Lawsuit challenges Ivy League "no-scholarship" policy

short ornery norwegian

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2011
Messages
19,904
Reaction score
13,658
Points
113
Heard about this today. It will be interesting to see if it gets anywhere. Also noted that one of the plaintiffs is from Duluth, so found a MN connection.

details from the Philadelphia Enquirer:

A class-action antitrust lawsuit filed Tuesday in United States District Court in Connecticut seeks to upend the Ivy League’s system of awarding financial aid to athletes only on the basis of financial need.

The two plaintiffs are current Brown University women’s basketball player Grace Kirk and former Brown men’s basketball player Tamenang Choh. The suit says they are bringing the lawsuit “on behalf of a class of fellow current and former Ivy League collegiate athletes.”

The suit alleges that under what is termed “the Ivy League agreement,” not awarding athletic scholarships “constitutes unlawful price fixing in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.”

The suit alleges the defendants are “price-fixing” and this agreement is “per se illegal. It is naked restraint of trade among horizontal competitors.” The allegation goes on to say, “Absent the Ivy League Agreement, these schools would determine unilaterally, and in competition with each other, how many athletic scholarships to provide, by sport, and in what amounts.”

This issue has been percolating for several years. A pair of 1972 Penn graduates, Alan Cotler and Robert Litan, both attorneys, sent a letter in 2021 to the presidents of the eight Ivy League schools and assorted others within the Ivy leadership structure with an eight-page memo calling into question whether the Ivy League will be able to continue to ban athletic scholarships.

The Ivy League’s history is noted, with the original Ivy League Agreement in 1954 prohibiting athletic scholarships, that the Ivy League is now the only Division I league that now enforces such an agreement.
 

Weird. Having a family member headed out to one of these schools for football, it amazes me how these people feel the need to bring lawsuits after attending the Ivy League institution of choice, knowing full well they did not do athletic scholarships in the first place? A thought process I just do not understand.
Also, the Ivy League is not the only D1 league to prohibit athletic scholarships. The Pioneer League does not allow athletic scholarships for football programs.
 

I didn't post the entire article. apparently the lawyers think they have a shot if it gets to the Supreme Court, based on Cavanaugh's comments in the 'Alston' case.
 

I don’t think the idea itself is illegal.

It’s that that all were in cahoots with each other to “fix the market”.


Indeed, if Cornell really wanted that guy from Duluth and they were willing to offer him a partial athletic scholarship on top of whatever needs-based aid Brown was offering, why shouldn’t they be allowed to do that?
 

Two points of view: If they don’t offer scholarships in the Ivy League and you want a scholarship, you are free to go where you are offered one. However, the Ivy League Universities are heavily endowed and could obviously afford to offer scholarships.
 


Two points of view: If they don’t offer scholarships in the Ivy League and you want a scholarship, you are free to go where you are offered one. However, the Ivy League Universities are heavily endowed and could obviously afford to offer scholarships.
They offer means based scholarships, unless your family is making making a good amount of money, you’re already covered.
 

Yea, I was referring to athletic scholarship.
 

One thing I wonder about here is the idea that the Ivy League should be offering scholarships.

We’re not talking about a conference with a big TV contract here…. With scholarships I’m not sure many Ivy League sports could pay for themselves from athletic related money.

This may be a be careful what you wish for type situation…
 
Last edited:




What is the tuition at those schools, like 50,000 dollars? Most of the athletes probably get shit grades compared to the high caliber student at those schools. Makes sense, pay 200,000 dollars to play a sport and get B's and C's. The football teams are not able to go to the playoffs.
 

I don’t think the idea itself is illegal.

It’s that that all were in cahoots with each other to “fix the market”.


Indeed, if Cornell really wanted that guy from Duluth and they were willing to offer him a partial athletic scholarship on top of whatever needs-based aid Brown was offering, why shouldn’t they be allowed to do that?
What market are they fixing though? The market of we have a better sports team?
 

This might be the single worst price-fixing accusation I've ever seen - - and I see them every single day.

They should be suing the school for the money back on their educations.
 

What is the tuition at those schools, like 50,000 dollars? Most of the athletes probably get shit grades compared to the high caliber student at those schools. Makes sense, pay 200,000 dollars to play a sport and get B's and C's. The football teams are not able to go to the playoffs.
Ivy League tuition plus room and board is between $75-$80000 per year.
 



What is the tuition at those schools, like 50,000 dollars? Most of the athletes probably get shit grades compared to the high caliber student at those schools. Makes sense, pay 200,000 dollars to play a sport and get B's and C's. The football teams are not able to go to the playoffs.
This is absolutely not a case of price fixing but the amount Ivy League costs and their respective grades has nothing to do with it.
 

