The NCAA and its five dominant conferences are an "unlawful cartel" that has illegally restricted the earning power of football and men's basketball players while making billions off their labor, according to a federal lawsuit filed Monday that seeks to paint big-time college athletics as being in blatant violation of antitrust laws.

The suit, filed in Newark, N.J., comes on the eve of the NCAA men's Division I basketball tournament, college sports' most prominent showcase. In addition to the NCAA, the lawsuit targets the Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, Pac-12, Big Ten and Big 12, and seeks monetary damages as well as a declaration that the defendants' practices violate federal antitrust laws.

The suit seeks triple damages for the four plaintiffs -- Rutgers basketball player Johnathan "J.J." Moore, Clemson football player Martin Jenkins, Texas-El Paso football player Kevin Perry and Cal football player Bill Tyndall -- based on the economic harm they say they suffered.

The suit also seeks an injunction to stop the NCAA from prohibiting any of its member institutions from negotiating to give or providing compensation to football and basketball players and rejected the argument that the current rules ensure competitive balance.

An NCAA spokeswoman didn't immediately comment on the lawsuit.

  • Four Missouri athletes were arrested on suspicion of possession of 35 grams or less of marijuana during a traffic stop in Columbia. Guards Wes Clark and Shane Rector of the basketball team and defensive backs Aarion Penton and Shaun Rupert from the football team were each issued a court summons and released.

    Basketball coach Frank Haith said Clark and Rector were suspended for the team's practice but not necessarily for Tuesday's NIT opener against Davidson. Penton and Rupert were suspended indefinitely after the athletics department learned of their arrests, spokesman Chad Moller said.

    Baseball

    Atlanta Braves pitcher Kris Medlen will undergo season-ending elbow surgery Tuesday, while teammate Brandon Beachy is getting another opinion on his ailing elbow. The Braves announced Medlen's surgery after he was examined by Dr. James Andrews in Gulf Breeze, Fla. Beachy was also examined by Andrews and will now head to Los Angeles to get another opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the Dodgers' team physician.

  • Josh Hamilton had an infield single in his first spring game in the Los Angeles Angels' 8-7 victory over the Giants. Hamilton went 1 for 3 for the split squad. The five-time All-Star and 2010 American League MVP has been hampered by a sprained left calf muscle.

  • Scott Feldman will start the Houston Astros' opener April 1 at home against the New York Yankees.

  • Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias says he has stress fractures in both legs and isn't sure when he'll be able to play again.

    Miscellany

    The United States will take on the Czech Republic on Sept. 3 in Prague in its first match after the World Cup. The U.S. is winless in three career games against the Czechs.

  • Officials with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway say race car driver Gary Bettenhausen has died. He was 72. He drove in 21 Indy 500s from 1968-93.

  • Jason Day has withdrawn from the Arnold Palmer Invitational because of an injured thumb. The 26-year-old Australian previously withdrew from a World Golf Championship at Doral because of the injury.