The National Invitation Tournament has settled its anti-trust suit
against the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The NIT had sued the
NCAA under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, alleging that the NCAA’s rule
requiring college basketball teams invited to play in the NCAA tournament to
either play in that tournament or sit out the post-season. The rule
permitted only teams that had not been invited to participate in the NCAA
tournament to play in the NIT.
Under the terms of the settlement, the Metropolitan Intercollegiate
Basketball Association (MIBA) will receive $56.5 million over the next ten
years. In exchange, the MIBA—an association comprised of Fordham University,
Manhattan College, St. John’s University, New York University, and Wagner
College that has run the NIT since 1940—has assigned all rights in the NIT
to the NCAA.
In announcing the settlement of the suit, NCAA President Myles Brand said
that the semi-finals and finals of the NIT will continue to be played at New
York City’s Madison Square Garden for at least the next five years and that
ESPN’s contract to broadcast the NIT will continue for that time. It is not
clear, however, how teams will be selected for the tournament given that the
responsibility will now lie with the NCAA.