SBD/28/Law Politics

CLOSING ARGUMENTS EXPECTED TODAY IN "HISTORIC" NCAA CASE

          Prosecution and defense lawyers are "expected to make
     closing arguments today in the years-long battle between the
     NCAA and former 'restricted earnings' coaches," according to
     Steve Rock of the K.C. STAR.  They will then "hand the case
     over to the jury, which will determine how much money the
     NCAA owes in damages."  The suit was filed in '93 over
     whether an NCAA restricted-earnings rule, which limited the
     salaries of lower-end coaches to $16,000-a-year, was legal. 
     A U.S. District Judge ruled in '95 that the rule was a
     violation of antitrust laws and that "set the stage for the
     damage phase."  The plaintiffs argue the NCAA owes more than
     1,900 coaches $30M, while the NCAA's defense attorneys "have
     argued it owes fewer than 60 coaches less than $900,000." 
     Under federal laws, all damage amounts awarded by the jury
     will be tripled, which could bring the plaintiffs' damages
     close to $100M.  Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen: "That would
     be very injurious to every NCAA program" (K.C. STAR, 4/28)

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