Devin Pugh played football for Weber State in 2011 and 2012, then, after his coach Ron Mcbride retired, found himself out of a scholarship when the new administration pulled it. Pugh tried to transfer to another Division I school, but had his offers rescinded after he was not granted a transfer waiver from the NCAA that would have allowed him to change schools without sitting out a year. Instead, Pugh enrolled at Division II CSU Pueblo on a smaller scholarship.
On Thursday, Pugh filed a suit against the NCAA on the basis that its regulations surrounding transferring and scholarships violate U.S. antitrust laws. His lawyer Steve Berman filed the suit on his behalf in a United States District Court in Indianapolis, where the NCAA is based.
The suit stated:
“Student-athletes who jockey for these scholarships suffer severe penalties for transferring, while NCAA coaches are allowed to job hop, reaping enormous financial benefits and rising to earn more than $3 million per year,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and lead attorney representing the class of student-athletes. “Devin’s story is just one example of the double-standard the NCAA has against student-athletes in the multibillion dollar industry of college sports, and we believe hardworking student-athletes like Devin shouldn’t be punished.”
The suit also pointed out the high salaries of coaches, while also noting that those coaches were free to move between jobs without a mandatory period of time off:
. . . at least 34 Division I head football coaches now earn more than $3 million per year, even prior to the calculation of what can often be performance bonuses in excess of $1 million, and that at least 37 Division assistant coaches earn more than $600,000 per year, prior to the calculation of performance bonuses. Annual revenues for the NCAA’s 2007-2008 fiscal year were $614 million.
“We are unaware of the specific facts of the plaintiff. However, it appears that many of the allegations are patterned after litigation filed by this lawyer in other cases.”
Photo via AP