Andy Oliver’s step toward restoring his Division I athletic eligibility and clearing his name took another step when Erie County Common Pleas Court Judge Tygh Tone denied the latest motion attempt by the NCAA Friday.
In early September, Oliver, a 2006 Vermilion graduate, was granted a trial by jury slated to start Dec. 8 in his lawsuit against the NCAA seeking liability and damages. The NCAA requested to strike the jury demand and have the case heard by Tone, but the motion was denied.
In Tone’s most recent opinion citing the denial, the judge wrote the issues that remain can be tried in front of a jury. Such issues include the claim of breach of contract; express and implied warranty; and the fact Oliver is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $25,000.
On Oct. 8, Oliver’s attorney, Richard Johnson, announced an expert witness, Richard T. Karcher, will be called to testify on the application of the NCAA’s “no agent” rule and damages.
Karcher’s qualifications include a professional baseball career with the Atlanta Braves organization from 1989-93; teaching sports law as an adjunct professor at Michigan State University College of Law; and representing pro athletes, including baseball players in the draft, as an attorney and agent.
Karcher is a full-time law professor at Florida Coastal School of Law, where he also serves as the director of the Center for Law and Sports, for which he oversees all aspects of the program.
Oliver’s saga with the NCAA began May 31, when he was ruled ineligible hours before he was set to pitch for Oklahoma State in a regional tournament game against Wichita State.
Ten days later, Johnson filed a lawsuit in Erie County Common Pleas Court against seven defendants that included the NCAA and on July 16 added Oklahoma State to the lawsuit.
Tone issued a temporary restraining order for Oliver against the NCAA on Aug. 15, which allowed Oliver go return to school and prepare for his junior season of baseball while the case moves forward to trial in December.