has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2014 The Buffalo News
All Rights Reserved
The Buffalo News (New York)

The National Collegiate Athletic Association and its five dominant conferences are an "unlawful cartel" that has illegally restricted the earning power of football and men's basketball players while making billions off their labor, according to a federal lawsuit filed Monday that seeks to paint big-time college athletics as being in blatant violation of antitrust laws.

The suit comes on the eve of the NCAA men's Division I basketball tournament, college sports' most prominent showcase. In addition to the NCAA, the lawsuit targets the Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, Pac-12, Big Ten and Big 12, and seeks monetary damages as well as a declaration that the defendants' practices violate federal antitrust laws.

"As a result of these illegal restrictions, market forces have been shoved aside and substantial damages have been inflicted upon a host of college athletes whose services have yielded riches only for others," according to the court filing. "This class action is necessary to end the NCAA's unlawful cartel, which is inconsistent with the most fundamental principles of antitrust law."

The suit seeks triple damages for the four plaintiffs - Rutgers basketball player Johnathan "J.J." Moore, Clemson football player Martin Jenkins, Texas-El Paso football player Kevin Perry and California football player William Tyndall - based on the economic harm they say they suffered. The court filing estimated that, for instance, Clemson's athletic department "generated more than $70 million in revenue, the vast majority of which came from football" in 2012 when Jenkins was playing.

March 18, 2014
Copyright © 2014 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy

This mentality of being slighted somehow by schools 'making profit off athletes' is incredulous. If these athletes win this suit, are they then going to be required to pay back the school for their education/tuition? Will they be required to pay back all fees that could be generated for rehabilitation received for free in their athletic training rooms? Pay for all the doctors appointments and surgeries? Pay for all the equipment and gear they received as athletes? Pay for all the supplies used so they can perform? Many athletes now seem to view their opportunity...I say again, receive a free education while playing a sport they love for a school that supports their athletic ability as irrelevant. These major conference schools were making money prior to those athletes getting there, and will continue to after they leave. It's the sports themselves that generate the support/interest, the alma mater for graduates, the thing to be passionate about for the surrounding communities. The athletes playing them are just a piece of that. And while having an OPPORTUNITY to be a piece of that pie, they get an education (for many of these athletes we are discussing, it's a free one), gear, free services, and professional opportunities. I am not convinced there is any 'economic suffering' at all, just another group of people trying to work a legal system to make some money.
Well said, it is an opportunity that they can value and use to their benefit or ignore and abuse to their detriment. What is really interesting is how the various courts of law are ultimately going to view and decide these cases.