Judge: States likely to prevail in NIL antitrust case against NCAA

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(The Center Square) – Tennessee did not get a temporary restraining order against the NCAA and its rules related to name, image and likeness earnings for athletes.

U.S. District Judge Clifton Corker wrote the lawsuit from Tennessee and Virginia is likely to succeed in its claim the NCAA rules are a violation of the Sherman antitrust act.

Corker, however, wrote that the states did not provide clear evidence that there would be irreparable harm done to athletes if a TRO was not granted. Monetary harm, which the states claimed, is not irreparable because it can be overcome in monetary damage claims in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit comes as the NCAA is reportedly investigating both the University of Tennessee and University of Florida related to NIL rules violations after recently taking action against Florida State for similar violations.

“Tennessee remains committed to protecting the rights of our student-athletes. We look forward to litigating this case and enforcing the law,” Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said.

The lawsuit has similarities to a lawsuit from lead-plaintiff Ohio in West Virginia federal court challenging NCAA transfer rules. Virginia, Tennessee and the U.S. Department of Justice all also plaintiffs in that lawsuit, where a TRO was ordered, and the case has been put on hold until the end of the current athletic year.

That case alleged the NCAA’s rules requiring a waiver to immediately compete the second time an athlete transfers is a violation of the Sherman Act.

At the same time, Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn announced that she has re-introduced the NCAA Accountability Act along with Sen. Cory Booker, D-New York.

The law would make several due process requirements of the NCAA when it conducts investigations, including providing fair notice of inquiries and allegations along with requiring the NCAA to complete investigations within one year and requires the NCAA from publicly disclosing accusations until formal charges are filed.

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