- Dec 15, 2007
- Reaction score
Bingo. With regard to statutes of limitation, the literal best case scenario for these plaintiffs leaves Mends as the only Title VI claimant and Wadley/Joly/Parker/Mends as the only 1981 claims. (Even then, Mends is so close to the statute that, if they filed tomorrow, he would only have a three-month window in which to allege discriminatory acts. Anything happening prior to two years from his date of filing would get tossed by SoL issues for Title VI purposes.)The players, above all else, have a statute of limitations problem. Any analysis beyond that is premature, IMO.
More importantly, to even get to 1981 you have to allege the existence of a contractual relationship. The only real contractual relationship these players had under current law was the offer and acceptance of a scholarship, and there's no way you can claim discrimination on that piece. You would be forced to argue that the players were employees of the University somehow to successfully plead a 1981 claim, which opens up its own can of worms (and which the NLRB basically rejected in 2015 when Northwestern football players tried to unionize.)
The best case scenario for the plaintiffs is basically as described above, where you get 4 of the 8 through SoLs on 1981 and only 1 of the eight through on Title VI. Once you get that hurdle cleared, the 1981 claims are vulnerable based on the nature of the relationship, leaving potentially Mends' Title VI claim as the only one remaining.
If they can get past the SOL/employment relationship questions and into discovery, it'll be settled before Joel Lanning can realize that Wadley faked him out of his shorts again. But based on current law, they likely will not survive pre-trial motions.