Antitrust Headline Sports Law

One-Year Scholarship Rule Antitrust Battle

Last Monday, Joseph Agnew, a former Rice University football player, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco based on the NCAA’s one-year scholarship rule.  The rule restricts a school from giving an athletic scholarship to a student-athlete for more than one-year at a time.

Agnew was affected by the rule, because his scholarship was not renewed for his senior season at Rice.  In 1973, the NCAA eliminated four and five year scholarships for its student-athletes.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Justice decided that it would examine the rule, with special attention being shown by the department’s antitrust division.  The rule could be considered as an anticompetitive restraint and basically a price-fixing agreement.