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Judge dismisses challenge to NCAA bylaws

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Two former NCAA athletes whose scholarships were revoked following injuries have lost their suit that argued without certain NCAA Division I bylaws, they would have received multi-year athletic scholarships that would have covered the cost of their bachelor’s degrees.

Joseph Agnew and Patrick Courtney originally filed their suit, Joseph Agnew, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, No. 1:11-CV-293, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, but the suit was moved to the Southern District of Indiana at the request of the NCAA, which is headquartered in Indianapolis. After the suit was removed, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint challenging two bylaws – the 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.

The plaintiffs claim without these 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.

Judge Jane 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.

“The Court agrees with the NCAA that 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,” wrote Judge Magnus-Stinson, noting that student-athletes must still fulfill certain academic requirements to get the degree.

She dismissed the suit with prejudice Sept. 1, finding that the plaintiffs have already had two opportunities to plead their claims against the NCAA and did not cure deficiencies in their pleadings. They also didn’t give any indication that they could fully amend their complaint to cure the defects Judge Magnus-Stinson found in the amended complaint, if they were given that opportunity.

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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