Federal Judge Declines Demand for US College Sports Pay Data in Wage-Fixing Case
In a recent ruling, a federal judge has rejected the request to compel the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to disclose individual assistant coaches’ pay data across the United States. The decision marks a setback for plaintiffs in an ongoing class-action lawsuit accusing the NCAA of conspiring to suppress wages for unpaid coaches, reported Reuters.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall Newman, presiding over the case in Sacramento, sided with the NCAA, stating that the organization did not possess the information sought by the plaintiffs. Judge Newman underscored that the NCAA’s bylaws, which allow it to obtain information from member schools, were not intended to serve as a discovery mechanism for the plaintiffs.
The legal action involves unpaid coaches who allege that the NCAA, along with more than 300 member schools in its Division I, engaged in an unlawful agreement to pay them nothing, forming a wage-fixing conspiracy. The plaintiffs, consisting of coaches from various sports, including baseball, tennis, indoor track, soccer, and lacrosse, claim they were unfairly denied compensation.
Despite the setback, the NCAA faces ongoing legal challenges. The organization lost its initial attempt to dismiss the two lawsuits, both filed last year. The NCAA’s Division I took a step in response to the legal scrutiny, amending its rules in January to allow teams to compensate additional coaches, thereby eliminating volunteer positions.
An NCAA spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for comment, while the NCAA continues to deny any wrongdoing. Garrett Broshuis, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, expressed determination to pursue the case, stating, “We look forward to continuing to prosecute this case on behalf of these coaches, who were unfairly denied compensation for far too many years.”