The recent ruling in the O'Bannon case shows the NCAA and their restrictions are subject to challenge on a number of different fronts. While that case involved intellectual property rights, New York sports attorney, David Feher has filed a federal lawsuit against the NCAA to show that they have been engaging in practices for many years causing harm to many people.
Feher says that in the past, the NCAA could say sports were amateur endeavors, however in recent years, there has been multi-billion dollar contracts, sponsorship contracts and coaching contracts, just to cite a few examples of the claim of amateurism just being a facade that's fallen.
People have realized these are multi-billion dollar businesses and that the NCAA is running commercial enterprises, making billions of dollars going everywhere except to the athletes, who put their lives on the line on the basketball court and football field, Feher says. "That's not only wrong but also in direction violation of the anti-trust law."
Feher calls the NCAA an "unlawful cartel," because it is set up with rules that don't give the schools the freedom of choice. An agreement is set up that they'll pay for athletes up to a certain amount but they won't pay a penny more and that's a classic price-fixing arrangement in the labor market, he says.
The NCAA should comply with the anti-trust laws, believes Feher and stop engaging in price-fixing laws, in terms of what individual schools can decide for their players.
"There's a need for fundamental change" and not just having a few bones thrown, Feher says. He adds that his case relates just to injunctive relief, not damages and because so, he believes the judge can move through the case in short order. We are "going to push this thing full speed ahead," Feher says.