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When do the player lawsuits start? (NIL)

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Inspired by the other post about ‘how long until …’.  I don’t know much about the new NIL situation.  So feel free to correct my assumptions here …

Player A, is a star.  Getting endorsements. Making money.  Coach(es) end up benching player A.  Or does something, says something, fails to do something … that results in player A not looking as great.  
 

Player A has strong reason to believe this has impacted his ability to make a living and the reasons for what the coach did were ‘not cool’. (That is a legal term, haha).

Sues coach / school for damages. 

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Not NIL, but I believe the recent Iowa football controversy initially included some claims about "future earning potential" although I believe the monetary claim was dropped, and then some other parts of the eventual lawsuit got dismissed as well

https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/30143601/iowa-hawkeyes-says-pay-ex-football-players-20m-demand

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Unlikely for a few reasons, but mainly because the coach and school are not part of the NIL deal and thus are not bound by its terms. Not that a lawsuit is impossible, but I think the athlete would have to prove that the coach benched him in order to damage his earning potential rather than for normal coaching reasons, and I'm not sure how eager the courts will be to adjudicate playing time decisions.

Also, lawsuits are expensive and take a long time. Will an athlete in the process of suing his coach be allowed to remain on the team without some sort of court injunction?

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22 hours ago, IronChef said:

Unlikely for a few reasons, but mainly because the coach and school are not part of the NIL deal and thus are not bound by its terms. Not that a lawsuit is impossible, but I think the athlete would have to prove that the coach benched him in order to damage his earning potential rather than for normal coaching reasons, and I'm not sure how eager the courts will be to adjudicate playing time decisions.

Also, lawsuits are expensive and take a long time. Will an athlete in the process of suing his coach be allowed to remain on the team without some sort of court injunction?

I agree. Also, an athlete who brings a suit like this will harm his earnings potential further. Sponsors will not back a sore loser and if the athlete is in a sport with a pro draft (football, basketball, baseball) he would harm his draft status.

Anyway, I would think coaches would want their guys to make money in order to improve their ability to recruit other would-be moneymakers.

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A few more points.  Most NIL laws (each state has different laws and if no state law was passed, then the NCAA defaulted to the University) specifically state the compensation is not to be tied to performance (i.e. getting benched or playing below expectations).  Outside of the big deals some of the QBs got, I think most of the NIL deals have been set up with upfront payments (Here is a few bucks to wear our shirt or eat at our restaurant and post it on social media) and not season long deals, so I don't think most players will "lose" something they don't have, if a deal is not renewed. 

Regardless of that, as mentioned above it is very unlikely such a lawsuit would be successful because you would somehow have to prove the coach acted against their own self-interest in benching a superior player.  A coach would almost have to come out and say "jimmy is a bad guy and no one should ever buy anything he endorses" for such a claim to be successful. 

 

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Claims based on coaching decisions about who competes are not likely to be considered controversies that can be adjudicated by a court.  So, even if a claim is brought based on this theory, it is likely to be dismissed as non-justiciable and this precedent presumably would deter future claims.   My unresearched analysis.  Courts are going to have close to zero appetite for injecting the judicial process into coaching decisions like playing time and competitive opportunitites based on purported lost NIL revenue. 

But, there may be some narrow exceptions.  If benching, team participation, scholarship awards, and other coaching/institutional conduct occcurs as part of a broader malicous campaign of harassment/coercion/retaliation that crosses the boundaries of civilized behavior, there may be other viable legal claims (I think there is one such case out there from prior to NIL).  In theory, lost NIL revenue could be part of the damages claim in such a case (extremely rare).  

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Glory's gonna sue the scale for making him miss weight the other week, thereby lowering his profile with corresponding NIL potential. Or he could sue Hostess for making their ding dongs too delicious to resist the night before weigh-ins.

Edited by Fletcher

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3 minutes ago, Elevator said:

Claims based on coaching decisions about who competes are not likely to be considered controversies that can be adjudicated by a court.  So, even if a claim is brought based on this theory, it is likely to be dismissed as non-justiciable and this precedent presumably would deter future claims.   My unresearched analysis.  Courts are going to have close to zero appetite for injecting the judicial process into coaching decisions like playing time and competitive opportunities based on purported lost NIL revenue. 

But, there may be some narrow exceptions.  If benching, team participation, scholarship awards, and other coaching/institutional conduct occurs as part of a broader malicious campaign of harassment/coercion/retaliation that crosses the boundaries of civilized behavior, there may be other viable legal claims (I think there is one such case out there from prior to NIL).  In theory, lost NIL revenue could be part of the damages claim in such a case (extremely rare).  

This is basically what I would have said. Legit coaching decisions - even bad ones - are not going to be viable lawsuits. I'd include disciplinary action in this. If, say, Caldwell-Metcalf wasn't the last match of the season and Caldwell's coach wanted to make him sit a dual for excessive celebration or if Metcalf's decided that the shove warranted a suspension, neither would be the basis for a lawsuit. Courts would interpret this pretty broadly, imo. 

On the other hand, if the allegations had to do with harassment, discrimination or bribery from the backup's dad or whatever, NIL rights could be the basis for claims like tortious interference or something. This is GOOD, though! People who are harmed should have remedies for the harm.

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