Tuesday August 12th, 2014

The NCAA has spent $240,000 on lobbying efforts in the first half of 2014, according to a report from the research group OpenSecrets.org.

The association has never spent that much over an entire year, according to the report. The NCAA spent $160,000 on lobbying in 2013. 

More: O'Bannon case: Both NCAA and the plaintiffs could appeal

Seventy-five percent of the 2014 spending happened during the second quarter (covering April to June).

 A new topic appears on every lobbying disclosure filed after March 2014: the “welfare” or “well-being” of student athletes.

The NCAA hired outside lobbyists for the first time since 1998 after a ruling by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board recognizing Northwestern football players as employees.

On Friday, in a landmark antitrust lawsuit brought against the NCAA by a group of plaintiffs led by former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon, a federal judge ruled that the association's limits on athlete compensation violate antitrust laws.

The NCAA has appealed the ruling.

The association is also facing multiple other legal challenges, including one fronted by prominent sports labor attorney Jeffrey Kessler seeking a free market for college recruits.

The NCAA has also come under pressure from Congress. Emmert reportedly was subjected to a "grilling" by a Senate committee in a July hearing.

- Chris Johnson

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