintiffs now are requesting information regarding proposed rules changes or ongoing governance discussions.  These requests are in large measure either cumulative of prior productions, irrelevant to the proceedings of this case, or both.  Moreover, they seek to impede the ability of the NCAA to conduct its regular organizational activities and delay the progress of the case toward trial.  Nonetheless, the NCAA offered to produce almost 2,000 documents regarding proposed rules changes, and the plaintiffs rejected that offer. 

In the filing today, the NCAA shows that the requests are new and therefore untimely; are not relevant to their theory that current student athletes should be paid for the use of their name, image or likeness in live broadcasts; and that the requests, if granted would impose massive new discovery costs on the NCAA and delay the case.

NCAA Chief Legal Officer Donald Remy stated:

“The plaintiffs' motion for additional discovery is the latest in a series of requests designed only to disrupt the NCAA's trial-preparation efforts and drive up its legal costs.  The NCAA has already provided extensive information about proposed rules changes and about the regular rules review by the NCAA and its members -- the topics that are the subject of the plaintiffs' request -- and has offered to produce nearly 2,000 additional documents.  More information on these topics is widely available from public sources.  The plaintiffs' motion, which comes as discovery is still closed at the plaintiffs' own insistence, should be denied.”

The NCAA further states that the plaintiffs' attorneys motion should be denied because it is impermissibly inconsistent with their prior representations and positions regarding the need for discovery on the third complaint.  The NCAA expressly suggested that the substantive changes to plaintiffs’ claims and the addition of new, current student-athlete named plaintiffs required additional time be built into the schedule for the parties to conduct discovery.  The plaintiffs vigorously opposed additional discovery, including discovery related to their new named plaintiffs.  Instead, they maintained “that discovery is closed and no new discovery is warranted.”  The NCAA points out that the plaintiffs do not have good cause for refusing to discuss a new discovery period in August, and then requesting substantial new productions outside of the discovery period in November.