Student-athletes win U.S. Supreme Court showdown against NCAA

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sided with student-athletes who filed an antitrust lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association in a successful decision that could reshape the over $ 14 billion College sports industry in the United States.

All nine of the court judges unanimously held that the restrictions imposed by the NCAA, the governing body of college sport in the United States, on educational benefits for student-athletes were unfair.

“By enabling colleges and universities to deliver enhanced educational benefits, [the lower court’s] decision can encourage academic success and allow student-athletes a measure of compensation more in line with the value they bring to their schools, ”Judge Neil Gorsuch wrote in the court opinion.

In a concurring opinion, Justice Brett Kavanaugh questioned the practices of the NCAA more generally, writing: “The NCAA business model would be downright illegal in almost every other industry in America.

The move is the biggest challenge to America’s college sports business model, which has traditions stretching back over a century and in some cases serves as a de facto talent pool for several leading U.S. professional leagues, including football. and basketball.

The NCAA and its member universities have argued that preserving the amateur status of participating athletes is essential to the attractiveness of college sports, an argument the judges found unconvincing.

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“Colleges and universities across the country have leveraged the sport to generate income, attract attention, increase enrollment and raise funds from alumni,” the court wrote in its summary of the case. “This profitable business relies on ‘amateur’ student-athletes who compete under horizontal constraints that restrict how schools can reward them for their game.”

Current NCAA rules effectively limit the type of compensation that athletes competing at member universities can receive for scholarships or related benefits.

The current case, an amalgamation of several NCAA lawsuits brought by current and former college athletes, argued that these rules violate U.S. Sherman Law.

“We hope this victory in the battle for the rights of varsity athletes will lead to a wave of justice elevating other aspects of athlete compensation,” said Steve Berman, an attorney who represented the athletes in the case. “This is the fair treatment college athletes deserve.”

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