WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — The president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) said Monday he “remains committed” to advocating for student-athlete name, image, and likeness after the Supreme Court decided unanimously that the NCAA can’t enforce rules limiting education-related benefits.
“Even though the decision does not directly address name, image, and likeness, the NCAA remains committed to supporting NIL benefits for student-athletes,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert in a statement to NewsNation. “Additionally, we remain committed to working with Congress to chart a path forward, which is a point the Supreme Court expressly stated in its ruling.”
The high court sided 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.
The suit was brought on by former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston, who 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.
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.
The case doesn’t determine if student-athletes can be paid monetarily. 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, computers, internships, and graduate scholarships.
Still, experts say this is a blow to the NCAA’s business model.
“The notion of amateurism is dead,” professional athlete agent Doug Eldridge said. “We have professional TikTokers, influencers, and eSports is a polite name for video gamers – all of whom are compensated in the multiple millions and they’re creating a cabin billion-dollar industry.”
NCAA currently rules states students cannot be paid and the scholarship money colleges can offer is capped at the cost of attending the school.