Publications & Presentations
May 16, 2019

In an intensive 90-minute opening session at Thursday’s SLA Conference, legal experts Matt Mitten of Marquette and Gabe Feldman of Tulane commented on a number of recent developments, including: 

  • The injunction that Federal Court Judge Claudia Wilken recently entered in the Alston antitrust case arguably “could permit student-athletes to be given Stradivarius Violins or Grand Pianos”. 

  • They further noted that the permissible limit on non-academic related benefits of not less than $5,600 per year in the Alston injunction seems to be “very similar” to the $5,000 floor on permissible limits on benefits to student-athletes above cost of attendance that was struck down by the Ninth Circuit in her earlier O’Bannon decision.

  • Generally, lawsuits filed by amateur and professional players claiming compensation for use of their name image and likeness are dismissed under state laws because of state court statutes that provide an exception for sports generally or items that are newsworthy. Newly-filed legislation in the U.S. House that threatens tax exempt status for “qualified amateurs sports organizations” that restrict student-athlete NIL rights, and states such as Washington and California also are considering legislation mandating NIL rights.

One key takeaway from today’s overview of legal developments is “Don’t Mess with the Court of Arbitration for Sport”! The CAS has exercised greater independence and authority over the past 12 months across multiple sports (track and field, para-Olympics, and doping for example) and jurisdictions (domestic and international).