NCAA targeted in new anti-trust lawsuit

Monday March 17th, 2014

The NCAA and its conferences have earned $16 billion in television contracts. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) The NCAA and its conferences have earned $16 billion in television contracts. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Sports labor attorney Jeffrey Kessler has filed a class-action anti-trust claim against the NCAA as well as the SEC, Big Ten, Pac-12, ACC and Big 12, according to ESPN's Tom Farrey.

The suit argues that the NCAA has colluded to cap the payment for players at the cost of a scholarship, and that the players would likely be offered far more if not for the NCAA's regulations.

"The main objective is to strike down permanently the restrictions that prevent athletes in Division I basketball and the top tier of college football from being fairly compensated for the billions of dollars in revenues that they help generate," Kessler told ESPN. "In no other business -- and college sports is big business -- would it ever be suggested that the people who are providing the essential services work for free. Only in big-time college sports is that line drawn."

Kessler, who has represented both the NBPA and NFLPA, is joined in this suit by Tim Nevious, who had previously worked as one the the NCAA's top rules violation investigators.

DEITSCH: NCAA tourney viewer's primer, Barkley's odd CBS relationship, more The NCAA has recently seen a large number of legal challenges to its business model, with former UCLA star Ed O'Bannon's suit regarding player profiting from their own likeness set to finally go to trial this June. Players, coaches and officials from Northwestern also testified last month at a National Labor Relations Board hearing to determine whether players should be able to unionizer.

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