The most important part of the Opinion and Judgment Entry released by Judge Tygh M. Tone in the Common Pleas Court of Erie County, Ohio for the case of Andrew A. Oliver vs. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al, dealt with the voiding of NCAA Bylaw 18.104.22.168.
22.214.171.124 Presence of a Lawyer at Negotiations. A lawyer may not be present during discussions of a contract offer with a professional organization or have any direct contact (i.e., in person, by telephone or by mail) with a professional sports organization on behalf of the individual. A lawyer’s presence during such discussions is considered representation by an agent.
Voiding that Bylaw would mean that at a minimum, a lawyer could be present during discussions of a contract offer and may have direct contact with the organization. However, the NCAA continued to enforce the Bylaw in lieu of abiding by Judge Tone’s Opinion and Judgement Entry. That is all about to change.
A vacated order from May 6 includes this passage from Judge Tone:
“In regards to the February 12, 2009 Opinion and Judgment Entry, the Court determined that Bylaw 126.96.36.199 is void and granted Plaintiff’s request for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. Contrary to Defendant’s rhetoric, the February entry did not presume to void an NCAA rule, it did void an NCAA rule. See, p.5 of Defendant’s Opposition. In that respect, discussions of how to proceed without Bylaw 188.8.131.52 should be discussed by the NCAA and its member institutions. Make no mistake, however, that wherever the NCAA is located, the ruling of this Court should be currently maintained and Bylaw 184.108.40.206 is void, not presumed void, until and unless an appellate review would determine otherwise.”
Judge Tone is pretty clear in his statement. And in case you think the NCAA has reason to believe that this order cannot be applied nationwide, the attorney for Andy Oliver says otherwise:
Also, reporters have asked me how an Ohio court’s order could have any effect outside of Ohio, and the answer is that the court has personal jurisdiction over the NCAA, which is an Ohio citizen, and thus the order applies to the NCAA wherever it may be or go. The analogy would be a court granting a protective order to a wife, the husband follows her out-of-state and violates the protective order, and the court punishes the husband upon motion, because the order applied to the person–not to the location, as long as the court has jurisdiction over the person. I hope that makes sense.
Makes sense to me.