Supreme Court Rules 9-0 Against NCAA, Opening Door to Further Antitrust Challenges of Student-Athlete Compensation Bans

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.

The United States Supreme Court  unanimously ruled Monday that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) cannot prohibit its member schools from providing athletes with certain forms of education-related benefits, including paid post-graduate internships, graduate school scholarships, or free laptops or musical instruments.

The Supreme Court has now weighed in on the issue, joining the Biden administration, and Congress, which are mulling what approach to take to the vexed question of compensation for student-athletes in the billion-dollar college sports marketplace. As I wrote in March in Sports Desk: DoJ Files Amicus Brief in Support of College Athletes, While Congress Mulls Giving Them Rights to Their Names, Images, and Likenesses:

The basic problem with big time college sports-  at least for the two main money-generating sports of basketball and (American) football: the system is awash in money. And many of those involved – colleges, coaches, athletic departments, television networks –  get their cuts.

All that is, but the athletes, who risk injury by participating in college sports, not to mention, devote considerable time to so doing, often to the detriment of their studies.

States have spearheaded action on this issue,  which beginning with California, have passed statutes that allow student-atheletes to benefit from use of their names, images, and likenesses (see my November 2019 post,NCAA Votes to Allow College Athletes to Benefit from the Use of Their Names, Images, and Likenesses). As I wrote in that piece, the NCAA appeared to bend to pressure to allow student-athletes to profit more widely, but as the NYT recognised on Monday in Supreme Court Backs Payments to Student-Athletes in N.C.A.A. Case, the organization hasn’t actually made good on those promises:

Next week, student-athletes in at least six states are poised to be allowed to make money off their personal fame — not because of action by the N.C.A.A., but because of state officials who grew tired of the industry’s decades-long efforts to limit the rights of players.

The N.C.A.A.’s response to the pressure routinely rising out of statehouses since 2019 has been, in effect, to stall.

Less than two weeks before some of the new laws are scheduled to take effect in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas and allow athletes to make endorsements and monetize their social media presences, the N.C.A.A. has not agreed to extend similar rights to players nationwide. And in a setback last week for the association, senior members of Congress said that they did not expect to strike a deal for a federal standard before July 1.

A powerful N.C.A.A. panel is scheduled to meet this week to discuss how players could profit off their renown, but it is not clear when members will vote, particularly in the wake of Monday’s ruling.

Supreme Court Majority Ruling and Kavanaugh Concurrence

SCOTUS blog summarized the procedural history of Monday’s decision in NCAA athletes win 9-0 on educational perks as Kavanaugh calls out ban on direct payments:

Monday’s decision in NCAA v. Alston ended a dispute that began seven years ago as a class-action lawsuit filed against the NCAA and the major collegiate athletic conferences by athletes who played Division I football and basketball. Under the NCAA’s rules, universities generally are allowed to provide athletes with scholarships covering tuition while they are NCAA-eligible, and they are allowed to cover basic expenses like textbooks and room and board. But most other forms of compensation are banned.

The athletes contended in their lawsuit that the NCAA’s restrictions violate federal antitrust laws by barring the athletes from receiving fair-market compensation for their labor. A federal district court in California agreed in part: It ruled that the NCAA could restrict benefits that are unrelated to education (such as cash salaries), but it barred the NCAA from limiting education-related benefits. After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld that decision, the NCAA and the athletic conferences went to the Supreme Court, which late last year agreed to take up the case.

Writing for the majority, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Alston et al:

Some will think the district court did not go far enough. By permitting colleges and universities to offer enhanced education-related benefits, its decision may encourage scholastic achievement and allow student-athletes a meas- ure of compensation more consistent with the value they bring to their schools. Still, some will see this as a poor substitute for fuller relief. At the same time, others will think the district court went too far by undervaluing the social benefits associated with amateur athletics. For our part, though, we can only agree with the Ninth Circuit: “ ‘The national debate about amateurism in college sports is important. But our task as appellate judges is not to resolve it. Nor could we. Our task is simply to review the district court judgment through the appropriate lens of antitrust law.’ ” 958 F. 3d, at 1265. That review persuades us the district court acted within the law’s bounds [majority option p. 35].

