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NCAA faces lawsuit for capping athletic scholarships

West Virginia running back is suing NCAA for placing a cap on athletic scholarship that was actually below the cost of his tuition.

The NCAA is up against yet another lawsuit, this time involving placing a cap on the value of athletic scholarships, which allegedly violates antitrust laws.

A former West Virginia running back is filing a lawsuit against the NCAA and the five power conferences. The lawsuit claims that the NCAA has placed a cap on athletic scholarships that are actually below the cost of the schools in questions.   

According to a report on CBS Sports, a 2012 study on found that out-of-pocket expenses for a full scholarship FBS athlete in 2011-12 ranged from $1,000 a year to $6,904 a year, depending on the school, which accounts for out-of-pocket expenses that aren't covered by a full scholarship.

Former Mountaineer RB Shawne Alston filed the lawsuit against the NCAA and plans to represent other former FBS scholarship football players who also played at the five conferences. According to the report, the SEC, Big Ten, ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12 were all cited as defendants, along with the NCAA. The suit claims that Alston had to take out a $5,500 loan to cover the difference while he was at West Virginia.

While the NCAA hasn't agreed to allow schools to provide an extra stipend to help cover additional expenses for student athletes, there have been discussions of providing extra benefits for athletes from power conferences. Naturally this creates the potential for recruiting boosts for schools involved in the power conferences. 

“Under antitrust laws, a defendant's desire to save costs – and thereby increase profits at the expense of other participants in the market – is not a legitimate justification for the grant-in-aid cap or any other horizontal agreement to restrict price or output,” the lawsuit stated. 

The lawsuits intention is to reverse NCAA rules that prohibit an extra stipend for athletes while also recovering damages for the expenses athletes were forced to pay when their scholarships didn't cover everything under the cost of living.


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Contributing Author

Stefanie Mosca

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