Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Recent U.S. Supreme Court case has implications for NCAA student-athlete likeness antitrust litigation.

In a recent case, the U.S. Supreme Court made it more difficult for the student-athletes in the NCAA student-athlete antitrust litigation to obtain class certification. In an earlier post, I discussed the requirements for a class action.

The Comcast ruling means that the student-athletes in the NCAA case will need to be able to prove damages with specificity; not necessarily at the class certification stage, but later. It just needs to be shown at the class certification stage that damages are ascertainable. Comcast poses a problem, because the proposed subclasses in the NCAA case (current and former basketball and football players) contain players of vastly different talents and potential licensing values. Since some of the players' licensing values are so disparate from others, it might preclude class certification because of the difficulty or impossibility of proving damages.

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