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. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.