NCAA asks for court delay in case for student-athlete compensation

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The NCAA is hoping a California federal court will postpone a December trial over student-athlete compensation, as the NCAA is arguing that its key defense attorney, Beth A. Wilkinson, has a scheduling conflict.

According to a report from Bonnie Eslinger of Law360, the NCAA is hoping for a continuance to no earlier than June 2019 since Wilkinson has been the NCAA’s legal counsel on this matter for a number of years.

The federal antitrust case filed against the NCAA by attorney Jeffrey Kessler on behalf of a group of student-athletes started in 2014. The case has already helped introduce cost-of-attendance payments to Division I athletes. That includes a Feb. 2017 settlement in which the NCAA agreed to pay $208.7 million to a group of athletes involved in NCAA competition from 2009-2016 who didn’t get cost-of-attendance payments.

The Kessler case is still ongoing, however, because the NCAA is still fighting the remaining portion of the lawsuit which is seeking a pay for play scenario for college athletes. The NCAA has said it “will continue to vigorously oppose the remaining portion of the lawsuit seeking pay for play. Plaintiffs’ lawyers want to dismantle college sports, which has provided billions of dollars in scholarships and the opportunity for millions across 24 sports to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees.”

Kessler’s group plans to oppose the request for the delay, as they hope the trial will continue in December.