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NCAA files appeal in Alston case

The NCAA and conferences opening appellate brief in the Alston antitrust case points to three specific, substantive errors made by the district court.

First, the O’Bannon decision upheld the NCAA’s financial aid and cost of attendance rules just four years ago. But the court allowed the plaintiffs in the Alston case to argue that these very same rules should be undone. This most recent trial was costly and unnecessary and, if the result is left unchallenged, opens the NCAA and its membership up to repetitive litigation regarding the same rules.

Second, the court’s Alston ruling contradicted precedent that has recognized the important distinction between professional athletes who are paid employees and student-athletes who are not. The court misapplied established antitrust analysis and eliminated the distinction between “pay for play” and the benefits provided to student-athletes.

Finally, the court established a permanent injunction that allows the court to micromanage the rule-making and policy decisions of our governing boards, schools and conferences.

The NCAA and conferences look forward to presenting their case before the federal appellate court so that our organizations can achieve clarity that we are allowed to govern, preserving the educational opportunities provided through college sports.