The unanimous Supreme Court ruling against the NCAA means there is no limit to “education-related benefits” schools can offer athletes, opening the door for massive changes in recruiting and potentially impacting how name, image, and likeness (NIL) legislation is handled.
NCAA v Alston Supreme Court Ruling Could Alter College Sports Forever
Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the Supreme Court’s opinion for NCAA v Alston, and Justice Brett Kavanaugh penned his congruent opinion with even stronger language.
“The NCAA couches its arguments for not paying student athletes in innocuous labels,” Kavanaugh wrote. “But the labels cannot disguise the reality: The NCAA’s business model would be flatly illegal in almost any other industry in America. … The NCAA is not above the law.”
The decision determined that the NCAA’s limit on education-related benefits was a violation of antitrust law and that schools can compensate athletes in an unlimited manner as long as it’s education related.
Multiple state laws are set to take effect July 1 regarding NIL. NCAA President Mark Emmert had previously recommended the organization create its own NIL rules before or shortly after those laws become reality. After the Supreme Court’s ruling in NCAA v Alston, he urged membership to “enact rules before the end of the month.”
With the Supreme Court’s ruling, the impending NIL laws, the consistent movements among athletes lately and more, the momentum is clearly moving against the NCAA’s current amateurism model.
“It’s tremendous to win this 9-0,” Jeffrey Kessler, the lead plaintiff’s attorney, told ESPN. “Hopefully it will be the major next step on the road to a true fair competitive system for these athletes.”
This decision creates another set of questions: the gray area of “education-related benefits.” Time will tell what that definition includes, and it’s likely that schools and recruiters will stretch it to its absolute limits.
Now for some other news from across the sport this week:
Nothing But News: June 22-28, 2021
The NBA Playoffs have been incredible, and Deandre Ayton’s alley-oop buzzer beater in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals fit into the chaos well.
USA Basketball unveiled its roster for the 2021 U.S. Olympic Men’s Team: Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns), Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets), Jerami Grant (Detroit Pistons), Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors), Jrue Holiday (Milwaukee Bucks), Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers), Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks), and Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics).
The U.S. Olympic Women’s Team roster was also released: Ariel Atkins (Washington Mystics), Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Tina Charles (Washington Mystics), Napheesa Collier (Minnesota Lynx), Skylar Diggins-Smith (Phoenix Mercury), Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx), Chelsea Gray (Las Vegas Aces), Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury), Jewell Lloyd (Seattle Storm), Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm), Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), and A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces).
Trevion Williams is returning to Purdue after withdrawing from the NBA Draft.
Virginia Tech extended head men’s basketball coach Mike Young’s contract by three years.
The matchups for the Big 12/SEC Challenge were released, with Kentucky at Kansas and Baylor at Alabama headlining the pairings.