Ninth Circuit Upholds NCAA Ban on Coaches With Felony Convictions
On June 27th, the Ninth Circuit issued its opinion in Hardie v. NCAA. The Plaintiff, Dominic Hardie, filed suit alleging that the NCAA's policy of excluding anyone with a felony conviction from coaching at NCAA-certified youth athletic tournaments violates Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000a(a). Section 2000a(a) prohibits racial discrimination in places of public accommodation.
The Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for the NCAA and held that the NCAA’s ban on felon-coaches in its high school tournaments didn’t amount to a disparate impact violation, even if Title II encompassed such claims, a question which the Ninth Circuit has not yet decided.