O'Bannon v. NCAA

United States District Court for the Northern District of California

No. C 09-3329 CW (N.D. Cal. 2014)

The NCAA rules prohibiting schools from offering football and basketball players a limited share of the revenues generated from the use of their names, images, and likenesses violate the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Relevant Facts

O’Bannon (the plaintiff) brought a class action suit against the NCAA (the defendant) for violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, claiming that the NCAA rules prohibiting payment and scholarships to student-athletes unreasonably restrained trade in the market for Division I educational and athletic opportunities.

As a result, the NCAA claimed four pro-competitive justifications for its rules:

(1) a commitment to amateurism,
(2) promotion of competitive balance among Division I teams,
(3) the integration of academics and athletics, and
(4) increased output of its product.

The plaintiff set forth less restrictive changes to the NCAA rules that would potentially achieve the NCAA’s goals, which included permitting payment of a stipend not to exceed the entire cost of attending college (i.e., including food and other expenses in addition to tuition) and allowing schools to hold payments in trust until the student-athletes leave school.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 23, 2020

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Procedural History

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Citations

No. C 09-3329 CW (N.D. Cal. 2014)