The NCAA lost a major court case to former college athletes this week in the nation’s highest court. A unanimous 9-0 ruling against the NCAA was reached by the court in a rare bipartisan decision. The court ruled that the NCA was violating antitrust laws by placing limits on the amount of education-related benefits that a school can provide to student-athletes. Schools may now provide unlimited benefits to their athletes as long as it is education-based. Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the court’s opinion and that can read here.
Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the NCAA: pic.twitter.com/1w41BIbJai
— PFF College (@PFF_College) June 22, 2021
This victory for college athletes will likely open the NCAA to more court cases or even a federal NIL bill in Congress. There has already been much debate in Congress about that very thing. The NCAA has challenged NIL bills that have passed in state legislatures already and will likely do the same thing if one were to pass the at the federal level. The NCAA does say it is committed to a federal NIL bill, but the sincerity could be questioned. NCAA President Mark Emmert had the following to say after the case.
“Even though the decision does not directly address name, image, and likeness, the NCAA remains committed to supporting NIL benefits for student-athletes, additionally, we remain committed to working with Congress to chart a path forward, which is a point the Supreme Court expressly stated in its ruling.”
It is possible that the NCAA has decided that a NIL bill will be impossible to stop and wants to be involved in the making of that bill to continue to protect its interests. This court case is a massive win for college athletes but will likely continue to be a messy affair.