With defendants like these…

Yesterday’s star witness for the NCAA, Daniel Rubinfeld, a professor of law and economics at Berkeley, was reduced to splitting hairs over the definition of a cartel because – I shit you not – he’s the author of an economics textbook that’s been published for more than a quarter-century with a section entitled “The Cartelization of Intercollegiate Athletics” that contains the following passage:

“The cartel organization is the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA),” Rubinfeld’s textbook said. “The NCAA restricts competition in a number of important ways. To reduce bargaining power by student-athletes, the NCAA creates and enforces rules regarding eligibility and terms of compensation.”

Rubinfeld said he will likely revise his textbook’s definition of NCAA cartel.  Maybe defense counsel can postpone O’Bannon until the next edition is published.

Rubinfeld wasn’t the only one having issues with cartels.  So were the lawyers who put him on the stand.

Said Curtner: “Mr. Hausfeld keeps bringing up restraint, restraint, restraint. We acknowledge there’s a restraint. That’s what creates the product as a differentiated product.” As recently as Wednesday, NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy described the NCAA not paying players as “alleged restraints.”

I continue to marvel over these folks thinking going to trial was their best strategy.



Filed under The NCAA

16 responses to “With defendants like these…

  1. Dawgaholic

    These blunders probably should not be a surprise as many of us have known since at least sophomore year of college that a significant number of academians were in academia because they’d have a hard time making it in the private sector. I’m guessing their arrogance kept them from listening to those among them that saw this coming.


    • ASEF

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon him not understanding it.”

      Not arrogance… greed. With a healthy dose of the Dilbert Principle added to the mix.


  2. 1996 Dog

    Why would they settle? They don’t want to share. They’d rather play a low % lottery ticket of winning at the Supreme Court, where the conservatives might bail them out, then share.

    Related: Oklahoma’s AD just signed a new contract, paying him over $1 million a year. Similarly, Oklahoma’s women’s basketball coach, a program that loses millions a year, got a 7 year, $8.9 million contract extension. It’s business as usual until the last possible second; “screw everyone else, I got mine” is the order of the day for the folks in suits.



  3. Scorpio Jones, III

    One of the many unintended consequences of taking this thing to trial is that we (you remember us…the bill paying fan-type public?) get to see that the NCAA reflects the thinking of the people whose salaries our tuition, both hard-earned and not, went toward paying.

    If I were a college administrator or professor I would be getting rid of my beach house. A hard rain is gonna fall, folks.


  4. JR

    off topic, potential buffet item:

    sad. and they say uga has the criminals? also, how do you go about obtaining “duel” degrees? gotta love that ajc proofreading.


  5. SemperFiDawg

    Senator. Did I misread this in your first sentence “FOR the NCAA”? With friends like that……….


  6. Mayor

    The NCAA’s defense, in this instance, is like the defense in a murder case calling an eye-witness to the stand to testify that he saw the Defendant walk in with a gun, heard a shot, saw the Defendant run away immediately thereafter, saw the puff of smoke of the gunpowder, but did not actually see the Defendant pull the trigger–and expect that testimony to exonerate the Defendant. These NCAA types are nuts.


    • Dawgaholic

      It’s like your analogy and all they did in trial prep was ask if the witness was in the area and if he saw the shooting. No further prep at all was done. I’m not impressed at all by the trial prep here. The NCAA has taken a tenuous position and then tried the case in a manner that made the position completely untenable.


    • 79dawg

      In another story or on another site, it reported the NCAA’s lawyer told the Court “we’re a good cartel!” With friends like these…


  7. Tom

    Why did it go to trial? NCAA attorneys won their argument(the only one so far) and let’s go to trial and really rack up the billable hours. $1000 per hour? As usual, the lawyers are the winners. Win or lose, NCAA will pay em, And so what if it goes to appeals. More hours.