By Ben Sullivan
The Supreme Court has unanimously sided with a group of former college athletes in a dispute with the NCAA over rules limiting certain compensation.
The high court ruled today that NCAA limits on the education-related benefits that colleges can offer athletes who play Division I basketball and football can’t be enforced.
“It’s tremendous to win this 9-0. Hopefully it will be the major next step on the road to a true fair competitive system for these athletes. It should have positive effects immediately on NIL. We look forward to a world that’s better for college athletes today than it was yesterday,” Jeffrey Kessler, the plaintiffs’ attorney, told ESPN.
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 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 education-related benefits for things such as computers, graduate scholarships, tutoring, study abroad and internships.