On October 18, 2010, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued its ruling in George v. NCAA and certified three questions for the Indiana Supreme Court in a class action lawsuit contending that the NCAA’s ticket distribution system for certain NCAA tournament’s constituted an illegal lottery under Indiana law:
- Do the plaintiffs’ allegations about the NCAA’s method for allocating scarce tickets to championship tournaments describe a lottery that would be unlawful under Indiana law?
- If the plaintiffs’ allegations describe an unlawful lottery, would the NCAA’s method for allocating tickets fall within the Ind. Code § 35-45-5-1(d) exception for “bona fide business transactions that are valid under the law of contracts”?
- If the plaintiffs’ allegations describe an unlawful lottery, do plaintiffs’ allegations show that their claims are subject to an in pari delecto defense as described in Lesher, 496 N.E.2d at 790 n.1, and Swain v. Bussell, 10 Ind. 438, 442 (1858)?
The ruling puts on hold the appeal to the Seventh Circuit pending resolution of the questions by the Indiana Supreme Court. The district court had dismissed the lawsuit.