• NCAA Says Athletes Counsel Overcharged It for Attorney Fees
  • March 16, 2015
  • Law Firm: Goldberg Segalla LLP - Buffalo Office
  • The NCAA wants more than 80% discount on the bill presented by the lawyers who represented the student-athlete plaintiffs in the O’Bannon case pursuant to a judgment in that case.

    In a court filing, the NCAA argued that since the court’s decision in the O’Bannon case was a “limited success” as it only allowed players to share licensing revenue but awarded no damages, $9.1 million was more reasonable than the plaintiffs lawyers’ demand of $51 million. Further, it accused the plaintiffs legal team for block billing, vague entries, and overstaffing with 400 individuals from 33 firms. The association also argued that the plaintiffs lawyers should not recover hours spent soliciting plaintiffs or competing for lead counsel.

    Moreover, the NCAA requested the court to reduce some of the billed hours, including all hours before the class certification motion and all hours in relation to damages, group licensing or live broadcast.

    Although the plaintiffs lawyers have called the outcome of the case “groundbreaking,” the NCAA claimed the court’s decision did not provide major benefits to the class of student-athletes as it did not award unlimited compensation for licensing and third-party endorsement deals, among others.

    Based on the arguments, the NCAA alleged attorney fees should be reduced by $36.9 million and the costs and expenses should be reduced by $4.9 million.