The opinion only considered the narrow issue of education-related benefits and didn’t address the wider antitrust issue raised by outright bans on cash and in-kind payments and other compensation for to student-athletes. But the opinion opens the door to a more far-reaching antitrust challenge of NCAA policies on amateurism – as Justice Brett Kavanaugh recognized in a separate concurrence. Permit me to quote from it at length:

The NCAA has long restricted the compensation and benefits that student athletes may receive. And with surprising success, the NCAA has long shielded its compensation rules from ordinary antitrust scrutiny. Today, however, the Court holds that the NCAA has violated the antitrust laws. The Court’s decision marks an important and overdue course correction, and I join the Court’s excellent opinion in full.

But this case involves only a narrow subset of the NCAA’s compensation rules—namely, the rules restricting the education-related benefits that student athletes may receive, such as post-eligibility scholarships at graduate or vocational schools. The rest of the NCAA’s compensation rules are not at issue here and therefore remain on the books. Those remaining compensation rules generally restrict student athletes from receiving compensation or benefits from their colleges for playing sports. And those rules have also historically restricted student athletes from receiving money from endorsement deals and the like.

I add this concurring opinion to underscore that the NCAA’s remaining compensation rules also raise serious questions under the antitrust laws. Three points warrant emphasis [Kavanaugh concurrence pp. 1-2].

Jerri-Lynn here. First, Kavanaugh recognized the Court does not address the legality of the NCAA’s remaining compensation rules. His concurrence provides a framework for such a challenge. Second, Kavanaugh noted that any future analysis of the ultimate legality of the NCAA’s remaining compensation rules should receive ordinary “rule of reason” scrutiny under the antitrust laws. And third, Kavanaugh wrote, “there are serious questions whether the NCAA’s remaining compensation rules can pass muster under ordinary rule of reason scrutiny. Under the rule of reason, the NCAA must supply a legally valid procompetitive justification for its remaining compensation rules. As I see it, however, the NCAA may lack such a justification [Kavanaugh concurrence pp. 2-3.”]

Kavanaugh minced no words:

The NCAA acknowledges that it controls the market for college athletes. The NCAA concedes that its compensation rules set the price of student athlete labor at a below-mar- ket rate. And the NCAA recognizes that student athletes currently have no meaningful ability to negotiate with the NCAA over the compensation rules.

The NCAA nonetheless asserts that its compensation rules are procompetitive because those rules help define the product of college sports. Specifically, the NCAA says that colleges may decline to pay student athletes because the de- fining feature of college sports, according to the NCAA, is that the student athletes are not paid.

In my view, that argument is circular and unpersuasive. The NCAA couches its arguments for not paying student athletes in innocuous labels. But the labels cannot disguise the reality: The NCAA’s business model would be flatly illegal in almost any other industry in America. All of the restaurants in a region cannot come together to cut cooks’ wages on the theory that “customers prefer” to eat food from low-paid cooks. Law firms cannot conspire to cabin lawyers’ salaries in the name of providing legal services out of a “love of the law.” Hospitals cannot agree to cap nurses’ income in order to create a “purer” form of helping the sick. News organizations cannot join forces to curtail pay to reporters to preserve a “tradition” of public-minded journalism. Movie studios cannot collude to slash benefits to camera crews to kindle a “spirit of amateurism” in Hollywood.

Price-fixing labor is price-fixing labor. And price-fixing labor is ordinarily a textbook antitrust problem because it extinguishes the free market in which individuals can oth- erwise obtain fair compensation for their work….[citation omitted] Businesses like the NCAA cannot avoid the consequences of price-fixing labor by incorporating price-fixed labor into the definition of the product. Or to put it in more doctrinal terms, a monop- sony cannot launder its price-fixing of labor by calling it product definition.

The bottom line is that the NCAA and its member colleges are suppressing the pay of student athletes who col-lectively generate billions of dollars in revenues for colleges every year. Those enormous sums of money flow to seem ingly everyone except the student athletes. College presi-dents, 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. …[citation omitted]

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 una- vailing, it is not clear how the NCAA can legally defend its remaining compensation rules.

