Class action status was granted to two lawsuits on Friday by the federal judge that include Jeffrey Kessler’s that challenges the NCAA rules limiting the compensation amount for college athletes. The certification has given an opportunity for the lawsuits to move ahead against NCAA and its conferences that are sued in lieu of Football Bowl Subdivision’s football and basketball players of Division I. With the certification more pressure is on the NCAA to find a solution on compensating college athletes.
The complainants had it that NCAA and the schools are violating the antitrust law by forcing a cap on the money athletes can get from the school. Now without any cap, the schools will offer generous scholarships argued the plaintiff. The US District Judge Claudia Wilken was convinced that the issue is common. Moreover, another argument kept forth by the NCAA and FBS conferences is that the ‘substitution effect’ and ‘economics of superstars’ will affect some athletes though it can benefit a few giving an advantage to a few players to receive more than their due scholarship.
Wilken said the assumptions of NCAA are not backed as schools cannot spend money on student-athlete compensation instead of reducing the payment of others. The NCAA and conferences made their point that the injunction can only increase the expenditure of FBS and schools belonging to Division I will not participate at this level or will cut on their costs like offering fewer scholarships. Wilken added that the defendants have made their point that any hike in student athlete compensation can only result based on an injunction that would demand the schools to set off the cost by disfavoring particular members of the community.
She furthered that the court did not find any basis for these assumptions as per the previous behavior of the schools and alternative fund availability. Kessler is a renowned sports attorney who was instrumental in bringing free agency to NFL. He was also responsible for bringing in former football player from Clemson Martin Jenkins into the lawsuit. He also added two more plaintiffs, Nigel Hayes, and Alec James both from Wisconsin.