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Hardie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association Documents 12-30-15

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Case Attorneys

Wen Fa

Attorney

Wen Fa is an attorney at PLF’s national headquarters. He has litigated numerous direct-rep cases dealing with private property, equality under the law, school choice, economic liberty, and the First … ›

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Joshua P. Thompson

Senior Attorney

Joshua Thompson joined Pacific Legal Foundation in August 2007. He primarily litigates cases involving equality under the law, economic liberty, school choice, and coastal land rights. Joshua was raised in … ›

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Case Commentary

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By Wen Fa

Ninth Circuit: Ban on felon-coaches is not racial discrimination

The Ninth Circuit issued a favorable opinion today in Hardie v NCAA, a case raising the important question of whether disparate impact liability is cognizable under Title II of the Civil Rights Act The Ninth Circuit didn’t answer the question It held instead that 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

In a cogent concurring opinion, Judge Faber noted that although NCAA did not argue the issue on appeal, “amici Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), and the Center for

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By Wen Fa

Oral argument on NCAA's anti-felon policy

The NCAA prohibits felons from coaching in sponsored basketball tournaments Dominic Hardie, a black basketball coach, sued the NCAA for racial discrimination But Hardie doesn’t allege intentional discrimination Instead, he’s suing the NCAA under a theory of liability known as disparate impact

One problem: It’s an open question whether Title II of the Civil Rights Act even countenances disparate impact liability We contend that it does not Last Wednesday, the Ninth Circuit heard oral argument in the case

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By Wen Fa

Is the NCAA ban on felon coaches discriminatory? (hint: no)

The NCAA sponsors high school basketball tournaments and prohibits anyone who has been convicted of a felony from coaching in them Dominic Hardie, a black high school basketball coach with felony conviction for drug possession on his record, has sued the NCAA for racial discrimination

But how could that be? Few would associate the NCAA ban with racism, and even Hardie himself disavowed any claim of intentional discrimination during the trial court proceedings Hardie’s only remaining claim on appeal is that the NCAA ban produces a disparate impact on his racial group because a larger proportion of blacks have been convicted of a felony PLF, the Center of Equal Opportunity, and Competitive Enterprise

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