Supreme Court: NCAA loses major antitrust case involving athlete pay. Now what?

Supreme Court: NCAA loses major antitrust case involving athlete pay. Now what?
Ohio State DT #97 Deontre Thomas sacks Nebraska QB Tanner Lee in the 56-14 Buckeye victory on 14 Oct 2017. (Image: Screen grab of Fox Sports video, YouTube)

[Ed. – The way this will ruin college sports will indirect and multifaceted.  Just one slice: if schools have to start paying the athletes in the high-revenue sports, the lawsuits over lesser or non-pay status for athletes in low- or negative-revenue sports will start immediately.  But it will be impossible to justify paying the golf team or women’s lacrosse the same thing as football and basketball players – or paying them at all, for that matter.  On average, the schools with a lot of varied programs can only sponsor red-ink sports, much less pay the athletes, because of football and basketball.  Sports are a positive factor in so many other ways, but fighting over the money can’t end well.]

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Monday against the NCAA in an antitrust case that may lead to dramatic changes to the landscape of college athletics.

The opinion in NCAA v. Alston was authored by Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, who outlined the court’s rationale in declining to accede to the NCAA’s request for “immunity from the normal operation of the antitrust laws.” …

[T]he harshest critique of the NCAA came from Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s concurring opinion …

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“Nowhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing not to pay their workers a fair market rate on the theory that their product is defined by not paying their workers a fair market rate,” Kavanaugh wrote. “And under ordinary principles of antitrust law, it is not evident why college sports should be any different.”

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