Supreme Court backs student-athlete payments in NCAA case
In April, Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA, said he was seeking “clarification on what the law is, clarification on who is responsible for what, clarification on how these issues will be decided, whether either through Congressional processes, legal processes, or through the NCAA Decision Making Process.
In Monday’s ruling, Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, writing for the court, took a measured approach, saying his task was simply to assess a limited injunction issued by a trial judge, an injunction that authorized payment of things like musical instruments, scientific equipment, postgraduate studies. scholarships, tutoring, study abroad, academic awards and internships. It did not authorize the outright payment of wages.
âSome will think the district court did not go far enough,â Judge Gorsuch wrote. “By allowing colleges and universities to deliver enhanced educational benefits, his decision may encourage academic success and allow student-athletes a measure of compensation more consistent with the value they bring to their schools.” Yet some will see it as a poor substitute for more complete relief. “
âAt the same time, others will think the district court has gone too far in undervaluing the social benefits associated with amateur athletics,â he added.
Judge Kavanaugh’s concurring opinion was more daring.
âThe NCAA is making its case for not paying student athletes under harmless labels,â he wrote. âBut labels can’t hide the reality: The NCAA business model would be downright illegal in almost every other industry in America. “
“Not all restaurants in a region can unite to reduce cook wages based on the theory that” customers prefer “to eat food from poorly paid cooks,” he writes. “Law firms cannot conspire for cabin attorney salaries in the name of providing legal services out of ‘love of the law’.”
âThe pricing job is the pricing job,â Justice Kavanaugh wrote. âAnd the pricing of labor is generally a classic antitrust problem because it extinguishes the free market in which individuals can otherwise get fair compensation for their labor. “