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Agnew Attacks NCAA As Conspiring Cabal of Colleges

Posted  November 4, 2010

While Joseph Agnew’s complaint against the National Collegiate Athletic Association may not call the NCAA’s institutions “nattering nabobs of negativism,” Agnew in effect alleges that the association is a conspiring cabal of colleges.

Agnew, a former Rice University football player, has commenced an antitrust class action against the NCAA.  The complaint filed in Agnew v. NCAA, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that the NCAA’s rules forbidding member schools from offering student athletes multi-year scholarships, and limiting the number of athletic scholarships a school may offer, constitute an unlawful price-fixing agreement.

Agnew, who enrolled in Rice University on a full athletic scholarship in 2006, suffered injuries during his sophomore year that derailed his football career.  Prior to his junior year, Agnew was informed that he no longer had a spot on the football team and his scholarship would not be renewed.

Agnew claims that in a competitive market, he and other student athletes would have received, prior to enrollment, a multi-year scholarship sufficient to cover the entire cost of his education.  Therefore, alleges Agnew, the NCAA’s regulations forbidding multi-year scholarships has injured thousands of student athletes by causing them to pay millions of dollars more in tuition – which they would not pay in a competitive market – when their athletic scholarships are not renewed.

Similarly, Agnew alleges that the NCAA’s limit on the number of athletic scholarships member schools can offer reduces the overall supply of athletics-based discounts available to student athletes, thereby forcing them to overpay for their education by millions of dollars.

Tagged in: Antitrust Litigation,