2013 NCAA tournament: Giant killers, Cinderellas, March madness — and legal issues involving office pools, NCAA class action lawsuit

the conclusion of the 2010 NCAA Championship game between the Duke Blue Devils and Butler Bulldogs. PHoto by Bluedog423 via Wikimedia Commons.

The conclusion of the 2010 NCAA Championship game between the Duke Blue Devils and Butler Bulldogs. Photo by Bluedog423 via Wikimedia Commons.

As college basketball fans tune in to the 2013 NCAA tournament, things get busy for legal professionals and law enforcement officials.

One legal issue could be a concern for almost every college basketball fan: The legality of workplace NCAA bracket contests.

You know what we mean: Those pools in which friends and co-workers get together, pick winners, and in some cases win money. There’s where the problem lies.

The legality of workplace NCAA bracket contests in offices depends on  state law , and each state differs. Here’s a nifty state-by-state summary of gambling law that can guide you.

Tax issues
In addition to the legality of office pools, there’s the issue of taxes. Technically, NCAA bettors are supposed to report gambling winnings to the  IRS , according to News Channel 5 in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Class action suit heats up
Off the court, a class action that threatens to undermine the NCAA is gaining momentum just as the tournament tips off.

In the case, former high-profile student athletes allege a conspiracy to not pay them to broadcast their images or license their likenesses in video games, according to Thomson Reuters.

Read more.

What would happen if the plaintiffs win? According to The New Yorker, The current system would crash.

Just to give a sense of the stakes, a 2011 report, from the National College Players Association and Drexel University, estimated that basketball players at Duke would each be owed a little more than a million dollars a year, if they were to have access to a revenue-sharing system similar to the one in the pros.

If they’re not paid like pros, the NCAA could the Olympic amateur system, which The New Yorker says “allows athletes to pursue sponsorship deals without declaring themselves as professionals.”

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  1. […] federal system, the brackets people filled out and the ten dollars each participant contributed to office March Madness pools could mean the participants are committing anything from a misdemeanor to a felony or, in […]

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