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From Conservative Brief:
The Supreme Court has made a decision that is going to have far-reaching effects on college sports and could change it forever.
In a unanimous 9 – 0 decision, penned by Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, the court ruled that the NCAA did violate antitrust laws and sided in favor of the student-athletes, over the NCAA rules that limited certain compensation.
“It’s tremendous to win this 9-0. Hopefully, it will be the major next step on the road to a true fair competitive system for these athletes. It should have positive effects immediately on NIL. We look forward to a world that’s better for college athletes today than it was yesterday,” the attorney for the plaintiffs, Jeffrey Kessler said to ESPN reporter Dan Murphy, ESPN reported.
Under current NCAA rules, students cannot be paid, and the scholarship money colleges can offer is capped at the cost of attending the school. The NCAA had defended its rules as necessary to preserve the amateur nature of college sports.
But the former athletes who brought the case, including former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston, argued that the NCAA’s rules on education-related compensation were unfair and violate federal antitrust law designed to promote competition.
The case doesn’t decide whether students can be paid salaries. Instead, the ruling will help determine whether schools decide to offer athletes tens of thousands of dollars in education-related benefits for things such as computers, graduate scholarships, tutoring, study abroad and internships.
Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh laced into the NCAA and it has caused some liberals on Twitter to be stunned at the fact that the agree with him.
“The bottom line is that the NCAA and its member colleges are suppressing the pay of student athletes who collectively generate billions of dollars in revenues for colleges every year. Those enormous sums of money flow to seemingly everyone except the student athletes. College presidents, athletic directors, coaches, conference commissioners, and NCAA executives take in six and seven-figure salaries. Colleges build lavish new facilities. But the student athletes who generate the revenues, many of whom are African American and from lower-income backgrounds, end up with little or nothing,” Justice Kavanaugh said in his concurring opinion.
“Everyone agrees that the NCAA can require student athletes to be enrolled students in good standing. But the NCAA’s business model of using unpaid student athletes to generate billions of dollars in revenue for the colleges raises serious questions under the antitrust laws. In particular, it is highly questionable whether the NCAA and its member colleges can justify not paying student athletes a fair share of the revenues on the circular theory that the defining characteristic of college sports is that the colleges do not pay student athletes. And if that asserted justification is unavailing, it is not clear how the NCAA can legally defend its remaining compensation rules,” he said.
“To be sure, the NCAA and its member colleges maintain important traditions that have become part of the fabric of America—game days in Tuscaloosa and South Bend; the packed gyms in Storrs and Durham; the women’s and men’s lacrosse championships on Memorial Day weekend; track and field meets in Eugene; the spring softball and baseball World Series in Oklahoma City and Omaha; the list goes on.
“But those traditions alone cannot justify the NCAA’s decision to build a massive money-raising enterprise on the backs of student athletes who are not fairly compensated. Nowhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing not to pay their workers a fair market rate on the theory that their product is defined by not paying their workers a fair market rate. And under ordinary principles of antitrust law, it is not evident why college sports should be any different. The NCAA is not above the law,” he said.
This article first appeared at Conservative Brief.