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NCAA Fights Class Status in Antitrust Case
Court papers were filed last week by attorneys for the NCAA that oppose class certification in a case led by former student athletes who claim a conspiracy to not pay them to broadcast their images or license their likenesses in videogames, according to Reuters.
The litigation has been pending in the Northern District of California since 2009. The plaintiffs want an order that will certify two classes. One of those will be current NCAA Division I men’s basketball and football players whose images in game footage have been licensed by the organization without the players’ permission. Another class will be for former student-athletes in the same scenario.
The current players are asking for injunctive relief and the former players are asking for money. The plaintiffs claim that the NCAA operated “an illegal horizontal cartel” that has “conspired to limit and depress the compensation of former student-athletes for continued use of their images to zero.”
Those plaintiffs also allege that the NCAA has benefited from their images commercially and that they use rules that keep the athletes from sharing the benefits. The NCAA argued that the plaintiffs should not be allowed to move forward as groups because there are too many differences among individual members of each class.