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Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction in Ohio v. NCAA

Earlier this week, United States District Court Judge John P. Bailey granted the parties’ Motion to Convert the Temporary Restraining Order to a Preliminary Injunction after the states and NCAA agreed to the motion in Ohio v. NCAA. The Order will remain in effect through the spring seasons.


NCAA bylaw is the focus of Ohio v. NCAA. The rule referred to as the “Transfer Eligibility Rule” states, “A transfer student from a four-year institution shall not be eligible for intercollegiate competition at a member institution until the student has fulfilled a residence requirement of one full academic year (two full semesters or three full quarters) at the certifying institution.” One noted exception is for athletes transferring for the first time.


According to the lawsuit, the Transfer Eligibility Rule illegally restrains athletes’ ability to engage in the labor market by discouraging athletes from transferring, disadvantaging second-time transfers, and denying second-time transfers the opportunity to compete for a year.


Just last week, the same judge granted the Temporary Restraining Order in the lawsuit, preventing the NCAA from forcing athletes to sit out a year after transferring for a second time. Further, the order suspended the Restitution Rule, stopping the NCAA from imposing retroactive sanctions if an ineligible student-athlete competes under an order that is later vacated, stayed, or reversed.


Now, after both sides agreed to the motion, Judge Bailey converted the Temporary Restraining Order into a Preliminary Injunction, and the court canceled the hearing set for December 27th. A trial will likely occur sometime next summer—unless the parties reach a settlement beforehand.


Administrators, athletes, and fans alike may have seen the end of the Transfer Eligibility Rule.

Landis Barber is an attorney at Safran Law Offices in Raleigh, North Carolina. You can

connect with him via LinkedIn or via his blog He can be reached on Twitter @Landisbarber.


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