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NCAA, Power 5 request antitrust suit delay

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Aug 14 2014 10:28:29 AM CDT
Updated On: Aug 14 2014 12:36:01 PM CDT
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Courtesy of National Collegiate Athletic Association

The NCAA, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and Pac-12 late Wednesday formally requested a delay to respond to antitrust scholarship lawsuits.

CBS Sports reported the motion filed by attorneys for the Pac-12 cites the recent Ed O'Bannon ruling by the same judge. The "Power 5" conferences and NCAA asked for 30 days to respond to the antitrust cases, specifically noting time needed to review the "ruling in that (O'Bannon) action to assess its possible impact on the allegations and claims -- as well as the Defendants' anticipated joint motion to dismiss such claims -- in this action."

The suit initially set a response date from the parties by Aug. 20. The NCAA is targeting Sept. 20 for its response, but attorney Jeffrey Kessler, who filed one of the antitrust suits, opposes the extension and said amendments were unnecessary with the O'Bannon ruling pending appeal.

The 9th District Court of Appeals denied in June a request by the NCAA to delay a trial the governing body in college sports eventually lost.

The antitrust cases allege the NCAA and several conferences illegally cap the value of scholarships. The cases are consolidated in pre-trial before U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken, who ruled in the O'Bannon case last week the NCAA can cap the amount of new compensation FBS football and Division I men's basketball players receive during their eligibility (five years), not to be less than their total cost of attendance.

Scholarship values are not currently set with peripheral costs and travel expenses included, and the new lawsuits suggest that equates to "full ride" scholarships being less than the true cost of attendance.

The delay could also allow for immediate action by the conferences involved in the suit.

Cost of attendance stipends are up for discussion immediately by the Power 5 conferences, which were granted autonomy by the NCAA in a landmark vote last week.

Not acting, and losing the case, could result in a collective payout of $500 million or more, depending on the parameters set by the judge.