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The NCAA Faces New Antitrust Suit

 |  April 4, 2023

On Tuesday, attorneys representing two former college athletes announced that they have filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA and Power Five conferences.

The lawsuit seeks damages for thousands of college athletes based on the academic-achievement payments that were allowed by a US district court judge in March 2019 and upheld by the Supreme Court two years later, reported USA Today. 

Related: NCAA Faces New Antitrust Suit Over Volunteer Coach Wage-Fixing

The NCAA may use Tuesday’s filing as an example of why they believe a federal law is necessary to address college athletes’ ability to profit from their name, image, and likeness, and to provide protection from antitrust lawsuits. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi, has proposed a bill that includes some form of protection, though it is not currently under consideration in Congress.

The new case was filed in US District Court in the Northern District of California’s Oakland Division. Other antitrust suits against the NCAA related to college-athlete compensation have also been filed there in the past 14 years. In two previous cases that have gone to trial before Judge Claudia Wilken, the NCAA was found to be in violation of antitrust law. Judge Wilken is currently overseeing another case that is in the process of determining whether it will proceed as class action.

Tuesday’s suit is the fifth antitrust case against the NCAA that has been led or co-led by the Seattle-based firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP. Not all of those cases have fully succeeded.