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‘Jaw-Dropping’ Noncompete Ban Could Shake Up Pro Coaching, Experts Say

Apr 26, 2024

The Federal Trade Commission issued a final ruling Tuesday banning noncompetes, saying companies can, in many cases, no longer prevent their employees from leaving for a competitor. The FTC said current noncompetes for “senior executives” can stay in place, but no new ones may be enforced.

An estimated 30 million Americans have noncompetes, according to the FTC, and the clauses are littered all over the sports world. They stop coaches from leaving to do their same job for their team’s rivals. They’re in big contracts at retailers like Nike. They’re present in name, image, and likeness deals for college athletes. In February, DraftKings sued a former exec whom it alleges stole company secrets and took them to Fanatics as part of a “secret plan,” which the employee denied by calling the accusations “completely false and fabricated.”

Three sports lawyers tell Front Office Sports they found the FTC’s decision surprising and say it will have ramifications throughout the sports ecosystem, including pushback from both employers and employees that could wind up in court.

Source: Front Office Sports

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