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Statement on Student-Athlete Likeness Case by Donald Remy, NCAA Executive Vice President and General Counsel

For the last three years plainitffs' counsel have misled the press, the public and the court, basing their lawsuit on the notion that the NCAA has somehow prevented former student-athletes from participating in licensing opportunities after they have graduated from school.  Given what has come out in discovery, especially in the plaintiffs’ own words, they are forced to admit the accuracy of what the NCAA has said all along: there is not a shred of truth to plaintiffs' original allegations.  The NCAA does not make any attempt to prevent former student-athletes from selling or licensing their "collegiate likeness," nor has it ever done so.

Unable to prove their original claims regarding former student-athletes, plaintiffs have now abandoned those claims and are attempting to assert new claims on behalf of current student-athletes.  Unfortunately, this about face runs them smack into a very old argument, and one that the NCAA has defeated in court many times.  Plaintiffs now claim that the NCAA's financial aid rules restrain "trade" by preventing schools from "paying" for "labor" of certain current student-athletes by offering to share media royalties with those student-athletes.  They want to be cut in on TV revenues, but every court that has examined this type of issue has said that plaintiffs have no right to such a claim.  Many courts, including the United States Supreme Court, have repeatedly rejected the notion that the NCAA's financial aid rules violate the Sherman Act  by preventing these sorts of commerical transactions between schools and current student-athletes.  Plaintiffs want the court to believe that student athletes are the same as professional athletes and unionized employees – which is pure fiction. We are confident that plaintiffs will find no more success in this case than they have in past cases.