Wisconsin forward joins lawsuit against NCAA

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Wisconsin sophomore forward Nigel Hayes has joined an antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA and the Power 5 conferences. The lawsuit, originally filed in California, claims the NCAA unfairly limits compensation for student-athletes.

Jon Solomon of CBSSports.com first reported the news on Thursday night.

Hayes was added as a plaintiff along with Middle Tennessee linebacker Anfornee Stewart. This lawsuit was originally filed in March in a New Jersey federal court by Jeffery Kessler, a sports labor attorney. The claim included Clemson defensive back Martin Jenkins.

On Friday afternoon, the University of Wisconsin athletic department released a statement regarding Hayes’ involvement in the claim (via the Jim Polzin of the Wisconsin State-Journal):

“Nigel Hayes is a valued member of the UW men’s basketball team. The department fully supports Nigel as a student, student-athlete and team member. In a free society, people can reasonably disagree about any issue, express their views and seek to vindicate them through the legal process.

“The department supports the many ongoing efforts to reform the regulation of intercollegiate athletics through the appropriate NCAA processes, including those reforms which seek to improve the welfare and educational experience of all student-athletes. The department is committed to the collegiate experience with education as its centerpiece. It does not believe that the professionalization of intercollegiate athletics is the proper path to reform, or likely to benefit all student-athletes.”

Hayes was named Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year after averaging 7.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. A potential breakout star, Hayes is expected to play a major role for the Badgers this season. Wisconsin is the No. 3 overall team in the AP preseason poll.