On Monday, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the NCAA cannot prevent student-athletes from receiving certain forms of financial aid for their education. Overturning a lower court decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the NCAA violated antitrust laws by limiting how much student-athletes were allowed to receive for expenses related to their education like postgraduate scholarships, paid internships, and tutoring.
This decision is limited to only benefits and payments related to education. Still, the impact of this ruling is far more significant than initially thought, as this opens the door for the conversation on student-athletes getting paid for their participation in sports. These athletes bring in billions of dollars of revenue to the universities and colleges that these athletes compete for, but they rarely reap any benefits for their hard work.
"The NCAA is not above the law," stated Justice Brett Kavanaugh. "The NCAA couches its arguments for not paying student-athletes in innocuous labels. But the labels cannot disguise the reality: the NCAA's business model would be flatly illegal in almost any other industry in America."
In the past few years, the NCAA has received a lot of scrutiny for the limitations they have been placing on student-athletes since the organization's beginning. NCAA President Mark Emmert came back with the statement, "Even though the decision does not directly address name, image, and likeness, the NCAA remains committed to supporting NIL benefits for student-athletes. Additionally, we remain committed to working with Congress to chart a path forward, which is a point the Supreme Court expressly stated in its ruling."
This is a huge step for college athletes, as schools can now support their athletes with compensation related to continuing the student's education. The Supreme Court victory is another win for advocates following the myriad of state laws that have passed that will allow student-athletes to profit off of their name, image, and likeness taking effect this summer.