Thursday, September 19, 2013

NCAA moves to dismiss student-athletes' claim in likeness antitrust litigation.

Yesterday, the NCAA moved to dismiss the plaintiffs' antitrust claim in the NCAA student-athlete likeness antitrust litigation. In moving for dismissal, a defendant must show that there is no factual scenario on which a plaintiff could win the case. Usually, a plaintiff can show some factual basis that would entitle him or her to relief.

The NCAA relied on NCAA v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma, which deregulated college football television broadcasts and paved the way for conference realignment. The NCAA argues that Board of Regents categorically approved NCAA rules on amateurism. The student-athletes argue the opposite. The student-athletes are right, because the legality of the NCAA amateurism rules was not in question in Board of Regents. Only the legality of the NCAA rules on television broadcasts was under consideration. Accordingly, anything the court said about NCAA amateurism rules in Board of Regents was non-precedential.

Filing a motion to dismiss was an odd move by the NCAA, because it will be denied. Proper motion practice is to file a motion only when there is a chance it will be granted. Otherwise, it is a waste of time. The NCAA would have been better off filing a motion for summary judgment. Although unlikely, it would have at least had the possibility of being granted.

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