A jury in Hawaii has ruled in favor of the NCAA and its ability to license postseason football bowl games.

The state court jury in Honolulu determined Monday the NCAA did not interfere with an alleged arrangement to sell the Seattle Bowl in 2003. The bowl’s former owner, Aloha Bowl Inc., sued the NCAA, alleging that its process of setting standards for postseason bowl football games harmed the ability of the bowl to be successful or be sold.

“We are pleased the jury saw through the plaintiff’s efforts to hold the NCAA accountable for its own business failures,” said Donald Remy, NCAA general counsel and vice president for legal affairs. “After seven years of litigating this matter, this is the right result.”

Remy said the NCAA rebuffed the plaintiff’s litigation in federal court, where antitrust claims were dismissed; in bankruptcy court, where the plaintiff sought to stall the NCAA’s efforts to end the case; and in Hawaii state court, where the NCAA prevailed on all counts.

“This case is an example of plaintiffs and lawyers filing questionable claims against the NCAA with hopes of a future payout,” Remy said.

“We will vigorously defend the NCAA’s efforts to act in the best interest of student-athletes and the collegiate model of sports, as we did in this case,” he added. “The jury found that saying no to the Seattle Bowl was the right thing. We look forward to moving on from this case and continuing to assist the postseason bowl system so it can operate ethically and appropriately.”

The NCAA was represented by Gregory Curtner of Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone PLC and William McCorriston and Kenneth Mansfield of McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP.

The NCAA does not run postseason football bowl games in Division I but licenses them to ensure they meet a variety of requirements to ultimately provide a meaningful experience for student-athletes and institutions. These criteria relate to attendance, conference commitments, revenue and other details.  

For background on the Association’s role in postseason football bowl licensing, visit the NCAA Football Media Center.