Article Brief

College athletes win pivotal ruling in US Supreme Court decision in Alston v. NCAA

 

 The National College Players Association (NCPA) celebrated today’s US Supreme Court ruling finding that NCAA rules prohibiting educational-related compensation for college athletes violate federal antitrust laws.  

“Today was a great day for current and future college athletes across the country.  The SCOTUS 9-0 decision made it clear that the NCAA isn’t operating in the best interest of college athletes.  This was a big step in the right direction, however there is still much more work to do,” stated University of Iowa basketball captain Jordan Bohannon.

Former UCLA track athlete Christina Chenault who testified in support of college athletes’ rights in the US Senate last week, stated, “This decision should make clear to Congress that, if it’s going to pass a federal law, it should not give the NCAA antitrust immunity.  Doing so would further harm college athletes.  Like Justice Kavanaugh stated, ‘The NCAA is not above the law.’” 

Washington football player Dallas Hobbs was one of the leaders of approximately 500 PAC-12 football players who called for college athletes to receive their fair market value among other athletes’ rights reforms last summer.  Hobbs stated, “NCAA sports imposes illegal rules that transfer money away from college athletes.  The Supreme Court ruling is an important step in ending this exploitation.”

Implications:

  • College athletes and recruits can seek up to approximately $6000 per year in educational-related expenses i.e. computers, graduate scholarships, study abroad opportunities, etc.
  • SCOTUS has struck down core NCAA arguments supporting its illegal price-fixing as meritless, and left the door open for athletes to challenge to the NCAA’s remaining rules on athlete compensation.
  • Strengthens states’ & athletes’ ability to beat any NCAA legal challenge to name, image and likeness laws
  • It signals to states that NCAA threats to athletes and schools over laws that would better compensate compensation is unethical and likely illegal.

NCPA Executive Director Ramogi Huma, who served as a plaintiff’s attorney advisor in the lawsuit, stated, “This ruling makes clear that college athletes deserve every opportunity to seek and receive compensation – just like other students.  The colleges don’t collude to prohibit pay for students working in their libraries or bookstores, and they shouldn’t continue doing this to college athletes.

This ruling will help bolster support for California lawmakers to approve NCPA-sponsored legislation known as “The College Athlete Race and Gender Equity Act” (AB 609, Sen. Kamlager).  If passed, the bill would ensure all California college athletes receive an equal share of their fair market value, bring forth full Title IX compliance, and preserve all sports. 

  

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