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. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.