High court sides with ex-athletes in NCAA compensation case

United States Courts

The Supreme Court decided unanimously Monday that the NCAA can’t enforce rules limiting education-related benefits — like computers and paid internships — that colleges offer to student athletes.

The case doesn’t decide whether students can be paid salaries. Instead, the ruling will help determine whether schools decide to offer athletes tens of thousands of dollars in those benefits for things including tutoring, study abroad programs and graduate scholarships.

The high court agreed with a group of former college athletes that NCAA limits on the education-related benefits that colleges can offer athletes who play Division I basketball and football are unenforceable.

Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the court that the NCAA sought “immunity from the normal operation of the antitrust laws,” which the court declined to grant.

Under current NCAA rules, students cannot be paid, and the scholarship money colleges can offer is capped at the cost of attending the school. The NCAA had defended its rules as necessary to preserve the amateur nature of college sports.

But the former athletes who brought the case, including former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston, argued that the NCAA’s rules on education-related compensation were unfair and violate federal antitrust law designed to promote competition. The Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling barring the NCAA from enforcing those rules.

As a result of the ruling, the NCAA itself can’t bar schools from sweetening their offers to Division I basketball and football players with additional education-related benefits. But individual athletic conferences can still set limits if they choose.

Related listings

  • Iowa’s high court stops lawsuit over farm runoff pollution

    Iowa’s high court stops lawsuit over farm runoff pollution

    United States Courts 06/18/2021

    A sharply divided Iowa Supreme Court on Friday stopped a lawsuit aimed at reducing the flow of fertilizer and hog farm waste into the state’s river and streams, finding that limiting pollution from farms was a political matter and not one for t...

  • Supreme Court: Guam can pursue $160M dump cleanup lawsuit

    Supreme Court: Guam can pursue $160M dump cleanup lawsuit

    United States Courts 05/24/2021

    The Supreme Court says the U.S. territory of Guam can pursue a $160 million lawsuits against the federal government over the cost of cleaning up a landfill on the island. The justices on Monday unanimously overturned a a lower court decision that had...

  • 9th Circuit ends California ban on high-capacity magazines

    9th Circuit ends California ban on high-capacity magazines

    United States Courts 08/12/2020

    A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday threw out California’s ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines, saying the law violates the U.S. Constitution’s protection of the right to bear firearms.“Even ...

Is Now the Time to Really Call a Special Education Lawyer?

IDEA, FAPE, CHILD FIND and IEPs: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees all children with disabilities to a free appropriate public education (FAPE). FAPE starts with a school’s responsibility to identify that a child has a disability (Child Find) and create an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to suit the needs of the child. Parents need to be persistent, dedicated and above all else aware of the many services and accommodations that their child is entitled to under the law. As early as this point within your child’s special education, many parents will often find themselves in the situation asking, “is now the time to really call a special education lawyer.” Here are a few things to consider when asking yourself that question.