If it turns out that some or all of the NCAA’s remaining compensation rules violate the antitrust laws, some difficult policy and practical questions would undoubtedly ensue. Among them: How would paying greater compensation to student athletes affect non-revenue-raising sports? Could student athletes in some sports but not others receive compensation? How would any compensation regime com- ply with Title IX? If paying student athletes requires some- thing like a salary cap in some sports in order to preserve competitive balance, how would that cap be administered? And given that there are now about 180,000 Division I stu- dent athletes, what is a financially sustainable way of fairly compensating some or all of those student athletes?

Of course, those difficult questions could be resolved in ways other than litigation. Legislation would be one option. Or colleges and student athletes could potentially engage in collective bargaining (or seek some other negotiated agree- ment) to provide student athletes a fairer share of the rev- enues that they generate for their colleges, akin to how pro- fessional football and basketball players have negotiated for a share of league revenues….[citations omitted] Regardless of how those issues ultimately would be resolved, however, the NCAA’s current compensation re- gime raises serious questions under the antitrust laws.

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 [Kavanaugh concurrence pp. 3-5].

Jerri-Lynn here. In fact, the NCAA’s initial response to the ruling appears to be a denial of the ruling’s full ramifications. Per the NYT:

In a statement, the association said the ruling “reaffirms the N.C.A.A.’s authority to adopt reasonable rules and repeatedly notes that the N.C.A.A. remains free to articulate what are and are not truly educational benefits.”

What Form Might ChangeTake?

Now, the latest Supreme Court ruling is narrow in scope and is limited to upholding the district court’s decision striking down NCAA prohibitions on modest educational benefits. But further challenges to the entire NCAA rule-book covering all forms of restrictions on compensation to student-atheletes is surely coming. Some will arise from actions either undertaken or pending, at both state and federal level. Others will take the form of legal challenges, largely on antitrust grounds.

Writing in New York magazine in The NCAA Looks Like a Dead Organization Walking, Will Leitch, founder of the sorely-missed Deadspin blog,  sketched out some implications:

Kavanaugh makes it clear that no one should expect the Court to have the NCAA’s back in any future lawsuits against its business model, lawsuits that are surely coming. But he goes even farther by labeling the business model, which has been around for 150 years, absurd and exploitative. These sentiments would have been considered revolutionary had I professed them in this column space a decade ago. To hear them coming from a face of modern conservatism is flabbergasting and speaks to just how quickly the public sentiment on paying athletes — something not disconnected from how many billions television contracts suddenly poured into the sport over the last decade — has changed.

This isn’t a death knell for college athletics, but it invites one to begin listening for some bell-ringing. And it sure looks like the NCAA is a dead organization walking, since its central stated reason for being — keeping college athletes amateurs — just blew up in its face in the most dramatic way imaginable.

Whenever one has argued for college athletes to be paid, those who defend the current system have responded with some variation of, “Okay, how would you fix it?” This was a reasonable question. Do you pay some athletes but not all of them? Do colleges have to dig into their non-athletic funds? Do players get traded from one school to another in the middle of the school year? Do they even bother going to school at all? I always struggled to come up with answers to these questions, about how to reconcile the college sports I love with the financial and logistical realities of the situation. It used to frustrate me. But then I realized that throwing the question back at anyone who asked it was simply a way to deflect from complicity with an unjust system. What do you have that’s better? is not a defense of a corrupt model; it is a way to maintain your place in it. Whether you were a coach making millions off unpaid labor, a university or conference (or an organization like the NCAA) cashing billions in television checks, or just a fan who loved watching college sports so much that you never wanted it to change, defending the current way of doing things required rhetorical jujitsu. And that was a sure sign that it wasn’t really worth defending.

What the Supreme Court and Kavanaugh did on Monday was flip the focus: Now it’s up to the NCAA and administrators and university presidents to come up with a plan to save their sports — or else. The NCAA not only has to justify its own existence; it has to justify the entire notion of college athletics.

