The law firm of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP filed a class action
lawsuit today against the National Collegiate Athletic Association
("NCAA") and its member institutions that participate in Division I
football ("FBS") and Division I men's and women's basketball challenging
the anticompetitive rules of the NCAA and those conferences limiting the
grant-in-aid ("GIAs") money eligible to its full-scholarship athletes.
This is the first such case that addresses both men's and women's sports
and the first that includes a female class representative, Ashley
Holliday (Kennesaw State University basketball). Other plaintiffs are
Sharrif Floyd (University of Florida Gators football); Kyle Theret
(University of Minnesota Gophers football); Duane Bennett (University of
Minnesota Gophers football); Chris Stone (Arkansas State University
football); John Bohannon (University of Texas - El Paso Miners
basketball); and Chris Davenport (University of North Florida
The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of
Minnesota, alleges that GIAs provided to full-scholarship athletes fail
to cover the entire cost of attending college. GIAs only cover tuition,
required institutional fees, room and board, and required course-related
books. Though the NCAA's Bylaws define "Cost of Attendance" as including
not only those items covered by the GIAs, but also supplies,
transportation and "other expenses related to attendance at the
institution," the GIAs leve full-scholarship athletes with a
The complaint further alleges that the rules restrict those athletes
from earning any compensation to cover the shortfalls. Various studies
have shown individual athletes are shorted $3,000 to over $5,000 every
year, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars per year for all
full-scholarship athletes. Yet, the NCAA and its conferences are
receiving billions of dollars every year from the blood, sweat and tears
of these players in the form of television rights, marketing, clothing
sales, among other means of revenue, but they deny athletes the
compensation they would otherwise receive for their services in a
The complaint also alleges that defendants' rules effect group boycotts
of any institution or player that refuses to comply, resulting in
athletes being unable to market their services as football and men's and
women's basketball players at competitive rates, resulting in
substantial economic harm to them.
A copy of the complaint can be viewed here: http://www.zelle.com/assets/htmldocuments/NCAA%20Complaint%2004252014.pdf.
Further information can be provided by Richard M. Hagstrom (firstname.lastname@example.org)
of Zelle Hofmann, who is co-lead counsel. Plaintiffs and the class are
also represented by the law firm of Gustafson Gluek PLCC.
About Zelle Hofmann:
Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP is a national litigation and dispute
resolution law firm with offices in Boston, Dallas, London, Minneapolis,
San Francisco, and Washington, DC. The Firm excels at handling
insurance, antitrust and other complex litigation on both a national and
global scale. The Firm also has an affiliate office in Beijing, People's
Republic of China. For more information about Zelle Hofmann, visit www.zelle.com.
For more information about the firm's Zealous Women initiative, visit www.zealouswomen.com.
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