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.