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DOJ and Others Join Yost’s Antitrust Lawsuit Against NCAA Over Transfer Rule


(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — In a show of support for competition in the labor market, the U.S. Department of Justice today joined the multistate lawsuit led by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost that challenges the NCAA’s transfer eligibility rule as an illegal restraint on college athletes’ ability to sell their image and likeness and control their education.

Also signing on today were the states of Minnesota, Mississippi and Virginia and the District of Columbia, bringing the total number of attorneys general who are backing the litigation to 11.

“There is strength in numbers,” said Yost, whose office filed the lawsuit on Dec. 7 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. “This case would never have come to pass had many players not been sidelined by the NCAA’s arbitrary and unfair rule. We’re fighting for better competition and long-term change.”

The case is believed to be the first time that the Department of Justice has signed on to a state-led antitrust lawsuit.

Yost and the other attorneys general are challenging the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s requirement that college athletes who transfer a second time among Division I schools wait one year before competing in games.

The NCAA began automatically exempting first-time transfers from the regulation in 2021 but has continued to enforce the rule for subsequent transfers and denied waivers inconsistently and often without legitimate reasons.

On Dec. 13, Judge John Preston Bailey issued a temporary restraining order, later extended to a preliminary injunction, prohibiting the NCAA from enforcing the rule and allowing college athletes to compete without fear of retaliation from the association. The preliminary injunction will run through at least the end of the 2023-24 academic year, ensuring that winter and spring athletes can complete their seasons free from the rule’s restrictions.

A trial date in the case has yet to be scheduled.

Besides Ohio, the six states on the original lawsuit are Colorado, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.


To hear from AG Yost on the NCAA lawsuit, click here.

Hannah Hundley: 614-906-9113


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