Personal Liberties

Hardie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association

Ban on felon-coaches is not racial discrimination

Dominic Hardie is a high school basketball coach who is prohibited from coaching in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)-sponsored tournaments because he is a convicted felon. He sued the NCAA on the theory that the felon-ban violates Title II of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in places of public accommodation, because it causes a disparate impact on African-Americans. As amicus, PLF argued that Title II does not permit disparate impact claims. The Ninth Circuit rejected Hardie’s lawsuit, holding that the felon-ban did not amount to a disparate impact violation, even if Title II does allow such claims. Hardie filed a motion for rehearing.

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