NCAA Target Of Lawsuit

Ever attempt to purchase tickets for the NCAA basketball tournament a year in advance? You send them a check or provide them with your credit card info. They hold on to your money but you don’t hear from them for several months. If you are not a winner, the NCAA finally refunds your ticket price but keeps the service fee.

Raw deal, huh? You can  be part of a class action lawsuit lodged in a California federal court against the NCAA and Ticketmaster, alleging that the ticketing scheme constitutes an illegal lottery.

According to Mark Ament, a Louisville attorney and Card fan, who operates the popular SportsBiz blog:

The NCAA may be unique in handling tickets in this way – that is keeping the service way for all requests that don’t receive tickets.  That payment for a chance at tickets may well be the key to a fairly high judgement against the NCAA and Ticketmaster if they allow this case to proceed to trial.  Plus, the NCAA’s track record in court hasn’t been too good lately.

Most states define a lottery as payment of value for a chance at winning something of value.  By retaining the service fee, the NCAA has converted its ticket lottery into an illegal gambling enterprise.  Just the thing that Myles Brand spends so much time and effort running around the country trying to prevent states from legalizing.

Don’t confuse the legalistic mailing from the NCAA or Ticketmaster with the rest of the junk that winds up in your mailbox. You may only receive a small check or coupon but be sure to cash it in so the NCAA feels the pinch.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.