Student Athlete Claims NCAA, Big East Breached Contract

Oct 10, 2008

A student athlete at Seton Hall University has sued the NCAA and the Big East Conference, claiming the defendants “maliciously and intentionally interfered with (the plaintiff’s) contractual relationships with (the school)” when they deemed him ineligible after initially clearing him to play.
Michael Glover enrolled at Seton Hall in 2007, but was ruled ineligible that fall after the NCAA invalidated his senior year transcript from American Christian Academy (ACA) in Pennsylvania.
In his lawsuit, Glover asked the U.S. District Court in Providence to declare him eligible to play, award him the equivalent of four years tuition at Seton Hall and compensatory damages.
Glover, who is represented by lawyers Walter R. Stone and Jeffrey Crudup of the Providence law firm Adler Pollock & Sheehan, attended three high schools and graduated in June 2007 from ACA. Seton Hall recruited Glover and promised him “athletic-based financial aid,” according to the lawsuit.
The plaintiff claims that “for reasons unknown,” the NCAA opened an investigation into Glover’s transcript from American Christian Academy, and “in the fall of 2007, after he had already enrolled at Seton Hall University, the NCAA invalidated his transcript.
Since then, ACA has been criticized for being “nothing but a diploma mill.”
Nevertheless, Glover’s complaint notes that “at all times relevant to this litigation, (ACA) was considered a legitimate secondary school for purposes of calculating Mr. Glover’s GPA for the NCAA’s initial eligibility requirements.”
“At the time Mr. Glover enrolled at Seton Hall University, there was no indication that he was not a qualified incoming freshman pursuant to the NCAA’s initial eligibility guidelines.” In fact, “Mr. Glover’s GPA in his first semester at Seton Hall also met applicable NCAA and Big East minimum eligibility requirements.”
The NCAA and the Big East, which is represented by Steven M. Richard, a lawyer from the Providence law firm Nixon Peabody, has asked the court to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction. In its motion, the NCAA contends that as an unincorporated association, it is a citizen of every state where it has a member. Since it has members in all 50 states, the NCAA is a citizen of the same state as Glover — New York, according to the Providence Journal.


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