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4 states, D.C. file lawsuit against NCAA over alleged anti-competitive NIL policies

NCAA lawsuit overview: 

  • Who: Florida, New York and the District of Columbia joined Tennessee and Virginia in a lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

  • Why: The lawsuit claims NCAA’s name, image and likeness (NIL) rules violate federal antitrust law by unfairly blocking athletes from reaching their full earning power.

  • Where: The amended NCAA lawsuit was filed in federal court in Tennessee.

Florida, New York and Washington, D.C. joined Tennessee and Virginia in an antitrust lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) over its name, image and likeness (NIL) rules.

The states claim the NCAA violates the law by attempting to restrict athletes from exploring NIL deals before they have enrolled in a college.

“It’s like a coach looking for a new job and freely talking to many different schools but being unable to negotiate salary until after he’s picked one (the depressive effect on coaches’ wages in such a dysfunctional market is obvious),” the NCAA NIL lawsuit says.

Federal judge grants NCAA NIL preliminary injunction until case resolved

U.S. District Judge Clifton L. Corker granted a preliminary injunction against the NCAA NIL rules in February, preventing the NCAA from enforcing those rules before a full ruling in the case is determined.

“While the NCAA permits student-athletes to profit from their NIL, it fails to show how the timing of when a student-athlete enters such an agreement would destroy the goal of preserving amateurism,” Corker wrote.

Last year, a federal judge in California certified three classes in a lawsuit against the NCAA over NIL restrictions and how they prohibit athletes from benefiting from third-party contracts where the schools make money off of athletes’ NIL.

The plaintiffs are represented by Thomas R. McCarthy, Cameron T. Norris, David L. Rosenthal and Patrick Strawbridge of Consovoy McCarthy PLLC; Adam K. Mortara of Lawfair LLC; Jonathan Skrmetti, Lacey E. Mase, J. David Mcdowell, Ethan Bowers, Tyler T. Corcoran and Marilyn Guirguis of the Tennessee Attorney General’s office; Jason S. Miyares, Steven G. Popps, Tyler T. Henry and Jonathan M. Harrison II of the Virginia Attorney General’s office; Ashley Moody, Lizabeth A. Brady, Genevieve Hall and Colin G. Fraser of the Florida Attorney General’s office; Letitia James, Elinor R. Hoffmann, Amy Mcfarlane and Bryan Bloom of the New York Attorney General’s office; and Brian L. Schwalb, Seth Rosenthal and Adam Gitlin of the District of Columbia Attorney General’s Office.

The NCAA NIL lawsuit is State of Tennessee, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, Case No. 3:24-CV -0003 3-DCLC-DCP, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee Knoxville Division.

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