NCAA v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma, 468 U.S. 85 (1984),
was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) television plan violated the Sherman and Clayton Antitrust Acts. These antitrust laws were designed to prohibit group actions that restrained open competition and trade. The NCAA was an organization that regulated college athletics, and membership was voluntary, although NCAA schools were not allowed to play against non-NCAA teams. The case dealt with television rights to college football games, which were controlled by the NCAA and limited the appearance of university teams in each season. The NCAA believed that their control of television rights protected live attendance. A number of colleges disagreed. These larger colleges formed the College Football Association and tried to negotiate television contracts, until the NCAA advised the colleges that they would be banned from all NCAA competitions, not just in football. The Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma and the University of Georgia Athletic Association sued to force the NCAA to stop the practice. The Supreme Court held that the NCAA's actions were a restraint of trade and ruled for the universities.
Main articles: Sherman Antitrust Act and Clayton Antitrust Act
The Sherman Antitrust Act was enacted in 1890 to oppose the use of combinations, monopolies or cartels that harmed free and open trade. It prohibited the restraint of trade. The Clayton Antitrust Act was enacted in 1914 to address shortcomings discovered in the Sherman Act. It specified the prohibited conduct, an enforcement scheme, and remedial measures. The Clayton Act allows for private parties to bring suit for treble damages and for injunctive relief. Until the late 1950s, sporting events were considered to be exempt from both acts, until the Supreme Court decision in International Boxing Club v. United States. Control of televised games
The NCAA is a private non-profit organization founded in 1906 to regulate collegiate athletics. In the 1980s it consisted of approximately 900 college and university members, although only 187 participated in Division I football.[fn 1] In 1938, the first college football game was commercially televised by the University of Pennsylvania.[fn 2] From 1940 to 1950, all of Pennsylvania's home games were televised. Beginning in 1952 and continuing through 1957, the NCAA commissioned a study by National Opinion Research Center to determine the effect of televising college football games on a number of areas, including live attendance. The studies indicated that live television coverage of college football decreased attendance for teams that were not being televised. Based on these studies, the NCAA began to institute controls beginning in 1953 through its Football Television Committee (Committee).[fn 3] The Committee initially determined that there would be only one televised game every Saturday and that no team would appear in a televised game more than once per season. In addition, it was determined that the revenue would be shared by the teams playing the televised game and the NCAA.
The initial restriction was supported by all of the NCAA member schools[fn 4] with the exception of Pennsylvania, who stated that they would continue to televise their home games. The NCAA declared that Pennsylvania was a member in bad standing, and the four schools scheduled to play them at home refused to do so. Pennsylvania then agreed to abide by the NCAA rules on televising games. From 1952 to 1977, the NCAA submitted an annual plan to all member schools, who voted on it by mail. After 1977, the member schools voted on "Principles of Negotiation" instead of the actual plan. Only one network would hold a contract with the NCAA to broadcast games at a time. Although all major television networks had held the contract at various...
References: Jump up ^ Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1–7 (1978).
Jump up ^ Clayton Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 12–27 and 29 U.S.C. §§ 52–53 (1978).
Jump up ^ International Boxing Club v. United States, 358 U.S. 242 (1959); Thomas Scully, NCAA v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma: The NCAA 's Television Plan is Sacked by the Sherman Act 34 Cath. U.L. Rev. 857 (1985).
Jump up ^ Richard Whittingham, Rites of autumn: the story of college football 11 (2001).
Jump up ^ Keith Dunnavant, The fifty-year seduction: how television manipulated college football, from the birth of the modern NCAA to the creation of the BCS 2 (2004).
Jump up ^ Bd. of Regents, 468 U.S. at 85; NCAA I, 546 F.Supp. at 1276; Scully, at 857; Porto, The Supreme Court and the NCAA: The Case for Less Commercialism and More Due Process in College Sports 1 (2011).
Jump up ^ Eric A. Seiken, College Football on Television in Sports and the Law: Major Legal Cases 56-62 (Charles E. Quirk, ed., 1999)
Jump up ^ Bd
Jump up ^ Bd. of Regents, 468 U.S. at 85; Bd. of Regents of the Univ. of Okla. v. Nat 'l Collegiate Athletic Ass 'n, 707 F.2d 1147 (10th Cir. 1983) (hereinafter cited as NCAA II); NCAA I, 546 F.Supp. at 1276; Arico, at 437.
Jump up ^ Bd. of Regents, 468 U.S. at 85; NCAA I, 546 F.Supp. at 1276; James V. Koch, The Economic Realities of Amateur Sports Organization 61 Ind. L.J. 9 (1985).
Jump up ^ Theodore L. Banks, 1 Distribution Law: Antitrust Principles and Practice, 1-52.1, 1-53 (Supp. 2004).
Jump up ^ Broadcast Music, Inc. v. Columbia Broadcast System, Inc., 441 U.S. 1 (1979).
Jump up ^ Brian May, Case Studies in Organizational Communication: Ethical Perspectives and Practices 183-85 (2012).
Jump up ^ Ron Woods, Social Issues in Sport 377 (2011).
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