A panel of judges has granted the NCAA's request to place the injunction in the Ed O'Bannon antitrust lawsuit on hold.
On Friday, a panel from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals placed a stay on the injunction, which was scheduled to go into effect Saturday, when schools can start sending written scholarship offer letters to rising senior athletes. The NCAA asked for the stay on July 17.
The injunction, issued in August 2014 by U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken, would have allowed schools to offer football and men's basketball players up to $5,000 annually as deferred compensation for the use of their names, images and likenesses. The athletes would be able to begin receiving credit for that pay starting with the 2016-17 school year in addition to their scholarships, and receive the money after finishing their careers.
Although the decision does not carry immediate bearing on the fate of the case, it could imply that more internal decision-making has yet to occur within the court system, according to USA Today.
Michael Carrier, a Rutgers-Camden law school professor and antitrust expert who has been involved with a friend-of-the-court filing on behalf of the plaintiffs, told USA TODAY via e-mail: “While this is not a guarantee that the NCAA has won on the merits of the case, at a minimum, it signals that the court is wrestling with what to do and may have issues with (Wilken’s) decision."
The NCAA had been preparing for compliance with the injunction that would have begun Saturday.
"We are pleased the Ninth Circuit today granted the NCAA's motion for a stay," NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said in a statement. "As a result, the NCAA will not be implementing any changes to its rules in response to the district court's injunction at this time. We continue to wait for the Ninth Circuit's final ruling."
- Jeremy Woo