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Thread: CBS Sports: Judges deny O'Bannon petition to rehear appeal vs. NCAA

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    Administrator cdj's Avatar
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    CBS Sports: Judges deny O'Bannon petition to rehear appeal vs. NCAA

    The NCAA gained another victory in the Ed O'Bannon case on Wednesday when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the O'Bannon plaintiffs' petition for a rehearing before a larger panel of judges.

    Earlier this fall, a three-judge panel upheld U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken's decision that NCAA rules restricting payments to college athletes violate antitrust laws, but determined that players shouldn't be paid up to $5,000 per year in deferred compensation for use of their names, images and likenesses. Lawyers for O'Bannon sought what's called an en banc review with a larger group of Ninth Circuit judges to rehear portions of the case.

    But on Wednesday, the Ninth Circuit issued an order saying the three judges voted the same way they did on the initial appeal and no other judge requested a vote for a rehearing. Chief Judge Sidney Thomas voted to grant the petition for a rehearing, and Judges Jay Bybee and Gordon Quist voted to deny the petition.

    The decision could set the stage for either the NCAA, which opposed the rehearing, or the O'Bannon plaintiffs to petition the U.S. Supreme Court. They have 90 days to file with the Supreme Court by March 14. Both the NCAA and O'Bannon plaintiffs have previously indicated some interest in appealing to the Supreme Court.

    "The NCAA is pleased with the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denial of the plaintiffs' en banc rehearing request," NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said in a statement. "As we said previously, the petition did not meet the standard required for a rehearing en banc. Both parties have an opportunity to request Supreme Court review of the Ninth Circuit panel decision. As I suspect the plaintiffs' counsel will explore next steps, so too will the NCAA.”

    O'Bannon attorney Michael Hausfeld said his legal team is evaluating its next options and suggested that could mean new lawsuits that attack other NCAA rules instead of petitioning the Supreme Court.

    “We now have an unequivocal determination that the NCAA is a cartel and that as a cartel its conduct violates the antitrust laws with regard to college athletes,” Hausfeld said. “So the next step is what further proceedings could possibly be undertaken with regard to other restraints imposed by the association and the conferences.”

    Hausfeld declined to say what NCAA rules he is considering challenging. The Ninth Circuit's decision not to have a rehearing “focused on a remedy as opposed to the violation,” Hausfeld said. “That doesn't in any way undercut the fact there is an unimpeachable finding that they violated the antitrust law.”

    In their petition filed in October, the O'Bannon lawyers wrote that the majority's decision from the appeal “creates a rift in this Court's precedent, clashes with Supreme Court authority, sows confusion in antitrust jurisprudence, and involves questions of exceptional importance at the intersection of college athletics and antitrust.”

    The O'Bannon plaintiffs had observed that Thomas, the chief judge, wrote that the majority “improperly substituted” the NCAA's amateurism term in place of the relevant antitrust inquiry. By eliminating or assuming away the core question of consumer demand, the majority created further conflicts with Ninth Circuit and Supreme Court decisions, the O'Bannon plaintiffs wrote.

    NCAA officials have long said they would fight this case to the Supreme Court if necessary. After the O'Bannon appellate ruling from Sept. 30, NCAA attorney Seth Waxman said the decision creates “flat conflict” with rulings in other circuits and strengthens the NCAA's possible bid for a Supreme Court review.

    Waxman noted that the Ninth Circuit acknowledged that it was creating a circuit split with the Seventh Circuit over the 1984 Board of Regents ruling in Agnew v. NCAA. That case involved former college football players challenging the NCAA's rules on prohibiting multi-year scholarships and capping the number per team. The Ninth Circuit opinion stated that only the Seventh Circuit "comes close to agreeing with the NCAA's interpretation of Board of Regents, and we find it unpersuasive.”


    Courtesy: CBS Sports

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    Obligatory "Ed O'Bannon is a dickhead" post.

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    Anyone see the post from EA Sports NCAA football Facebook page?

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    Yep, working on a story now. Good looking out, Deuce.

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