Agnew v. Nat'l Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, No. 11-3066 (7th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs were high school football players that earned scholarships to play for National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I football programs. Both suffered career-ending football injuries at college. Their athletic scholarships were good for one year. When injuries prevented them from playing football, their scholarships were not renewed. Plaintiffs challenge two NCAA regulations as having an anticompetitive effect, in violation of the Sherman Act. 15 U.S.C. 1: the cap on the number of scholarships given per team and the prohibition of multi-year scholarships. The district court dismissed, finding that plaintiffs failed to allege a relevant commercial market on which NCAA Bylaws had an anticompetitive effect. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. It was not clear whether plaintiffs believed that the Bylaws affect an overall market for degrees, which would impact scholarship athletes and non-athletes alike, or some market that only concerns athletes attempting to obtain education in exchange for athletic services. Plaintiffs claimed that they alleged that there was no practical alternative for students wishing to pursue an education in exchange for playing ability, but the complaint explained the lack of practical alternatives for colleges wanting to field teams outside of the NCAA framework, not the lack of alternatives for student-athletes.