Canadian RB Chuba Hubbard heading antitrust lawsuit against NCAA

Photo courtesy: Carolina Panthers

Canadian running back Chuba Hubbard is helping lead the charge for student-athletes.

According to the Associated Press, the native of Sherwood Park, Alta. is one of two plaintiffs on a new class-action antitrust lawsuit that has been filed against the NCAA and its five major conferences. The lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of California and seeks triple damages for all current and former NCAA Division I athletes dating back to 2018.

In 2019, a federal judge ruled that institutions could provide nearly $6,000 in academic benefits to college athletes following a lawsuit filed by Shawne Alston and Justine Hartman. The NCAA fought the ruling up to the Supreme Court, which unanimously ruled against them in 2021.

“Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Alston, dozens of Division I schools have announced that they will be providing $5,980 academic awards to athletes across all sports,” attorney Steve Berman said in a statement to the AP.

“Thousands of female and male athletes, including many in sports other than football and basketball, will directly benefit from this action aimed at recovering the monetary awards, of which the NCAA illegally deprived them.”

The other plaintiff listed on the lawsuit is Keira McCarrell, a former track athlete at Auburn.

“While the injunction striking down the NCAA’s restrictions on education-related compensation, which was unanimously affirmed by the Supreme Court in Alston, unlocked life-changing benefits for NCAA Division I athletes moving forward, it did not rectify the harm suffered by thousands of Division I athletes who were unlawfully prevented from receiving education-related compensation before the injunction was issued,” attorney Jeffrey Kessler told AP. “Plaintiffs aim to recover triple damages for those injuries here.”

This isn’t the first time Hubbard has taken a stand against the establishment.

The 23-year-old spoke out in 2020 when a photo began circulating online showing Mike Gundy, Hubbard’s head coach at Oklahoma State, wearing a One America News t-shirt. The far-right news network has been criticized for reporting falsehoods and perpetuating conspiracy theories in its programming.

Hubbard found Gundy’s support of the network unacceptable, taking to Twitter to make a strongly-worded statement.

“I will not stand for this,” he wrote. “This is completely insensitive to everything going on in society, and it’s unacceptable. I will not be doing anything with Oklahoma State until things CHANGE.”

Hubbard and Gundy appeared in a video together not long afterward having reached an apparent understanding of the situation. The star running back acknowledged that he should have spoken with Gundy personally before posting on social media, but made it clear he stood by everything he’d written online.

The six-foot, 210-pound ball carrier was a fourth-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in the 2021 NFL Draft following a sensational career at Oklahoma State during which he was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2019.

Hubbard rushed for 612 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie in 2021 and made 25 catches for 174 yards and one touchdown, starting 10 games while star running back Christian McCaffrey was out due to injury.

He ran for 466 yards and two touchdowns in 2022, dressing for 15 games with two starts. He also made 14 catches for 171 yards.

Hubbard is entering the third year of a four-year contract with Carolina worth $4.2 million.