Sports Law Blog
All things legal relating
to the sports world...
Monday, April 05, 2010
 
A Different Take on the Expansion of the NCAA Tournament to 96 Teams

While most of the college basketball fans in the country have been finalizing their "why I hate Duke" speeches, the NCAA continues to move towards expanding the tournament from 64 to 96 teams. The proposed expansion has been met with an avalanche of criticism. Critics claim that a larger field will devalue the regular season and the conference tournaments, dilute the NCAA tournament field, destroy office brackets, and all but ruin March Madness. I'm not convinced that expanding the tournament is a good idea (though I do not think it will destroy the tournament), but I think the NCAA has a more subtle concern than the negative reaction from fans and journalists: Adding 32 teams to the tournament may have a real impact the NCAA's position in antitrust lawsuits, including the O'Bannon-class action suit currently pending in federal court.

I have a new column up in the Huffington Post that takes a closer look at the possible antitrust implications of a 96-team tournament. Here's an excerpt:

Judicial deference to the NCAA is not unconditional. While some commentators have been screaming for years that the NCAA cares about money, not amateurism, courts have continued to defer to the NCAA in antitrust cases when the NCAA makes rules governing student-athletes that are arguably related to maintaining amateurism and furthering academic ideals. That deference could fade if the NCAA makes decisions--like expanding the tournament-- that seem to put the "athlete" ahead of the "student" in student-athlete. At a minimum, it will give ammunition for plaintiffs to use in antitrust cases--and their quest to obtain treble damages-- and give judges and juries a reason to more strictly scrutinize NCAA rules.


You can find the full column here. You can follow me on twitter here.





7 Comments:

Do guest bloggers on Sports Law Blog ever blog about something other than what they have written? You guys need better standards.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 4/05/2010 10:42 AM  


Anon: I don't understand your complaint. Prof. Feldman is linking to a sports law column he wrote. It's exactly the type of piece you would see on the Sports Law Blog and that people who come to this site want to read.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 4/05/2010 12:44 PM  


It is quite common for the sports law bloggers to reference themselves, their conferences and their articles, but it is not a problem. It is usually quite informative, such as this piece by Feldman. Overall this is a fine blog even if some of the bloggers are a bit shameless in terms of self-promotion.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 4/05/2010 1:05 PM  


Why don't you look at the decision on how many tickets were allocated to students? I believe the students got something like 690 tickets (out of 70,000). Are they running an eductational system for the benefit of their students or a commercial enterprise? Allocating a tenth of one percent of your tickets to students would seem to indicate they are running a commercial enterprise rather than offering an educational experience.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 4/06/2010 8:16 AM  


Do guest bloggers on Sports Law Blog ever blog about something other than what they have written? You guys need better standards.
China TV Mobile Phone

Blogger blog for steveLi -- 4/06/2010 9:26 PM  


It is usually quite informative, such as this piece by Feldman.Overall this is a fine blog even if some of the bloggers are a bit shameless in terms of self-promotion.



Best Attorney

Anonymous faithevans -- 4/07/2010 1:14 AM  


The NCAA tournament currently has 65 teams.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NCAA_Men's_Division_I_Basketball_Championship#Opening_round

Anonymous Anonymous -- 4/13/2010 2:52 PM  


Post a Comment