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High court sides with ex-athletes in NCAA compensation case

Supreme Court
Posted at 10:55 AM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 13:55:07-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has decided unanimously that the NCAA cannot enforce rules limiting education-related benefits that colleges offer to student-athletes — things like computers and paid internships.

Monday's ruling will help determine whether schools decide to offer athletes tens of thousands of dollars in those benefits for things including tutoring, study abroad programs, and graduate scholarships.

The case doesn't decide whether students can be paid salaries.

The case was brought by former athletes, including former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston.

The former student-athletes said the rules on education-related compensation set by the NCAA "were unfair and violated federal antitrust law designed to promote competition," the Associated Press reported.

Under current NCAA rules, students cannot be paid, and the scholarship money colleges can offer is capped at the cost of attending the school.

The NCAA had defended its rules as necessary to preserve the amateur nature of college sports.

As it stands now, student-athletes do not receive any of the billions of dollars generated by ticket sales, TV contracts, or merchandise featuring them.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote that "nowhere else in America can businesses get away" with such actions and argued that "the NCAA is not above the law."