The court ruled that the NCAA’s restrictions on non-cash payments for college athletes are anti-competitive under federal law.
Stand with student athletes, U.S. Supreme Court Ruled against on Monday National College Sports Association (NCAA) In the organization’s efforts to maintain restrictions on their education-related compensation, critics say this helps maintain the fiction of amateurism in college sports.
The court ruled 9-0 that under a federal law called the Sherman Antitrust Act, the NCAA restricts non-cash payments to college athletes related to education—including benefits such as computers, scientific equipment, and musical instruments— It is anti-competitive.This NCAA It is the main governing body of interscholastic sports in the United States.
Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco ruled that the NCAA rules were anti-competitive and upheld an injunction imposed by U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken in California in 2019. Allow education-related compensation.
Wilken developed new rules, which the NCAA says are arbitrary and may pave the way for future challenges to other policies made by the organization.
In writing for the court, Judge Neil Gorsuch stated that the judge’s job is not to weigh the reforms needed for college sports, but Wilken’s ban “may encourage students to achieve grades and allow student athletes to get better results. Compensation measures in line with the value of sports. They bring them to school”.
Gorsuch admitted, “Some people would think this is a bad substitute for complete relief.”
The college athletes who filed lawsuits in 2014 and 2015—combined into a single case in California federal court—argued that the NCAA’s compensation limit represented an illegal act as major intercollegiate meetings accumulated billions of dollars in revenue. Restricted forms of trade.
This case involves students at the highest level of college sports: NCAA level one men’s and women’s basketball and rugby bowl subdivisions. Football and basketball are the main income-generating sports at the university level.
Although this case does not involve direct payments to athletes, the broader issue of player compensation has increasingly become the focus of controversy. College sports brings in billions of dollars in revenue.
According to the current NCAA rules, students cannot be paid, and the scholarships that universities can provide are capped at the cost of studying. The NCAA defended its rules as necessary to protect the amateur nature of college sports.
But the former athletes who filed the case, including former West Virginia football player Sean Alston, believe that the NCAA’s provisions on education-related compensation are unfair and violate the federal antitrust laws designed to promote competition.
Joining the NCAA to defend the rules are the major college sports conferences, including all the so-called “top five” conferences: Big Ten, Southeastern League, Atlantic Coast League, Big 12 League, and Pac-12 League.