CHICAGO (AP) — A federal appeals court has backed an NCAA rule requiring most football players who transfer schools to sit out a year.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago upheld a lower-court finding that NCAA transfer rules don’t violate U.S. antitrust laws.
Monday’s decision was in a lawsuit brought by a former punter for Northern Illinois University, Peter Deppe. The ruling focuses on a requirement that most Division I football players who transfer to another school must sit out a year.
Deppe’s lawyers argued the Indianapolis-based NCAA enforces the rule primarily to ensure transfers don’t hurt the quality of the football and thereby cut into lucrative revenues. They say that makes it an unreasonable restraint on trade.
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But the 7th Circuit rejected that. Its unanimous opinion accepted the NCAA’s concern that easy player transfers would undermine “the amateur character of college athletics.”
A statement from the NCAA welcomed the ruling, saying it was consistent with prior court rulings that recognize “the NCAA’s ability to preserve college sports.”