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Florida State petitions NCAA to rescind NIL-related penalties following court injunction, per report

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USATSI

Florida State is petitioning the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions to rescind penalties related to the football program’s alleged NIL-related recruiting violations, Yahoo Sports reports. The university is hoping a recent temporary injunction, issued by a U.S. District Court in Tennessee, that prevents the NCAA from enforcing its own NIL policy will help move the process along. 

The NCAA imposed the sanction on Florida State in January when it came to light that Florida State offensive coordinator Alex Atkins facilitated an impermissible recruiting contact between a booster and a transfer prospect during the 2022-23 academic year. As a result, Atkins was hit with a two-year show cause and will be suspended for the first three games of the 2024 season. 

Florida State also received two years of probation, a $5,000 fine plus 1% of the football budget, a 5% reduction in football scholarships over the probationary period and a reduction in recruiting visits during the 2023-24 academic year. 

According to Yahoo Sports, Florida State agreed to observe both the probation and Atkins’ suspension in its petition, but it argues that it’s not obligated to pay the fine or adhere to the reduction in scholarships over the next two years, among other penalties. 

Florida State’s petition is similar to the court case that stripped the NCAA of its NIL-enforcement authority. With the University of Tennessee facing an investigation into alleged NIL-related recruiting violations, attorneys general from the states of Tennessee and Virginia filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA in January, after Florida State’s punishments were announced. 

The lawsuit alleged the NCAA had violated antitrust laws by denying athletes their ability to earn full compensation for their name, images and likeness. 

 “The NCAA’s prohibition likely violates federal antitrust law and harms student-athletes,” U.S. District Judge Clifton Corker said in the temporary injunction decision handed down on Feb. 23.

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