Justice Department's Involvement

The U.S. Justice Department joined a civil antitrust lawsuit alongside 10 states and the District of Columbia against the NCAA's Transfer Eligibility Rule.

Allegation of Unreasonable Restrictions

The lawsuit alleges that the NCAA unreasonably restricts college athletes' freedom to transfer between academic institutions, limiting their eligibility to participate in intercollegiate contests if they transfer more than once during their college careers.

Detriment to Educational Opportunities

The restrictions are claimed to deter transfers, thereby denying athletes educational opportunities.

States' Initial Legal Action

The lawsuit was originally filed by the states of Ohio, Colorado, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia in the Northern District of West Virginia.

Temporary Restraining Order Granted

A temporary restraining order against the NCAA's Transfer Eligibility Rule was granted, with the court finding it likely violates Section 1 of the Sherman Act.

Amended Complaint Adds More Plaintiffs

The amended complaint adds the United States, along with the states of Minnesota, Mississippi, and Virginia, and the District of Columbia as co-plaintiffs.

Focus on Athletes' Choice and Development

The DOJ emphasizes that college athletes should freely choose institutions that meet their academic, personal, and professional development needs without anticompetitive restrictions.

Impact on Competition in Athletic Services

The one-time-transfer rule is alleged to unreasonably restrain competition in athletic services in men’s and women’s Division I basketball and Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) football, as well as in all other men’s and women’s Division I sports.

Rule Forces Athletes to Sit Out Seasons

College athletes who transfer more than once are forced to sit out for an entire season before they are eligible to compete in NCAA athletic competitions at their new school.

DOJ's Historical Stance on NCAA Issues

This is the first time the federal government has joined a state-led case against the NCAA, although federal antitrust prosecutors have historically had the NCAA on their radar, supporting college athletes in private cases.