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Federal judge keeps alive Rock case vs. NCAA

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A federal judge has left the door open for a former Division I college football quarterback to pursue his claim that the NCAA constitutes an illegal college sports monopoly, allowing him to amend a complaint that had been dismissed.

Former Gardner-Webb University quarterback John Rock sued the National Collegiate Athletic Association in July 2012 and sought a class action challenging the Indianapolis-based governing body’s prohibition of multi-year college athletic scholarships.

Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson of the Southern District of Indiana dismissed the complaint in March, writing that the complaint “reads more like a press release than a legal filing.” Magnus-Stinson granted the NCAA’s motion to dismiss because Rock had failed to identify a relevant market in his antitrust claim.

On Friday, Magnus-Stinson issued an order allowing Rock to amend the complaint by fixing that defect in the original filing.

“(F)or the first time, the proposed complaint challenging the bylaws at issue limits the relevant market to Division I college football and further pleads two subdivisions of that market – the Football Bowl Subdivision (‘FBS’) and the Football Championship Subdivision (‘FCS’),” Magnus-Stinson wrote. “While the Court makes no pronouncement on the sufficiency of the relevant market Mr. Rock now proposes, given the Seventh Circuit’s observation that ‘[i]t is undeniable that a market of some sort is at play in (Agnew v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, 683 F.3d 328, 2012) ... the Court cannot conclude that the proposed amendment is futile.

“Justice requires giving Mr. Rock a final chance to amend his complaint,” Magnus-Stinson wrote. “The NCAA must answer or otherwise respond to Mr. Rock’s amended complaint.”

Rock claims he was assured a four-year scholarship at Gardner-Webb as long as he remained eligible, but that he lost his athletic scholarship after a coaching change at the North Carolina school.

Seattle-based Hagens Berman LLP brought the lawsuit that was represented locally by Price Waicukauski & Riley LLC. Hagens Berman also filed the Agnew antitrust action, which was dismissed by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in September 2011.
 

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  1. A sad end to a prolific gadfly. Indiana has suffered a great loss in the journalistic realm.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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