The U.S. Department of Justice, alongside the District of Columbia and states of Mississippi, Virginia, Minnesota, joined seven other states in their antitrust challenge against the NCAA’s transfer eligibility rule.

The rule blocks some student-athletes from immediately competing after transferring between colleges and has been a recent source of contention in the world of college athletics.

In December, a federal district court held the rule likely violated the Sherman Antitrust Act and temporarily suspended its enforcement for 14 days.  Soon after, the NCAA agreed to suspend enforcement of the rule through the end of the 2023-24 season, ensuring that all winter and spring transfer athletes are eligible to complete while the suit is pending.

The NCAA argues that the ending the rule would upend the amateur nature of college athletics, replacing it with “a system of perpetual and unchecked free agency.”  The plaintiff states argue the rule illegally restrains college athletes’ ability to engage in the labor market, monetize their image and likeness, and control their education.

The lawsuit is now backed by the federal government, the nation’s capital, and the attorneys general of 10 individual states.  This diverse coalition, representing a variety of geographical regions and political leanings, appears to signal a formidable alignment against the NCAA’s transfer eligibility rule.

Please contact the attorneys in the Jackson Lewis Sports industry group with any questions.