KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A federal appeals court stepped in at the last minute on June 5 and upheld an order that was about to start costing the NCAA and its lawyers thousands of dollars a day, attorneys in an antitrust case said.
But it was only a partial victory for the NCAA and its Division I members in the legal battle over their right to set limits on coaches’ salaries.
Lawyers for a group of entry-level coaches who filed the suit against the NCAA said the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld an order of U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil.
Vratil set last Friday as the deadline for all 305 of the nation’s Division I schools to submit to the plaintiffs detailed information regarding coaching salaries and other athletics department expenses.
The plaintiffs, who won summary judgement in Vratil’s court last year, said they needed the information to set damages, which could be tripled and run into millions of dollars.
Vratil, angry over the NCAA’s lack of cooperation in the matter, said any school that did not meet the July 5 deadline would immediately incur $100-a-day fines to be paid by the NCAA and its lawyers. Four NCAA lawyers were censured by Vratil in May.
A request by the NCAA to overturn Vratil’s order was turned down two weeks ago by the 10th Circuit.
In issuing its temporary stay Friday, the appeals court asked both sides to present simultaneous briefs within 20 days.
“This is disappointing to the extent that there will be some information we won’t be getting right away,” said Dennis Cross, one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers. “We think we’re right on this, that the 11th Amendment is not implicated by this order.”
Cross said the 150 or so schools that had already responded to the order needn’t worry about the information becoming public.