This might be the single worst price-fixing accusation I've ever seen - - and I see them every single day.

They should be suing the school for the money back on their educations.
Well, supposedly they’re aiming for the SCOTUS and to get sympathy there.
 



If the Ivy League can’t fix scholarships at 0 then the NCAA can’t fix scholarships at anything

So if the Ivy League loses the case it is officially free agency
 

The SCOTUS hears very few cases and this will not be one of them. They are aiming for attention and for potentially some relief from a liberal district court.
Surely, if AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile communicated with each other and agreed to set the data allowances of all bottom tier "unlimited" wireless plans to be only 1GB of "premium" data per month, and highly throttled data after that, you'd agree that that is illegal?

I'm curious to hear your opinions on why this (so obviously) is nothing of the sort.
 

If the Ivy League can’t fix scholarships at 0 then the NCAA can’t fix scholarships at anything

So if the Ivy League loses the case it is officially free agency
Or perhaps it would just mean that no conference, nor NCAA DIII, is allowed to decree that no scholarships must be followed?
 

Yea, I was referring to athletic scholarship.

One thing I wonder about here is the idea that the Ivy League should be offering scholarships.

We’re not talking about a conference with a big TV contract here…. With scholarships I’m not sure many Ivy League sports could pay for themselves from athletic related money.

This may be a be careful what you wish for type situation…

I don't believe any schools offer athletic scholarships from their educational endowments.

All athletic scholarships come from specific sports endowments, sports donations and sports income.
 


Think so?

I think most colleges are need based. If you come from a single family you get a lot of help. I know a guy on the Harvard team, his parents are divorced and his dad is a judge. He lives with his mother, he is not paying much, she does not work and got accepted as a football player, he does not play.
 

I don't believe any schools offer athletic scholarships from their educational endowments.

All athletic scholarships come from specific sports endowments, sports donations and sports income.
I suspect that most athletic departments in the country rely on student fees to make up as much of the gap between their spending and whatever shortfall there is from athletics revenue (ticket sales, gameday related, media deals if any) and donations/endowments.

School general fund probably plugs any final hole beyond that, if any.


So in some sense it is hand-waiving. School collects sports fee like they collect tuition, gives that to athletic dept, AD turns around and pays school for the players tuition, room & board etc, school turns around and plugs any final hole so they’re at least even.
 

Heard about this today. It will be interesting to see if it gets anywhere. Also noted that one of the plaintiffs is from Duluth, so found a MN connection.

details from the Philadelphia Enquirer:

A class-action antitrust lawsuit filed Tuesday in United States District Court in Connecticut seeks to upend the Ivy League’s system of awarding financial aid to athletes only on the basis of financial need.

The two plaintiffs are current Brown University women’s basketball player Grace Kirk and former Brown men’s basketball player Tamenang Choh. The suit says they are bringing the lawsuit “on behalf of a class of fellow current and former Ivy League collegiate athletes.”

The suit alleges that under what is termed “the Ivy League agreement,” not awarding athletic scholarships “constitutes unlawful price fixing in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.”

The suit alleges the defendants are “price-fixing” and this agreement is “per se illegal. It is naked restraint of trade among horizontal competitors.” The allegation goes on to say, “Absent the Ivy League Agreement, these schools would determine unilaterally, and in competition with each other, how many athletic scholarships to provide, by sport, and in what amounts.”

This issue has been percolating for several years. A pair of 1972 Penn graduates, Alan Cotler and Robert Litan, both attorneys, sent a letter in 2021 to the presidents of the eight Ivy League schools and assorted others within the Ivy leadership structure with an eight-page memo calling into question whether the Ivy League will be able to continue to ban athletic scholarships.

The Ivy League’s history is noted, with the original Ivy League Agreement in 1954 prohibiting athletic scholarships, that the Ivy League is now the only Division I league that now enforces such an agreement.

^ This makes my head hurt.

If these student athletes can’t convert Ivy League degrees and connections (with need-based subsidized cost of attendance like everyone else at the school) into golden opportunities that’s on them. Stanford wasn’t interested in their services? Boo hoo.
 


The Ivy League is not a collection of competing businesses.
 


If these student athletes can’t convert Ivy League degrees and connections (with need-based subsidized cost of attendance like everyone else at the school) into golden opportunities that’s on them.
Who said they can't? And what does that have to do with the argument?

Surely, an Ivy League coach should be able to get away with abusing players just because being at that school is a golden opportunity?
 

The Ivy League is not a collection of competing businesses.
They aren't?

If a superstar postdoc in Biology at the U interviewed for a tenure-track assistant professor position at both Brown and Cornell, and Cornell offered more money, thus they accepted the Cornell offer, no one would bat an eye, right?
 




Top Bottom