SBD/5/Collegiate Sports

COACHES AWARDED $67M IN DAMAGES AFTER RULING AGAINST NCAA

          A federal jury in Kansas City yesterday awarded more
     than 1,900 coaches "nearly" $22.3M in damages from the NCAA,
     "a total that will automatically be tripled," according to
     Steve Rock of the K.C. STAR.  The $67M "blow" is the largest
     in the history of the NCAA and its member institutions. 
     NCAA General Counsel Elsa Cole said that NCAA officials will
     determine shortly "what their next legal maneuver will be,"
     adding that she would recommend an appeal to the 10th U.S.
     Circuit of Appeals in Denver.  Cole said that the NCAA may
     "[u]ltimately" ask the U.S. Supreme Court to "look at both
     the liability and the damage amount" (K.C. STAR, 5/5).
          CASE HISTORY: In May '95, the NCAA was found in
     violation of federal anti-trust laws due to its "restricted-
     earnings" rule, which capped the annual salaries of "lower-
     end" coaches at $16,000.  Yesterday's proceedings "were the
     culmination" of a month-long damage phase stemming from that
     decision.  Three classes of plaintiffs -- one representing
     men's basketball coaches, one representing baseball coaches
     and one representing coaches in all other sports -- filed
     lawsuits, with their lawyers arguing that the NCAA owed more
     than 1,900 coaches $30M in damages.  The NCAA argued that
     "just 59 coaches were hurt by less than" $900,000.  The jury
     "determined that damages did apply to all classes," and
     awarded $11.2M to the basketball coaches, $1.6M to baseball
     coaches, and $9.5M to coaches in the other sports.  Under
     anti-trust law, those damage awards are automatically
     tripled (K.C. STAR, 5/5).  The appeal process "could take
     two years," and coaches will not receive any damages until
     that process is complete (Mark Asher, WASHINGTON POST, 5/5).
          NOTES & QUOTES: Cole said that if the decision stands
     and back pay is issued, the NCAA "would be distributing
     money that normally would go to" member schools, adding that
     since the NCAA "generally had less than" $10M in a reserve
     fund, member schools may "have to contribute" to pay the
     settlement (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 5/5).  NCAA Div. I
     Management Council Member Arthur Cooper: "It would be great
     to be able to say that we were just misadvised.  But I don't
     know that that's really true.  The concept of the rule was
     just flawed" (K.C. STAR, 5/5).  Pac-10 Commissioner Tom
     Hansen: "This isn't an award against the NCAA.  This is an
     award against members of the NCAA and, eventually, the
     student athletes" (K.C. STAR, 5/5).  Patty Viverito,
     Associate Commissioner of the Missouri Valley Conference:
     "It's beyond my comprehension how we're going to be able to
     absorb this without changing the way we do business"
     (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/5).  Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany
     called the ruling a "pretty serious financial hit" for the
     NCAA (USA TODAY, 5/5)....The decision gained front-page news
     in the K.C. STAR, and garnered front-page treatment in this
     morning's N.Y. TIMES (THE DAILY)....In K.C., Rock examines
     the ruling in a sidebar under the header "Why Did NCAA Let
     It Get To This Point?"  Rock calls it an "historic setback"
     for the NCAA, and adds "[n]o settlement would have been
     sufficient, from the coaches' perspective, without repealing
     the restricted-earnings rule.  And rescinding an NCAA rule
     was a laborious and cumbersome process" (K.C. STAR, 5/5).

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