NCAA seeks to dismiss college athletes’ federal lawsuit

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The NCAA is seeking to dismiss a federal lawsuit by two college athletes that seeks to prevent the association from limiting compensation athletes can make from their names, images and likenesses.

Attorneys for the NCAA filed a motion to dismiss an antitrust lawsuit by Oregon women’s basketball player Sedona Prince and Arizona State swimmer Grant House that also seeks damages for potential past earnings athletes have been denied by current NCAA rules, The Oregonian reported Sunday.

Prince and House are also suing the Power Five conferences — the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference — for unspecified damages. Their suit seeks class-action status.

In their Friday filing in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, NCAA lawyers argue in part that college athletes “have no cognizable NIL rights in game broadcasts” and thus cannot seek damages based on a share of television revenues generated by the NCAA and the Power Five conferences.

Senior U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilkin of the Northern District of California is scheduled to hear the matter Nov. 18.

The NCAA is working to change rules to allow college athletes to earn money from third parties for social media endorsements, sponsorships and personal appearances. Several federal lawmakers, including Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, are working with the NCAA to craft a federal law on name, image and likeness compensation to supercede similar legislation at the state level.

California, Florida and Colorado already have approved compensation laws; Florida’s goes into effect next year, and California and Colorado in 2023. Dozens of other states have introduced at least one piece of NIL legislation.

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