What Is To Be Done?

Readers, I don’t have many answers here. So I turn the floor over to the commentariat. What do you think?


Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. synoia

    Haw does one now distinguish an amateur athlete from a professional athlete?

    All the College athletes now become Employees of the Collages?
    Some of the College Athletes become employees of the Collages?
    What happens to High School athletes?

    What happens to the Tennis Players in school and College?

    Prediction: Tuition will rise to keep collage President well paid /s

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      “Tuition will rise to keep collage President [one tenth as] well paid [as the head football coach].”

      FIFY. I despise the overpaid lords of the academic administocracy, but they look like pikers compared to the sports elite. And this ruling pertains to that elite grift. You are right that neither of these managerial elites will lose a penny in compensation.

      A modest democratization of winner take all practices is more likely than any genuine fairness towards all athletes. I.e. Heismann level stars will soon have agents working to secure them super packages that will maybe raise their families out of poverty before they are sidelined forever by injuries.

      1. griffen

        Very recently in college hoops, at certain elite programs no less, there are explicit recordings of head coaches saying they need to do Xyz to get their very much adored and needed college recruit. For the one year he will be our star! Adidas was handing out frequent payments. Supposedly!!

        It’s unseemly but very much a frequent enough occurrence. Rick Pitino was a championship level coach who got run from Louisville; but he wasn’t run from the game.

    2. Yves Smith

      My maternal grandfather was a bit of a black sheep in his family (his only brother became the CEO of a chemical company; my grandfather refused to speak to him after he became pro-German during Pershing’s WWI Pancho Villa expedition and continued through WWII; apparently Germany successfully propagandized some of the troops). He went to college on a sports scholarship. He played football. He lost his scholarship by virtue of boxing for money during the summer. Any professional sports activity was considered a violation of amateur status, even in an unrelated field.

      Fortunately said grandfather got enough engineering training before he lost his scholarship to be hired by a ferris wheel manufacturer. He repaired ferris wheels and later became an amusement park manager during the Depression.

  2. griffen

    Cue the hand wringing and crocodile tears from the leading lights of college athletics. We can’t possibly pay our labor, er, athletes. I definitely mean student athletes!

    The Sabans and Swinneys and Meyers, et al, have earned generational income and wealth. And much of that has arrived with booms in TV revenue’s since the mid-90s. I’m really unsure if these head coaches have other duties, like being a math teacher or physical sciences.

    The system has been less-than-pure for a really long time. Increased stipends should be an easy adjustment. Expanded health coverage too.

  3. Carolinian

    Of course the coaches get paid. Boy do they get paid.

    Perhaps, given that colleges provide a free farm system for the NFL, that not exactly poor organization could kick in some lucre.

    But that’s all I got… sports not my thing including when i was in college.

  4. Matthew G. Saroff

    While this is big in terms of intercollegiate sports, there is a bigger picture: This explicitly applies antitrust to colleges.

    When you consider the fact that top ranked colleges explicitly collude on financial aid and tuitopm, despite promises not to do so, (Also here) it is abundantly clear that similar lawsuits by regular students harmed by this activity are much more viable now.

    Perhaps some of the highly paid PMC positions at colleges might be at risk now.

    1. Basil Pesto

      Not really. The ruling is on a highly specific point as the article/judgement mentions, and against the NCAA. This ruling has no force as a general threat against miscellaneous anti-competitive behaviour by colleges.

  5. Larry Y

    Men’s football and men’s basketball are the big revenue sports, and also serve as the de facto farm league for those sports. In contrast, men’s ice hockey, baseball, and men’s soccer have their own farm leagues – players get paid and bypass the NCAA.

    For Major League Soccer, top college underclassmen also get their college tuition paid if their playing career doesn’t pan out.

    1. scott s.

