Supreme Court makes decision in Alston v NCAA
Collegiate student-athletes earned a victory on Monday as the US Supreme Court unanimously sided with the district courts in favor of compensation for athletes. The ruling is a significant step toward paying student-athletes and reforming the NCAA as we know it.
The court stated that if the NCAA were any other business, it would have been violating antitrust laws by not paying student-athletes and that the compensation was necessary as long as it somehow ties to the student-athletes' education.
This movement has been in the works for a long time and seemed to gain momentum in 2015, when Northwestern football players attempted to unionize and call for better treatment from the NCAA. That led to an investigation into the organization that resulted in recommendations to reform.
There were also player-led protests during this year's NCAA Basketball Torunament that almost jeopardized the playing of some games.
The NCAA has always held that student-athletes were amateurs, not professionals, and therefore not employees. However, that line is constantly crossed by some programs and becomes increasingly more blurry as time goes on. It was only a matter of time before the student-athletes would receive proper benefits for their sacrifices and time commitment by legal means, or even more problems could have arisen.
How exactly the NCAA moves forward and implements any changes is still to be determined. This ruling also does not involve the on-going name, image, and likeness issue. Regardless, it is a step forward for college athletes.