Friday, October 9, 2009

Andrew Oliver case settled: Agent genie back in the bottle


The case between Andrew Oliver and the NCAA has come to a conclusion.  As predicted by UltimateSportsInsider.com, Oliver was presented with an offer that required him to weigh a substantial financial payment vs. the possibility of becoming the Curt Flood of college athletics.  Oliver decided to accept $750,000 to drop his suit, which was scheduled to go to a jury trial in two weeks. While all signs pointed to Oliver receiving a favorable verdict at trial, he and legal counsel Rick Johnson would have likely faced years of NCAA appeals before reaching a successful conclusion and receiving payment. 

The settlement means NCAA Bylaws 12.3.2.1 and 19.7 are now back in full effect for prospects, student athletes and NCAA member schools and temporarily removes the possibility that agents will become a permissible part of college sports.  However, knowing that the NCAA has paid a significant sum to settle the case and that the judge in the case ruled against the NCAA at nearly every step of the legal process will likely require the Association to seriously examine its ban on the use of legal counsel by prospective and current student athletes who are considering professional contracts.  "The NCAA can continue to act with its typical arrogance and try to continue to deny student athletes the right to counsel, or it can realize that it will lose 100/100 of any such future lawsuits over this rule, since no court is going to allow the NCAA to prohibit nonmember student-athletes from retaining counsel..." said Oliver's lawyer Rick Johnson.  Since the settlement the NCAA has not commented about the Bylaws in question. 

It's hard to know if Bylaw 12.3.2.1 will move towards extinction, but the significant legal and financial ramifications of enforcing a Bylaw that a judge ruled had denied basic legal rights to a student athlete is going to be expensive to maintain.  While the agent genie may be back in the bottle, its not clear how long it will stay there.

Discover the World's largest E-Book Store! Save big on bestsellers!

No comments: