As the NCAA prepares for one of its annual highs, the NCAA could be on the verge of facing its biggest loss in years, if ever.
Oral arguments in the United States Supreme Court in a lawsuit led by former West Virginia running back Shawne Alston included questions from judges suggesting the NCAA may finally be faced with the inability to compensate football players and other athletes for the billions in revenue they generate. .
This is an antitrust claim, alleging that the NCAA illegally and artificially places the ability of colleges to compete for players, limiting the total expenses a school will incur for its athletes. A federal appeals court previously ruled that the NCAA was not allowed to limit benefits to education costs alone. Even if the decision did not call for the payment of wages, it opened the door to elements such as, via the New York Times, “musical instruments, scientific equipment, scholarships for graduate studies, tutoring, study abroad, academic scholarships and internships”.
The NCAA’s best argument is that fans somehow appreciate amateur status. This argument, frankly, is bullspit-wrapped hogwash.
“Consumers are likely to come to view NCAA athletics as another form of minor league sport,” the NCAA argued in written documents filed with the Supreme Court.
In fact, most consumers view NCAA sports like football and basketball as another form of MAJOR league sports, the only difference being that players are not compensated fairly for their ability, risk and risk. their sacrifices.
The plaintiffs are represented by Jeffrey Kessler, a longtime lawyer for the NFL Players Association. The pleadings show aggressive questioning on both sides, with Judge Brett Kavanaugh making the fiercest attack on the NCAA. Via Gabe Feldman, Kavanaugh asked if the NCAA used the notion of amateurism as “cover for exploitation of collegiate athletes. Additionally, Judge Clarence Thomas (who rarely asks lawyers questions during oral argument), asked if the NCAA was trying to limit the remuneration of coaches in the same way it tries to limit the remuneration of the sportsmen, in the name of the amateurism.
Kavanaugh added, via Nicole Auerbach of TheAthletic.com, “It appears that … schools are conspiring with competitors to do not pay workers wages that make schools billions of dollars on the theory that consumers want schools to pay their workers nothing. “
While many fans will argue that athletes should be happy with “free education,” few would be reluctant to see athletes getting a fair share of the income they generate. This is ultimately what it is about college football – fairness and fairness to players who have no choice (in part thanks to the inherently unfair waiting period). three years implemented by the NFL and NFLPA) but to play college football for peanuts in order to have a chance to earn a lot more as a pro.