INDIANAPOLIS---The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today reversed a district court decision and ruled for the NCAA in the Worldwide Basketball case and in what’s known as the “2-in-4” rule.
The “2-in-4” rule allows Division I institutions to participate in certified basketball contests no more than twice every four years. The intent of the rule is to offer a broader range of institutions the opportunity to participate in these certified contests than was the practice when schools could participate annually.
Since its inception, the 2-in-4 rule has been successful in achieving the goal of inclusion, offering a wider range of institutions the opportunity to give their student-athletes a positive event experience, said Elsa Cole, NCAA general counsel.
“We are happy to know these opportunities will continue, and the Association is very pleased with the decision reached by the court, as the promoters were trying to protect an unfair advantage,” Cole said.
In particular, Cole noted that Judge Julia Smith Gibbons wrote in her opinion today that the antitrust laws the plaintiffs cited in their lawsuit did not apply in this situation. “In this case, no one has interfered with the promoters’ freedom to compete in the market for Division I men’s college basketball games,” Gibbons wrote.