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Monday, June 18, 2012

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit affirms district court in Agnew v. NCAA

In Agnew, et al v. NCAA (SD Ind., Magnus-Stinson), a 38-page opinion, Circuit Judge Flaum writes:

Joseph Agnew and Patrick Courtney (“plaintiffs”) have at least two things in common: they were both highly successful high school football players that earned scholarships to play for National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) Division I football programs, and they both suffered careerending football injuries during their college tenures. The athletic scholarships held by plaintiffs at the time of their injuries were good for one year only, and needed to be renewed to be valid for any subsequent seasons. When plaintiffs’ injuries prevented them from playing football, their scholarships were not renewed. Plaintiffs claim that two NCAA regulations — the cap on the number of scholarships given per team and the prohibition of multi-year scholarships — prevented them from obtaining scholarships that covered the entire cost of their college education. These regulations, according to plaintiffs, have an anticompetitive effect on the market for student-athletes, and therefore violate § 1 of the Sherman Act. 15 U.S.C. § 1. The NCAA filed a motion to dismiss and the district court granted that motion, finding that plaintiffs failed to allege a relevant market on which the NCAA’s Bylaws had an anticompetitive effect. Plaintiffs appealed the dismissal. While we depart from some of the district court’s reasoning, we ultimately conclude that plaintiffs’ complaint did not sufficiently identify a commercial market—an obvious necessity for Sherman Act violations—and thus we affirm the district court’s dismissal of plaintiffs’ suit [ILB: with prejudice].

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 18, 2012 10:09 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions