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7th Circuit to hear arguments in NCAA price-fixing lawsuit

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals hears arguments Monday in a case brought by two former NCAA athletes whose scholarships were revoked after injuries. The litigants claim that they were wrongly denied multi-year scholarships that would have covered the cost of their bachelor’s degrees.

In the case of Joseph Agnew, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, No. 11-3066, a federal appellate panel will hear arguments in the case from the Southern District of Indiana following a removal from the Northern District of California. U.S. Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson ruled Sept. 1 in favor of the Indianapolis-headquartered NCAA, dismissing the challenges to two bylaws that dealt with a one-year scholarship limit for student-athletes and a cap on athletic-based discounts that a school can offer per sport each year.

The judge found she was bound by Banks v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, 977 F.2d 1081, 1087-88 (7th Cir. 1992), which examined that lawsuit under the “Rule of Reason” analysis. She declined to apply the “quick look” version of the rule as the plaintiffs argued, and found that the plaintiffs failed to plead a relevant product market. Magnus-Stinson wrote, “… the ‘market’ for bachelor’s degrees is implausible as a matter of law because people cannot simply purchase bachelor’s degrees at Division I colleges and universities.”

 After that ruling dismissed the suit with prejudice, plaintiffs Joseph Agnew and Patrick Courtney filed an appeal.

In appellate briefs filed with court, the plaintiff-appellants argue that the NCAA is trying to reach beyond the District court’s holding by contending not only the financial aid rules are valid, but all the NCAA rules involving student-athletes are presumptively pro-competitive.

“In essence, the NCAA claims an exemption from the antitrust laws for all but a small portion of its rules dealing with television broadcast or coaches’ salaries,” the brief states. “This is a dangerous perversion of the Supreme Court’s rulings….is unsupported by any precedent, and would result in giving the NCAA carte blanche to violate the antitrust laws regardless of the anticompetitive motivation or effect of its rules. The NCAA’s arguments on this appeal should be rejected.”

The NCAA didn’t file a brief prior to the arguments, which are scheduled for 9 a.m. Central Time. Each side has 15 minutes to make their arguments, and there is no timeline on when the appellate panel must make a decision.

 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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