The Supreme Court has made a decision that is going to have far-reaching effects on college sports and could change it forever.
Siding with student-athletes, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the organization’s bid to maintain limits on education-related compensation for them that critics have said help maintain the fiction of amateurism in college sports.
The court ruled 9–0 that the NCAA’s curbs on non-cash payments to college athletes related to education — including benefits such as computers, science equipment and musical instruments — are anticompetitive under a federal law called the Sherman Antitrust Act. The NCAA is the major governing body for U.S. intercollegiate sports.
The decision further weakens the NCAA’s efforts to defend its restrictive existing system regarding student compensation, which is under fire on multiple fronts. Although the case did not involve direct payments to athletes, the wider issue of player compensation — also including the ability to profit off their name, image and likeness — has increasingly become a point of contention. College sports bring in billions of dollars in revenue.