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Class-action status granted in athletic scholarship lawsuits

December 8, 2015

Class-action status has been granted by a federal judge in two lawsuits against the NCAA that claim scholarships illegally cap compensation to college athletes.

Judge Claudia Wilken of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California made a ruling late last week that affects two cases originally brought by former college football players, though they now also cover men's and women's basketball players. Her decision opens the lawsuits to other potential plaintiffs and could potentially lead to substantially more damages being paid by the NCAA and 11 major conferences if they lose the case.

Wilken earlier ruled against the NCAA in the O'Bannon case, which claimed schools were illegally using college athletes' names, images and likenesses without compensation.

NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said federal court decisions have found that "agreeing to appropriate limits on financial aid does not violate antitrust laws."

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