NCAA faces lawsuit over tourney ticket fees

The handling fees the NCAA once charged fans for the chance to buy NCAA tournament tickets might violate the Indiana state lottery law, a federal appeals court ruled last week.

According to Bloomberg, the ruling overturned the previous dismissal of a lawsuit brought on by consumers in New York, Arizona and Oregon who are suing for compensatory and punitive damages.

The Indianapolis-based NCAA sells tickets for its top-rank Division I college basketball and hockey championships by accepting applications for more tickets than are actually available. The association keeps a $6 to $10 "handling" fee for each entry, even if the applicant doesn’t get a ticket, the appeals court said.

"Win or lose, the service fee was forfeited by all entrants and retained by the NCAA," the court said in a 2-1 decision. The judges sent the case back to the lower court for further proceedings.

The NCAA, of course, disagrees with the ruling since it might end up costing the organization big bucks. And because of that, maybe a segment of college basketball fans should root against the lawsuit as well.

After all, a more desperately cash-hungry NCAA is an NCAA that could renew a push for a 96-team tournament. No more ticket handling fees? More game tickets for sale might take care of that problem.