LOS ANGELES, Feb. 21 LAWFUEL – The Law News Net…

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 21 LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The following press release was issued today by Susman Godfrey L.L.P.:

On Friday, February 17, 2006, three former college athletes filed an
antitrust suit in the federal district court in Los Angeles against the
National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”). The lawsuit challenges an
agreement under which the NCAA and its member schools have imposed a maximum
cap on the amount of athletics-based financial aid, or “grant-in-aid” (“GIA”),
support available to student athletes competing in major college sports.
Under this agreement, the amount of the GIA is artificially fixed at an amount
that falls far short of the full “cost of attendance” (or “COA”) at NCAA
member institutions. The lawsuit alleges that this agreement is an unlawful
restraint of trade in violation of the federal antitrust laws.

The suit is brought as a class action on behalf of all football and men’s
basketball players at major Division I schools. The plaintiffs allege that
major college football and men’s basketball are lucrative and profitable
businesses, with the NCAA and its member institutions taking in hundreds of
millions of dollars each year as a result of the efforts of the student
athletes. The plaintiffs further allege that the NCAA has enforced an
agreement to short-change student athletes by imposing an artificial cap on
the amount of financial aid a student athlete may receive in the form of an
athletic scholarship, or GIA. The plaintiffs allege that this artificial cap
has imposed significant hardships on many student athletes, and that
competition among NCAA schools would result in student athletes receiving
GIA’s covering the full COA if the artificial cap were eliminated.

One major object of the lawsuit — to raise the student athlete
scholarship level from GIA to COA — has actually been endorsed by Dr. Myles
Brand, the current President of the NCAA, who wrote in 2003:

“Ideally, the value of an athletically related scholarship would be
increased to cover the full cost of attendance, calculated at between the
$2000 and $3000 more per year than is currently provided. I favor this
approach of providing the full cost of attendance. The Division 1-A
membership, which is where the final decision will be made, will continue to
address the issue over the next several months.”

Despite this encouragement, the NCAA membership refused to raise the GIA
cap, and this lawsuit seeks to enjoin the enforcement of the present agreement
and permit financial aid covering the full COA to be paid in the future. The
suit also seeks damages for financial aid which would have been paid if the
artificial cap had not been in place.

The named plaintiffs and class representatives are Jason White, who played
football at Stanford; Brian Polak, who played football at UCLA; and Jovan
Harris, who played basketball at the University of San Francisco. The
plaintiffs and class are represented by Marc Seltzer, Steve Morrissey and
Steven Sklaver of Susman Godfrey L.L.P., and Maxwell Blecher and Courtney
Palko of Blecher & Collins, P.C.

For information contact:
Stephen E. Morrissey
Direct: (310) 789-3103
Fax: (310) 789-3150
E-mail: [email protected]

Maxwell M. Blecher
Telephone: (213) 622-4222
Fax: (213) 622-1656
E-mail: [email protected]

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