Judge issues 14-day block against NCAA transfer rule, retaliation rule

(The Center Square) – A federal judge in West Virginia on Wednesday afternoon ordered a 14-day temporary restraining order against the NCAA’s transfer rule.

The TRO comes in a seven-state lawsuit against the NCAA contesting the organization’s rule barring athletes from competing immediately after a second transfer.

The antitrust lawsuit is led by Ohio with West Virginia serving as local counsel in the case along with Tennessee, North Carolina, Illinois, Colorado and New York.

“Right now, you can’t make a player sit out a year,” U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey said.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost previously sent a letter to the NCAA challenging the waiver denial of Aziz Bandaogo, a 7-foot center who wanted to play basketball at the University of Cincinnati.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has made a similar appeal after the NCAA denied potential West Virginia University basketball player RaeQuan Battle eligibility.

“This order paves the way for student-athletes, like RaeQuan Battle, to play in the sport they love and continue improving themselves,” Morrisey said in a statement. “We are looking forward to proving definitively that the NCAA has violated the Sherman Act by failing to maintain a consistent and defensible transfer rule and by denying these student athletes the chance to play.”

Bailey gave himself until Dec. 27 to consider the states’ motion for a preliminary injunction to extend the order until a full trial can be held.

The ruling also prohibits the NCAA from enforcing its Restitution Rule, which can take away wins, statistics and other benefits.

The attorneys general argued the rules are enforced arbitrarily with some waivers approved and some not for unclear reasons.

“We’re challenging the rule to restore fairness, competition and the autonomy of college athletes in their educational pursuits,” Yost said in a statement.

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