TONY COTTON AND THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY COALITION ("ULPAC") APPELLANTS
NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION AND UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE APPELLEES
FROM JEFFERSON CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE MITCHELL PERRY, JUDGE
ACTION NO. 18-CI-002159
FOR APPELLANTS: Robert A. Florio Louisville, Kentucky
FOR APPELLEE, NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION:
Edward H. Stopher Raymond G. Smith Charles H. Stopher
Michelle L. Duncan Louisville, Kentucky
FOR APPELLEE, UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE: Craig C. Dilger
Thomas G. French Louisville, Kentucky
BEFORE: GOODWINE, NICKELL, AND SPALDING, JUDGES.
Cotton and ULPAC have appealed the Jefferson Circuit
Court's October 16, 2018, opinion and order granting
motions to dismiss filed by National Collegiate Athletic
Association ("NCAA") and University of Louisville
("U of L"). Following a careful review, we affirm.
a voluntary, unincorporated association made up of
approximately 1, 200 public and private colleges and
universities located across the country. It is responsible
for promulgating, interpreting, and enforcing bylaws
governing intercollegiate athletics. Regulations passed by
NCAA govern the conduct of intercollegiate athletic programs
of member institutions. The NCAA Committee on Infractions
("COI"), which is made up of volunteers from member
institutions and the general public, is tasked with
determining when violations of NCAA regulations occur and
imposing appropriate sanctions.
U of L
is a public university located in Louisville, Kentucky. It is
a member of NCAA and is therefore subject to NCAA
regulations. In 2015, NCAA initiated an investigation into U
of L's men's basketball program regarding alleged
improper activities which violated several NCAA regulations
related to recruiting and improper benefits. At the
conclusion of the inquiry, on June 15, 2017, the COI issued a
decision finding multiple major infractions of NCAA
regulations. The decision imposed penalties requiring U of L
vacate all regular season and conference tournament wins in
which ineligible student-athletes competed from the time they
became ineligible through the time they were reinstated as
eligible for competition through either the student-athlete
reinstatement process or through a grant of limited immunity.
. . .
[I]f any of the student-athletes competed in the NCAA
Division I Men's Basketball Championships at any time
they were ineligible, the institution's participation in
the championships shall be vacated.
The effect of the decision of the COI ultimately required U
of L to vacate 123 wins and its tournament appearances from
2011 to 2015, including its 2012 and 2013 trips to the Final
Four and the 2013 National Championship.
is a fan of U of L men's basketball. ULPAC is ostensibly
an organization "comprising at least 400 members, all of
whom by their assertions to ULPAC have detrimentally relied
on promises made by NCAA to UL." Cotton and ULPAC
brought this action asserting multiple claims against NCAA
alleging damages resulting from its treatment of the U of L
men's basketball program. Specifically, they claimed NCAA
induced them to purchase tickets to witness the 2013 National
Championship game by NCAA promising the game would determine
the champion "for the year 2013 for the rest of known
time." They asserted they purchased tickets because U of
L was one of the teams ...