In N.C.A.A. Case, Supreme Court Backs Payments to Student-Athletes

In April, NCAA president Mark Emmert said he was looking for “clarity about what the law is, clarity about who is responsible for what, clarity about how these issues will be resolved, whether through congressional processes, legal process or through.” “NCAA decision-making processes.”

In Monday’s ruling, Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, who wrote for the court, took a measured approach, saying his role was only to review an injunction issued by a trial judge that would limit payments for things like musical instruments, scientific equipment, Postgraduates made scholarships, tuition, study abroad, academic awards and internships possible. It did not allow the direct payment of salaries.

“Some will think that the district court did not go far enough,” wrote Judge Gorsuch. “By allowing colleges and universities to offer enhanced educational benefits, their choices can boost academic performance and provide student athletes with compensation commensurate with the value they bring to their schools. Still, some will see this as a poor substitute for broader relief. “

“At the same time, others will argue that the district court has gone too far by underestimating the social benefits associated with amateur sport,” he added.

Judge Kavanaugh’s consensus opinion was bolder.

“The NCAA formulates its case for not paying student athletes in harmless labels,” he wrote. “But the labels can’t disguise the reality: the NCAA’s business model would be downright illegal in almost every other industry in America.”

“Not all restaurants in a region can come together to cut chefs’ wages because customers prefer to eat food from underpaid chefs,” he wrote. “Law firms cannot conspire to pay cabinet attorneys’ salaries out of ‘love of the law’ in the name of providing legal services.”

“The price-fixing work is the price-fixing work,” wrote Judge Kavanaugh. “And labor pricing is usually an antitrust textbook problem because it kills the free market where individuals can otherwise get fair pay for their work.”

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