IBJNews

U.S. court voids NCAA ruling, seeks help on state law

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A U.S. appeals court asked Indiana’s Supreme Court for guidance in determining whether a National Collegiate Athletic Association’s method of selling tickets to its championship basketball tournament is an illegal lottery.

A three-judge panel of the Chicago-based appeals court Monday reversed its own July ruling that said the NCAA must face a lawsuit by consumers claiming its ticket distribution method violates Indiana law.

“Affording the Indiana Supreme Court the opportunity to interpret the application of the Indiana statutes involved here appears to be the most prudent course of action,” the U.S. judges said.

The Indianapolis-based association sells tickets for its basketball and hockey championships by accepting applications for more tickets than are actually available. In the suit, three states challenged the NCAA practice of keeping a $6 to $10 “handling” fee for each entry, even from unsuccessful applicants.

Keeping the money and awarding some applicants a thing of greater value than its price, the ticket, might violate Indiana’s law barring any entity other than the state from running a lottery, the federal court said in July.

Its decision resurrected a lawsuit filed against the NCAA by residents of New York, Arizona and Oregon, seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well as class-action status on behalf of anyone who paid the fee since May 1998.

“The NCAA’s process to distribute championship tickets to our fans is legal and fair, and we believe the Indiana Supreme Court will agree after further consideration,” spokesman Erik Christianson said in an e-mailed statement.

Christianson and consumers’ attorney Robert B. Carey each said the association has discontinued the practice of retaining the handling fees paid by those fans that aren’t selected to receive tickets.

Carey said he doubted Indiana’s high court would take up what he called an “arcane” issue.

“No one out there does this,” he said Monday in a telephone interview. “Really the only entity that would be affected by this is the NCAA.”

The association was making money off losing entries, said Carey. “That’s gambling.”

A partner in the Phoenix office of Seattle-based Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, Carey said he couldn’t offer an estimate of the value of the case or the size if the proposed class.

The federal appeals court panel has asked Indiana’s high court to decide whether the NCAA’s former ticket-allocation method would have been considered a lottery under state law, whether the sales were exempt as a business transaction and if the consumers’ complicity nullified their ability to recover damages.

The suit was first thrown out by U.S. District Judge William T. Lawrence in Indianapolis, who concluded that prospective purchasers were aware of the “essential features” of the NCAA system and applied willingly.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • No big deal
    Most of these same people would be the ones turning around and selling the tickets at multiple times the face value. So they want a can't fail, no cost to extort money from fans on the streets.
    I agree that anyone who buys these tickets knows what they are getting into. I stopped buying my 35 yard row 2 tickets to the colts games when Irsay wanted to extort a $100.00 per seat per game over the cost of the ticket just for the privilege of having a good seat. Where were the courts then?
  • Not surprised
    This is just another example of lawyers wasting people's money and time. Anything to make a buck, right attorneys?

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Angela IS the best RD

  2. We are a nation of speed. All of our younger lives are filled with deadlines, quotas and bottom lines. We start to ease out of the pressured rat-race when we finally see "retirement." The most enjoyable travel on the planet is passenger rail service. Indy to Chicago does not beat Megabus or Southwest Airlines in speed. Passenger rail however has the best seating, mammoth legroon, seat backs that recline to more than 45 degrees and employers that really want you to return as a customer. Indiana municipalities need to maintain subsidies to support this transportation mode. Losing it is loss for all of us.

  3. Good day! I just want to testify how i got my loan from Mr. Eric Lefkofsky after i applied several times from various loan lenders who claimed to also testify right in this forum,i thought the testimonies where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan. Until a friend of mine introduce me to this popular Mr. Eric Lefkofsky who promised to help me and indeed he did as he promised without any form of delay. I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr. Eric lefkofsky who indeed helped me with the loan and changed my belief. I promised to share this testimony after I got my loan. I don't know if you are in any way in need of a genuine and urgent loan,free feel to contact Mr. Eric Lefkofsky via their email{grouponfunding@hotmail.com}

  4. Its a THUG issue. Bleecker Street and NYX are thug bars. They attract thugs of all races. Places that attract thugs need to be kicked out of Broad Ripple. Ain't nobody got time for that!

  5. Hello everyone, My name is Marian Gareth, I am from the Texas, United State, am here to testify of how i got my loan from Mr Andre Frank {frankloancompany@yahoo.com} after i applied Two times from various loan lenders who claimed to be lenders right in this forum,i thought their lending where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan.Until a friend of mine introduce me to Mr Andre Frank the C.E.O of Andre Frank Loan Company who promised to help me with a loan of my desire and he really did as he promised without any form of delay, I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr Andre Frank, who really help me with my loan and changed my lief for better. I don't know if you are in need of an urgent loan, free feel to contact Mr Andre Frank on his email{ Frankloancompany@yahoo.com} for help

ADVERTISEMENT