Thursday, June 05, 2003

Roanoke lawyer says litigation may be one answer for ACC-Big East dispute

Roanoke lawyer Walter Peake has this commentary on the expansion of the Atlantic Coast Conference and the demise of the Big East, which leaves his alma mater Virginia Tech out in the cold, and concludes that "[d]epending upon how the facts shake out, Virginia Tech and the remaining Big East schools may have a legitimate basis for a lawsuit under several different theories, including antitrust law and other business torts."

Peake is not the only one talking about antitrust theories, as evidenced by articles here in the Hartford Courant, and here in Florida Today. This article notes that the money started flowing to the conferences rather than to the NCAA directly after the Supreme Court ruled in 1984 that the NCAA was subject to antitrust liability.

The problem with the antitrust case of those left in the Big East is not that they want a level playing field for all schools, but that they want back in the cartel that is hoarding all the money. I don't know whether this is a legal problem, but in line with the old maxim watch what you ask for, complaints about the ACC expansion could lead to legislative reforms that will force Virginia Tech and all the other bigtime football programs to share the wealth in ways they don't now.

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