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Brief filed in NCAA scholarship appeal

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Two former college athletes who lost their scholarships because of injuries are now arguing to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that they would have received multi-year athletic scholarships covering the costs of their bachelor’s degrees if it wasn’t for the “anti-competitive” National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I bylaws.

Joseph Agnew and Patrick Courtney, the plaintiffs in a suit that U.S. Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson dismissed in September in favor of the NCAA, filed a brief in the federal appellate court earlier this week. They argue that the Southern District of Indiana judge wrongly dismissed their case because a 1992 case doesn’t control the fate of this suit in deciding whether those pursuing a bachelor’s degree constitute a “discernable labor market” in college sports.

Originally filed in the Northern District of California, the suit ended up in Indiana at the request of the Indianapolis-based NCAA. The plaintiffs are challenging two bylaws – a one-year scholarship limit, which prohibits NCAA-member institutions from offering multi-year athletic-based discounts to student-athletes; and the cap on the number of athletic-based discounts a school can offer per sport each year. They claim that without those two bylaws, they would have been able to get multi-year athletic scholarships that would have covered the cost of their degrees.

The NCAA’s motion to dismiss argued that the two didn’t allege a relevant product market, geographic market or anti-competitive effect on a relevant market to survive the motion to dismiss. The organization also claimed the plaintiffs lacked antitrust standing to challenge the bylaws.

Mangus-Stinson, bound by Banks v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, 977 F.2d 1081, 1087-88 (7th Cir. 1992), examined the suit 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 for the bachelor’s degrees as a matter of law.

But in the new brief, Agnew and Courtney contend that the Indianapolis judge incorrectly relied on Banks and instead should have considered other precedent from the Supreme Court of the United States and other federal courts. Specifically, that the NCAA student athletes purchase their degrees with their labor – such as playing a sport – and so without that option they have no other ability to obtain those degrees. That fits the “discernible labor market” definition, the brief says.

The plaintiffs are requesting oral argument on the case, and the NCAA has until Nov. 22 to file its response brief before the court makes a decision.
 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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