Skip to main content

Minneapolis law firm files suit against NCAA over athlete compensation


A Minneapolis law firm has filed a lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) claiming the organization has failed to pay student athletes fair compensation.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis on Friday, it's seeking class action status.

According to Minnesota Lawyer, the lead plaintiff in the case is a former scholarship football player at the University of North Texas.

The suit says the NCAA makes billions of dollars off the work and talents of the athletes in violation of federal anti-trust laws through illegal price-fixing arrangements. The athletes work what amounts to a full-time job in exchange for scholarships that do not cover the full cost of attending school.

Brian Budmundson, one of the firm's attorneys, told the Star Tribune in an interview that he expects the suit to be consolidated in federal court in northern California. That's where similar cases against the NCAA have been filed.

He told the newspaper that the suit focuses on grants-in-aid, or the full athletic scholarships.

"There has been a conspiracy to fix the value of that at a certain level that does not reflect the competitive market," Gudmundson told the Star Tribune.

The lawsuit filed by Zimmerman and Reed comes on the heels of a ruling from U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken in Oakland, California, that issued an injunction preventing the NCAA "from enforcing any rules or bylaws that would prohibit its member schools and conferences from offering their FBS football or Division I basketball recruits a limited share of the revenues generated from the use of their names, images, and likenesses in addition to a full grant-in-aid."

The injunction was issued in the case of O'Bannon v. NCAA. USA Today reports Wilken's ruling could allow football and basketball players to receive more from the schools than they do now.

In a statement, the NCAA's chief legal officer, Donald Remy, said the organization will appeal the ruling.

"We remain confident that the NCAA has not violated the antitrust laws and intend to appeal. We will also be seeking clarity from the District Court on some details in the ruling.

It should be noted that the court supported several of the NCAA's positions, and we share a commitment to better support student-athletes."

Remy said the organization's Board of Directors passed a new governance model to allow schools to better support student-athletes, including covering the full cost of attendance, one of the central parts of the injunction.

That vote will allow the 65 schools in the "Power Five" conferences – including the Big Ten – to offer athletes a few thousand dollars more than current scholarships.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-11-25 at 7.53.37 AM

Another 5,000 lbs. of goldfish removed from Carver County lakes

It all likely stemmed from people dumping their pets into local waters a few years ago.

Rosaleia Shelton

Appeal to find 19-year-old missing from Bloomington

The teen left her home on Monday afternoon.

hospital, emergency room

Deaths of twin fetuses after woman was shot ruled a double homicide

The woman was shot in the abdomen in mid-September.

Payton Willis / Gopher Basketball

Gophers improve to 5-0 with win over Jacksonville

The Gophers are establishing momentum early in the season.

Anthony Edwards

Ant's massive slam leads Timberwolves to fifth straight win

The dunk didn't count, but provided the highlight of the night.

Cam Talbot / Minnesota Wild

WIld arrive late, Cam Talbot stays on point to beat Devils

Despite a 30-minute delay, the Wild picked up a 3-2 victory.

Screen Shot 2021-11-24 at 4.10.54 PM

Appeal to find 35-year-old missing from Oak Grove home

Police say he's not believed to be in danger.

vote, election

7 MN Republicans urge states to audit 2020 election results

There has been no evidence of significant fraud in any single U.S. state.

child vaccine pexels

How many MN kids age 5-11 have received a COVID vaccine dose?

The governor says the state has one of the highest child vaccination rates in the U.S.

police lights

Seven juveniles arrested in connection with stolen vehicles in Woodbury

Woodbury authorities have issued a warning following a spate of auto thefts.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

1 dead after driver crashes into stalled vehicle on shoulder

The vehicle stopped on the side of the road was unoccupied at the time.