Tennessee, Virginia AGs sue NCAA over NIL rules

Sports

The attorneys general of Tennessee and Virginia filed a lawsuit against the NCAA on Wednesday, a day after the University of Tennessee’s chancellor ripped the association for investigating the school for potential recruiting violations related to name, image and likeness compensation rules.

The lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Tennessee claims the NCAA is “enforcing rules that unfairly restrict how athletes can commercially use their name, image and likeness at a critical juncture in the recruiting calendar.”

“These anticompetitive restrictions violate the Sherman Act, harm the States and the welfare of their athletes, and should be declared unlawful and enjoined.”

On Tuesday, it was revealed the NCAA was investigating Tennessee and a booster-funded NIL collective that works with Volunteers athletes, the Vol Club run by Spyre Sports Group.

Tennessee released a scathing letter Chancellor Donde Plowman wrote to NCAA president Charlie Baker shortly after school officials met with NCAA representatives to discuss the allegations. She said leaders of collegiate sports owe it to students and their families to act in their best interest with clear rules — and that the NCAA is nowhere close to providing that.

“Instead, 2½ years of vague and contradictory NCAA memos, emails and ‘guidance’ about name, image and likeness (NIL) has created extraordinary chaos that student-athletes and institutions are struggling to navigate,” Plowman wrote. “In short, the NCAA is failing.”

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