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NCAA seeks to respond in likeness case

By Donald Remy
NCAA Chief Legal Officer

“Today, the NCAA  related to plaintiffs’ recently filed Third Amended Complaint in the In re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Litigation cases.  After four years of litigation, the antitrust plaintiffs have finally made the argument to the Court that they have frequently made in the press – that they would like to do away with the NCAA’s amateurism and eligibility rules and pay current student-athletes who might appear in a live broadcast of a football or men's basketball game.

Among other things, the NCAA now asks the Court for an opportunity to respond to these arguments in the form of a motion to dismiss the claims, which previously were not directly before the Court and are simply wrong as a matter of law.  United States federal courts – including the United States Supreme Court – have consistently held that NCAA amateurism rules do not violate the antitrust laws.  And further, the plaintiffs’ claims are likely barred by state and federal intellectual property law, including the United States copyright law.

The Supreme Court has found that NCAA amateurism rules are good for competition, for sports fans and for student-athletes.  The NCAA hopes to soon have the opportunity to demonstrate this point to the Court.

The NCAA also requested additional briefing and an evidentiary hearing on class certification, in order to respond to the new plaintiffs and allegations of the Third Amended Complaint, and a case management conference, at which the parties may discuss amending the current schedule.”