CINCINNATI -- Sports promoters failed to overturn an NCAA rule limiting tournament appearances involving Division I basketball teams when an appeals court rejected their antitrust suit Monday.
The rule limits teams to two preseason tournaments in four years. The promoters argued the rule prevented them from inviting the most prominent teams to more tournaments.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the promoters failed to show a violation of antitrust law because they didn't define a market in which the rule could be anticompetitive. That ruling reversed a 2003 decision in favor of the promoters, prompting an NCAA appeal.
The lawsuit was filed by Cincinnati-based Worldwide Basketball, Sports Tours International, Dorna Sports Promotions and the Gazelle Group.
Those groups organize or promote tournaments including the Las Vegas Classic, the San Juan Shootout, the Coaches vs. Cancer event and the National Association of Basketball Coaches Classic. Similar events to which the rule applies include the Great Alaska Shootout, Maui Invitational and Preseason NIT.
Each Division I school is limited to 28 regular-season games. A team can appear in more games by playing in exempt tournaments. Each tournament counts as one game against the NCAA limit.