      For baseball and ice hockey, it looks like the professional leagues are increasingly turning to colleges to provide developmental systems. Football seems to be the main mover, supplying most of the operating funds for college athletics. I’m curious about participation rates in a professionalized football market. I would think there would be pressure to reduce team rosters as seen in current professional leagues. At least in basketball there is effectively revenue sharing, but in football not too much. Then what about “minor” sports, where there might be localized differences in profitability (eg here at U Hawaii Manoa women’s volleyball is profitable). But the world will survive whatever happens.

      1. Wango Tano

        Hockey and baseball require additional skill to play professionally. It is not possible for a baseball player to simply advance to the major leagues. It requires at least two years of minor league training. So these leagues do get a free farm system but it is not sufficient and the ability to judge a players talents is very difficult. Top college players do not always advance as expected and lesser valued players will become far better.

        In football and basketball, the athleticism is such and the sports so basic that they are able to use the NCAA as a free farm system and they bend over backward to satisfy the NCAA keep their top players for a sufficient time.

      2. Wango Tano

        In a professionalized football market, you would see roster sizes reduced. One of the main reasons for this would be that players would move from one college to another to make more money. The NCAA is already experiencing this with its elimination of the requirement of players to sit out a year upon transfer.

        College teams carry 85 players whereas professional teams carry 53. The reason college players carry more is because they need to do more development. In a professional system, players would be developed by lower level professional leagues and move up to higher level leagues. This is happening to some extent in the NCAA.

  6. Left in Wisconsin

    The only reason why this has seemed “impossible” to fix is because the NCAA has never wanted to. Otherwise, honestly, it doesn’t seem like that complicated of a problem.

    1. The NCAA should just grant college athletes 100% of any potential earnings from their name, image, likeness (NIL). It is just mean-spirited not to allow college athletes to sell autographs or not make a little $$ from their Madden likenesses.

    2. The vast majority of Division 1 athletes are already “paid” in college scholarships. Virtually all of the athletes in virtually all of the sports don’t/won’t generate any additional revenue and so little should change for them or their sports. The Katie Ladecky’s who choose to go to college in low-revenue sports can get their due without really changing the circumstances for everyone else in these sports and how the sports themselves are organized.

    3. For football and m/w basketball, there needs to be a two-track solution:

    a. Stars are going to have to get paid real money. This will no doubt change inter-personal dynamics between coaches, athletes, and schools but, honestly, as long as the $$ is flowing in, everyone involved has incentive to figure out how to make it work. All the US pro sports had dicey pasts in which players were underpaid and abused and they all have figured it out. The colleges/franchises and NCAA can too.

    b. Minimum salaries are going to have to be negotiated for the non-stars in these sports, paid out of the TV money that the NCAA and schools receive for football and basketball content. Maybe different by conference, or with different tiers of conferences. (Not sure how much TV money the MAC or Big Sky conference generate.)

    As is their way, the NCAA is guaranteed to slow-walk this thing as long as it can, but I have no doubt that when they are finally forced to find a solution, it will turn out to be no big deal. The only thing that is a big deal, and only to those who profited from the self-serving performative bullsh1t, is that the facade of “amateur” “student/athlete” sports being somehow special and above the law will be demolished. After that point, it’s all about money, which means it’s just a negotiation.

    One interesting thing that I have not heard discussed is how this will impact a college’s ability to determine eligibility. If you are paying the star quarterback a half-million a season, do you really want some overly-conscientious TA to take their eligibility away by flunking them in some stupid college course? Believe it or not, at least at my Big Ten U, this is a completely plausible scenario.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Why not do away with eligibility?

      Turn the athletes into university employees and offer tuition-discounted classes as part of the employee benefits package. I worked at a couple of universities and was offered this kind of deal. So were all of my coworkers.

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        That would make the most sense. Plus, the athletes could claim workers’ comp for injuries.

        1. redleg

          As a former college athlete who is experiencing the long-term effects of “gutting it out” and playing through injuries, this is incredibly important. I don’t know how many of us bottom-tier, non-revenue college athletes are out there limping around at 50 due to sports injuries, but I’ll bet its most of us. This would potentially help those kids out when it happens to them.

      2. Wango Tano

        The problem with that is you do away with the NCAA model and become a professional league. So the NCAA still needs to be a college. They can’t just become a professional league and have 25-year-old guys playing. It is not a model they want to pursue.

