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Cohane v. National Collegiate Athletic Association

August 7, 2008

TIMOTHY M. COHANE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
TIMOTHY M. COHANE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WILLIAM R. GREINER, PRESIDENT OF THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT BUFFALO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr. United States Magistrate Judge

DECISION AND ORDER

These cases were referred to the undersigned by the Hon. William M. Skretny, in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A), for all pretrial matters, and for hearing and disposition of all non-dispositive motions or applications. 04-CV-181 at Dkt. #40; 04-CV-943 at Dkt. #58.

Currently before the Court are the following motions:

1.) National Collegiate Athletic Association's ("NCAA's"), motion for a protective order of confidentiality (04-CV-181 at Dkt. #52 & 04-CV-943 at Dkt. #109);

2.) plaintiff's motion to extend the deadline to join parties and/or amend his complaint to permit plaintiff to review disclosure of NCAA documents (04-CV-181 at Dkt. #56);

3). NCAA's motion to amend its answer (04-CV-181 at Dkt. #57);

4.) State University of New York at Buffalo ("SUNY at Buffalo") defendants' motion to quash a subpoena seeking testimony and documents from Lewis Rosenthal (04-CV-943 at Dkt. #107); and

5.) SUNY at Buffalo defendants' motion to quash a subpoena seeking testimony and documents from Joyce Villa (04-CV-943 at Dkt. #110).

As plaintiff does not oppose the NCAA's motion to amend its answer (04-CV-181 at Dkt. #57), this motion is granted. Moreover, as SUNY at Buffalo agreed to hold the motions to quash in abeyance and produce Mr. Rosenthal and Ms. Villa for depositions with express reservation of their right to assert attorney client privilege and/or attorney work product (04-CV-943 at Dkt. #118, ¶ 2), these motions (04-CV-943 at Dkt. ##107 & 110), are denied without prejudice. For the reasons set forth below, the motion for a protective order of confidentiality (04-CV-943 at Dkt. #109), is granted and the motion for an extension of time to join parties and/or amend the complaint (04-CV-181 at Dkt. #56), is granted.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, Timothy M. Cohane, the former head coach for the SUNY at Buffalo basketball team, commenced 04-CV-181 against the NCAA et al., in the Western District of New York and commenced 04-CV-943 against SUNY at Buffalo, et al., in the Eastern District of New York, alleging that he was denied due process and deprived plaintiff of a liberty interest during the course of an investigation and hearing with respect to alleged violations of NCAA rules and that the SUNYat Buffalo defendants breached their contractual obligations to plaintiff. 04-CV-181 at Dkt. #1; 04-CV-943 at Dkt. #50-2. Judge Sterling determined that venue was not proper in the Eastern District of New York and ordered that case transferred to the Western District of New York. Dkt. #49.

During the course of discovery, the Mid American Conference served a subpoena upon the NCAA seeking production and inspection of

All papers, transcripts, records, and reports of any kind and in any form, including audio and video recordings, (except electronic mail) that relate in any manner to infractions or violations of NCAA rule or protocols, or allegations thereof, related to the men's basketball program at the University at Buffalo (SUNY) and/or Timothy Cohane.

Dkt. #109, p.7. The NCAA filed a motion seeking a confidentiality order after its good faith efforts to negotiate such an order with plaintiff failed. Dkt. #109, p.14. David Price, Vice-President for Enforcement Services of the NCAA, affirms that information obtained during the course of an investigation is "frequently given by witnesses or other sources under a pledge of secrecy." ...


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