Judge denies class action in NCAA scholarship suit

A former college football quarterback who sued the NCAA over its former scholarship policy doesn’t meet the requirements for certification of a class-action suit against the Indianapolis-based organization, a federal judge ruled.

Former Gardner-Webb quarterback John Rock sued the National Collegiate Athletic Association in July 2012, asserting the governing body was an illegal sports monopoly. The lawsuit also challenged the NCAA’s policy at the time that prohibited multi-year athletic scholarships. The NCAA has since eliminated its rule barring multi-year scholarships.

Rock claims in his suit he was promised a four-year scholarship at the North Carolina school as long as he remained eligible to play. He says he was informed before the start of his senior year in 2011 he wouldn’t continue to receive his scholarship worth more than $33,000 a year after a coaching change in the NCAA Division I school’s football program.

Judge Tanya Walton Pratt wrote Thursday in John Rock v. NCAA, 1:12-cv-01019, that Rock failed to make the showings necessary for a class-action suit against the NCAA. “Rock’s Core Issues Class is not ascertainable because it is too vague and subjective” to meet requirements of typicality, predominance and superiority under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(a) and 23(c).

Pratt also denied as moot a motion to intervene filed by Devin Pugh, a former Weber State University football player, who claimed the NCAA barred his transfer to another school after his athletic scholarship at the Utah school was not renewed.  

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