You are here

Judge rules in favor of NCAA in Cohane case

Download the Cohane Court Decision (PDF)

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in favor of the NCAA in a case brought by former University of Buffalo men's basketball coach Timothy Cohane.

“After over a decade of involvement in this litigation, the NCAA is pleased that the Second Circuit  affirmed the District Court’s decision and provided final resolution to the case,” said Donald Remy, NCAA chief legal officer. “This affirmation speaks to the fairness of the NCAA’s infractions process – from enforcement staff investigations through decisions made by the Committee on Infractions and the Infractions Appeals Committee.”

In 2004, Cohane sued the NCAA, two NCAA enforcement staff members and the former Chair of the NCAA Committee on Infractions, which concluded that Cohane and the university violated NCAA rules during his tenure as coach. In the lawsuit, Cohane alleged that the Committee's infractions report was based on false information and was defamatory. He also claimed that alleged flaws in the NCAA's investigation undermined the fairness of his infractions hearing.

The district court dismissed Cohane's complaint in its entirety, adopting an earlier ruling by a federal magistrate, who found that Cohane received adequate process even by constitutional standards and that the enforcement staff's investigation was fair and impartial. The district court also dismissed a similar claim against the university and the Mid-American Conference in a related case, where the magistrate found that any alleged misconduct by university and conference officials was effectively cured by the extensive process later provided to Cohane by the NCAA.