  7. none

    The Will Leitch article seems exactly right to me. If the university is collecting millions from television coverage of football games, the team is essentially a pro team affiliated with the university, just like the Visa cards that my school markets with the school’s logo are really ordinary bank products sold under a joint marketing deal.

    Kavanaugh writes:

    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; …

    but you could say the same thing of public hangings, spectacles where crowds gathered to be entertained by seeing someone suffer. Those were simply a barbaric practice no matter how much the viewers enjoyed them.

    If colleges want to collect revenue from pro sports they should do it the same way that they sell credit cards: have marketing deals with NFL/MLB/whatever teams or with the pro teams’ development leagues, so that pro games with pro athletes are played under the school’s banner. If they want to have amateur sports with unpaid student athletes, define those as being run like high school teams. No professional coaches (coaching at my high school was done by ordinary teachers, normally phys ed instructors but iirc one of my math teachers was also a sports coach); all games free of restrictions on attendees filming them and releasing the video for free (killing off broadcast revenue), etc.

    Also necessarily missing but surely needed: besides destroying the NCAA, the Olympics must also be destroyed. We’ll have to work on that one.

    Meanwhile, I’d like to know: if the NCAA has indeed been illegally monopolizing college athletics for decades, are the student athletes who were ripped off under this system entitled to compensation? That would be delicious.

    1. Another Scott

      One thing that’s important to note is that athletics are a cash drain for almost all schools of every size. Where does the money come from? Usually non-athlete students, who are unlikely to reap the same scholarship, tutors, and other benefits. Not to mention that the dorms needed to attract those athletes is a major contributor to the arms race, which primarily benefits administrators and contractors?

      There really is only one solution: End College Athletics.

      1. Objective Ace

        >One thing that’s important to note is that athletics are a cash drain for almost all schools of every size.

        I know this to be true, but I dont understand why. Its not a problem for high school sports, which are largely the same sports. If colleges wanted to cut down on these expenses while still offering them, I dont think it would be very difficult. If they dont want to cut down on the expense because for whatever reason those expenses generate other positive externalities that are less quantifiable, thats fine too. Colleges arent supposed to generate profit and neither are any of the specific department/activities

        1. Wango Tano

          It is not true. It is fake accounting. There is no cost to a college scholarship except travel expense and food. The housing is funded from tuition of non-athletes and has been paid for. So they expense up scholarships by charging themselves for a player. So the school charges the athletic department. This creates a debt for the athletic department that does not exist. The athletic department then has to cover this debt which is how administrators take their skim. Fans very readily accept this narrative and it has been going on for so long the schools actually believe it.

          The University of Kansas made over $20 million dollars playing sports but claimed it barely made any money. When asked how it was possible how they did not make any money, the athletic director explained that the coaches and administrators were making millions.

          1. Wango Tano

            Even better, schools also get Pell Grants for their players which the school receives as a means of paying for their “scholarship.” This money gets paid to the school and winds up going directly into the coaches and administrators pockets.

            They also have donors pay for their “scholarships” which they happily do. This is just free money but counts as donations to the university so you do not have to expense it.

    2. Basil Pesto

      but you could say the same thing of public hangings

      Could you though? For one thing, participants in a public hanging only get to take the field once.

  8. Paul

    Good work Jerri-Lynn

    Trade X number of years of education, medical, disability, other benefits for every day/week/month/year/game/practice whatever the formula. Signing bonus/benefits? Attempt to use this evolving situation to test drive linkages between labor & corporate (University), C-Suite, management on salaries, benefits & deferred compensation/retirement-pension credits?

    Accrued benefits fully transferable if a collegiate athlete should change workplaces. Would act as a Junior College, Division III & other feeder systems wrap around. (Perhaps via government corporation managed benefit systems? Patterned after TSP, FEHBP/MEDICARE + revamped PBGC?).

