Comp News – The Supreme Court has passed a landmark ruling in favor of Division I college athletes, voting 9-0 against the NCAA in a battle over compensation rights for students.
The Supreme Court handed a unanimous victory Monday to Division I college athletes in their fight against the National Collegiate Athletic Association over caps it sought to impose on compensation related to education.
The court voted 9-0 to affirm lower court rulings that found that antitrust law prevented the NCAA from restricting payments to athletes for items such as musical instruments or as compensation for internships. The justices rejected the NCAA’s argument that its players’ amateur status would be impossible to maintain if they could receive pay, even for education-related expenses.
The outcome was largely expected following oral argument in March. The decision upheld an injunction imposed by a federal district court that barred the NCAA from limiting “compensation and benefits related to education.” The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier approved of the injunction.
“Put simply, this suit involves admitted horizontal price fixing in a market where the defendants exercise monopoly control,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the court.
The ruling will open the door for college athletes to receive considerably more compensation from the multi-billion dollar sports industry they participate in.
Justice Kavanaugh particularly singled out the validity of the NCAA’s business practices as they fall under antitrust laws.
“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,” Kavanaugh wrote.
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