THE PROSPECT OF PAY-FOR-PLAY IN COLLEGIATE ATHLETICS: IS THIS THE END OF THE NCAA?
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe NCAA, previously known as the IAA until 1910, was developed to regulate intercollegiate athletics. In response to the increasing commercialization of college athletics and public pressures, the NCAA implemented more stringent regulatory systems to govern student-athletes. In doing so, they limited the financial and opportunistic benefits athletes were allowed to receive and backed their governing structure on the ideal of amateurism. Until recently, NCAA rules prohibited student-athletes from being compensated for their names, images, and likenesses in any form. This includes financial aid exceeding the cost of attendance at their respective schools, contracts with any professional team, endorsements, and any other pay based on athletic ability. The NCAA’s amateurism model has come under attack for the exploitation of student-athletes. In several major cases, concerns were raised that the NCAA’s stringent rules were subject to antitrust laws and created unlawful restraints of trade. Through heavy litigation in cases such as O’Bannon v. NCAA and NCAA v. Alston, these concerns were confirmed. Using the Rule of Reason to interpret the Sherman Antitrust Act, it was held that the NCAA’s rules restricting education-related benefits violated federal antitrust laws. This ruling did not concern restrictions untethered to education, but in response to state laws being passed regarding such matters, the NCAA opened up existing constraints. This study aims to look at the implications of this ruling and its impact on student-athletes and NCAA member schools. These implications include how NIL activities will proceed without a federal law, how competitive balance will be preserved between bigger and smaller schools, and how student-athletes and member schools alike will be financially impacted.