Court Rules NCAA Can’t Limit Education-Related Benefits For Athletes

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William Davis Contributor
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The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled Monday against the NCAA, saying college athletics’ governing body cannot limit the education-related benefits that athletes can receive.

The court upheld a ruling from last year that said the NCAA was violating anti-trust laws by capping educational scholarships. The scope of the ruling does not address benefits unrelated to education. (RELATED: LeBron James Endorses ‘Fair Pay To Play’ California Bill)

9th Circuit Judge Milan Smith did not mince words when explaining his decision to rule against the NCAA. (RELATED: Report: Alabama May Play TCU Week One Instead Of USC)

“The treatment of Student-Athletes is not the result of free market competition,” Smith wrote. “To the contrary, it is the result of a cartel of buyers acting in concert to artificially depress the price that sellers could otherwise receive for their services. Our antitrust laws were originally meant to prohibit exactly this kind of distortion.”

It’s hard to say exactly what this means for the future of college athletics as this case could continue to go through the court system, and possibly all the way to the Supreme Court. While this specific case does not address non-educational related benefits, a case like that could arise in the future.

The NCAA has recently suggested an openness to players benefiting from their name and likeness, and that seems like a step in the right direction. Allowing schools to pay players could turn college sports into anarchy, but I don’t see anything wrong with extending full educational benefits and allowing athletes to make money off their name and likeness.