    Undoubtedly a mechanism for Title IX, greater equality of total compensation, facilities quality, availability and other aspects will be found. A good reference is the recent personal history & steadfast attitude of Sedona Prince at the University of Oregon, Eugene (Nice reference Justice Kavanaugh & you J-L). One of a number of great case-legislative vehicles available to address facilities, medical & other aspects of employment.

    I’m sure there are Adjunct & Associate professionals keenly aware of evolving potentialities in broadening the scope of reforms.

    Undoubtedly financialization will be crafted for niche sponsorships of top talent. All one need do is look at the relationship between Alex Honnold & North Face for illumination.

    A red letter day in SCOTUS history addressing a bulwark of anti-trust.


  9. Maritimer

    “…speaks to just how quickly the public sentiment on paying athletes [vaccinating humans]— something not disconnected from how many billions television [vaccination] contracts suddenly poured into the sport [medical industry] over the last decade — has changed.”
    Remember Big Tobacco! US Racketeers/Oligopolists/Monopolists must be scrambling for legal intel on what is going on. Meanwhile, personal injury lawyers and law firms must be wetting their lips as they view the unfolding vaccine landscape. There seem to have been numerous constitutional and civil rights already never mind actual medical harm and death. For starters, I would not want to be the VAERS Manager.

  10. Wango Tano

    The NCAA has a lot in its favor here. First, it is not only a monopoly but its conferences also operate monopolies. So there is an argument that paying players will create unbalanced competition even though that imbalance already exists.

    You also have Enron accounting in college sports where schools are able to claim losses from playing sports when they are actually making a lot of money because they expense scholarship costs.

    Then you have the Title IX thing with women’s athletics where they argue if you pay the football players, you will have to pay the female athletes the same amount so they can’t pay anybody.

    The solution is to just mandate that schools pay market rates and figure it out for themselves. If they do not do it correctly, they can be sued.

    1. griffen

      I cannot find agreement here. They benefit and in fact have greatly flourished as your bigger individual programs began signing exclusive contracts with shoe companies as of the mid 90s. Favoring your bigger programs like Duke, UNC, UK etc…in men’s hoops. The revenue sports generate the funds to sponsor the non revenue sports.

      UNC, for example, has the Educational Foundation. Essentially a means to direct donors to sponsor or subsidize the athletic programs. Further, I think Ohio State leads the country in terms of revenue. TV revenue again favoring your larger, well known teams and conferences. Because eyeballs at home means ratings.

      College sports is sitting on a gold mine, much thanks to antitrust exempt status. They’ll play with fire if that is ever pulled.

      1. Wango Tano

        Yes, it has a societal institutional bias. An alternative cannot be conceived of. The issue is very complex. It is rooted in monopoly that both fans, schools and politicians favor. There can only be minor adjustments. But even minor adjustments would be a huge step forward.

      2. Wango Tano

        It is always an interesting argument that these non-revenue sports could not exist without the revenue sports because every college in the country has them even when they play non-scholarship.

  11. Wango Tano

    The way the world should work is that professional football should not be a monopoly. The NFL is a monopoly and the NCAA is a monopoly. This has knock down effects all the way down that make it impossible to have fair competition when these requirements have to be met. The public highly values the NCAA model and you have the racial aspect of paying black college players which is really strong as football is heavily a Southern sport.

    These schools have to be put on an even playing field where any school is able to compete with another school without being subject to conference television dollars determining the wealthy schools. The NCAA needs to implement revenue sharing between its conferences but there is no way that is happening.

  12. Wango Tano

    One of the things that is going to help to end this system is the new endorsements that the players are going to start to receive. Some of these contracts are going to be very significant and the shoe companies are going to start to act as de facto agents for the athletes. There is now a huge amount of transferring going on in college sports as players try to get playing time to make it to the pros. This is now going to be organized by the shoe companies who are going to have deals with every player. They will transfer players between schools which they have a contract with. They will also transfer highly valued players at losing schools to winning schools for the financial incentives.

    This will likely result in many schools losing control of their recruiting and it will become far cheaper to actually pay players than pay coaches that are primarily hired because of their recruiting abilities rather than their coaching abilities.

Comments are closed.