West Virginia football player Shawne Alston sued the NCAA
and five major conferences Wednesday, saying they violated
antitrust laws by agreeing to cap the value of an athletic
scholarship at less than the actual cost of attending
Steve Berman and Bruce Simon, who have been involved in
cases challenging the NCAA's ability to sell college
athletes' likeness to video-game makers, filed the
proposed class-action lawsuit in federal court in San
running back for West Virginia from 2009-12, is the only
named plaintiff. The lawsuit also seeks to represent all
scholarship football players who have played since
February 2010 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten,
Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference.
just received a copy of the complaint and are evaluating
it as it relates to similar cases filed by the very same
plaintiffs' counsel," NCAA chief legal officer Donald
Remy said in a statement.
lawsuits said players essentially work full-time football
jobs while they go to school.
NCAA and Power Conference Defendants have studied and
acknowledged that a so-called 'full ride' scholarship does
not cover the full cost of attending school," the
lawsuit said. "Athletes are often a few thousand
dollars short for the typical expenses of a student. These
costs include money for gas, food, and other necessities.
While players scrimp, coaches and universities most
certainly do not. The average salary for major college
football coaches is over $2 million, with some coaches
earning over $7 million."
had to take out a $5,500 loan to cover the difference
between his scholarship and actual costs of attendance,
the lawsuit said. It said if a free market existed in
major-college football, cost of attendance, and possibly
more, would be included in a scholarship.
lawsuit asks that the NCAA and the five conferences
discontinue the practice of not including the actual cost
of attendance in scholarships. It also asks for members of
the class to receive damages in the amount of the
difference between the value of their scholarships and
their actual costs of attendance.
and other power brokers already are facing challenges to
the traditional model of college athletics.
ago, the National Labor Relations Board met in Chicago to
hear a request from Northwestern University football
players to form what would be the first college athletes'
union in U.S. history. Attorneys suggested that the highly
regimented structure of football at Northwestern, and the
tight control of players' daily lives, essentially make it
a business, and the relationship of the school to the
players was one of an employer to employee.
month, a federal judge in Oakland, Calif., ruled former
UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon's class-action lawsuit
against the NCAA would go to trial barring a settlement.
O'Bannon's case asks the NCAA to share with college
athletes the hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue
generated from the use of their likeness in video games
and other media.