Demonstrates Why Congress Should Deny NCAA Request for Antitrust Exemption
A 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ three-judge panel unanimously upheld a lower court ruling in favor of college athletes in the Alston v. NCAA antitrust lawsuit. As a result, colleges will be able to provide an array of educational related compensation to their athletes that the NCAA previously prohibited. This includes cash payments for academic achievement ranging between $5600-$15,000 per player per year, and unlimited noncash educational related benefits such as graduate school and internships.
The NCAA was illegally and hypocritically prohibiting such educational related compensation for college athletes while claiming to have an educational mission that shields it from paying taxes on revenues that exceed $1 billion annually. The NCAA recently announced its intentions to ask Congress to grant it an antitrust exemption, which would allow it to engage in price-fixing activities that would otherwise be illegal.
NCPA Executive Director Ramogi Huma who serves as an unpaid advisor for the plaintiffs lawyers stated, “Each time the NCAA loses an antitrust lawsuit, players gain more equitable treatment. The NCAA is serial antitrust violator; Congress should not give a criminal a badge. The NCAA must be subject to the law, not be above it. The players’ right to bring this lawsuit and substantial increases in educational related compensation would not have been possible if the NCAA had an antitrust exemption.
The ruling is another step in the right direction toward fair treatment of college athletes.
Huma stated, “Antitrust laws, free enterprise, and equal rights are central to America as a nation. The NCAA has made a mockery of these principles and Congress should not do its bidding. Our fight for the equitable treatment of college athletes continues.”