NCAA in apparent denial about impact of Monday’s Supreme Court ruling

2019 NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship
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Following Monday’s gutting of its authority by the U.S. Supreme Court, the NCAA needs to work through the five stages of grief, quickly.

Currently, the governing body of college sports seems to be stuck firmly in denial.

Via Michael Smith of Sports Business Journal, NCAA president Mark Emmert wants the D-I Council (which convened yesterday and will meet again today) to pass name, image and likeness rules that will apply to all member institutions. Per the report, Emmert wants “new NIL rules that will be more restrictive than the six state laws that take effect July 1.”

That would be a gigantic mistake, a total misreading of Monday’s 9-0 unanimous decision and the clear warning from the concurring opinion filed by Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“The one thing this 9-0 decision made clear is the NCAA is fully subject to the antitrust laws,” attorney Jeffrey Kessler, who represented the plaintiffs in the landmark case, tells Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal. “It has no special exemption for amateurism. . . . To the extent the NCAA imposes NIL restrictions, new limitations, yeah, you can bet somebody is going to scrutinize it and probably file a case over it.”

Indeed they will. With the Supreme Court making it clear that the entire business model is a ruse built on amateur athletics and aimed at not fairly sharing the wealth with those who primarily generate it, the extension of that effort to promote amateurism — preventing the athletes from separately generating revenue through their fame — CLEARLY violates the law, as articulated by the highest court in the nation.

“A number of conferences are pushing the NCAA to basically back out of all of it, and let the individual schools set their own names, images and likeness policies,” Kessler told Mullen. “Let each school decide its own rules and get out of all of this regulation.”

That’s exactly what the NCAA should do. Even conferences that set rules create risks of antitrust violations. Collusion claims also could be made if these schools coincidentally end up with the exact same rules. That’s because all rules limiting free enterprise for student athletes create risk in the wake of Monday’s decision. It creates an existential threat for the NCAA, a governing body which in many ways can no longer govern if its efforts to do so represent clear and obvious antitrust violations.

“If the NCAA can’t even enforce its own rules, what purpose does it serve?” a high-ranking college administrator told Smith.

“It’s time to wave the white flag,” another told Smith. “We need to adapt to the new laws of the land. . . . The NCAA can’t keep operating from the same old playbook.”

That’s the correct view. If, however, there’s nothing for the NCAA to do under the new laws of the land, there’s no reason for the NCAA to continue, at least not in its current form.

It shouldn’t. The NCAA has been the mechanism of rules and regulations that has allowed hundreds of colleges and universities to hide behind a faςade of amateurism FOR DECADES in order to deny fair compensation to those who play what has become professional sports without professional athletes.

The game is over. The NCAA is dead. And it looks like the NCAA will be the last one to acknowledge that which anyone else with a functioning brain realizes.

20 responses to “NCAA in apparent denial about impact of Monday’s Supreme Court ruling

  1. Guh. Now money has moved its way into college football like it did into pro ‘sports’, so now college football’s spirit will die like all the players-get-rich ‘sports’ have died.
    Long live athletics and long live lawyers. $$$ blah blah blah

  2. Mark Emmert might as well be the captain of the Titanic ordering the deck chairs be rearranged while the ship is sinking. Goodbye NCAA, your ridiculous rules and salaries and good riddance. You can’t take advantage of young athletes any more.

  3. i suggest the high school players are next to bet on their NIL…there is more to high school recruiting than meets the eye…then the kid’s playground leagues are next…where is going to end in the womb?

  4. If college athletes are going to use their own likeness to make money then perhaps schools should pull all scholarships for athletics. It would make it pretty obvious pretty quickly that only the elite can make any money off their likeness.

  5. I don’t know what the answer is but I do believe that allowing the individual schools to make their own rules is tantamount to putting the fox in the hen house with the chickens and saying it is better now because you know where he is.
    The schools make up the NCAA. Who thinks they can be trusted?

  6. yup – colleges should just start making players pay for schooling (or get educational scholarships, grants, loans, whatever). No need to give kids free education when they are allowed to make money on their own.


  7. The NCAA attitudes toward amateur athletics is based on mid-1800s England and have not changed since their founding. Not changing with the times and the rulings will be their demise.

  8. The NCAA powers that be are desperate to preserve their own status, so of course they’re in denial. Could be more than that, though. They might be convinced that there will be a legislative bailout for them. I doubt it, but magical thinking goes hand in hand with denial.

  9. This is the end of amateur sports at the collegiate level. All those scholarship athletes in minor sports need to start looking for student loans to pay for their college education. The football and basketball players are going to suck all the revenue out of college sports.

  10. I think the current and future college players will ensure the NCAA adhere to the Supreme Courts judgement, it will be for the colleges who adapt quickest who benefit most in the short term.

    Imagine Arch Manning’s price ??

  11. sundanz56 says:
    June 23, 2021 at 9:03 am
    This is the end of amateur sports……..
    I don’t think so. This only applies to the use of the images of student athletes and, quite frankly, nobody has the right to use pictures of said athletes without either their permission or remuneration. It applies implicitly to everybody including the Sousaphone player in the band but we all know those guys and gals don’t get a lot of call for use of their images. The ruling does favor athletes so it is unfair to the majority of students in schools. I’m absolutely in favor of this ruling but not any future attempots to pay syudent athletes for their services.

  12. Lot of people in here thinking the schools will ever pay athletes something besides scholarships. The reality is that players will be paid by boosters. EA will get to put out College Football again. Schools will still have an incentive to pay out scholarships because they will still be making money off of the backs of players and most college players don’t need to be paid more than scholarships. The real win from all of this is that the boosters will finally be able to open their checkbooks in the open and really compare their egos.

  13. marthisdil says:
    June 23, 2021 at 8:42 am
    yup – colleges should just start making players pay for schooling (or get educational scholarships, grants, loans, whatever). No need to give kids free education when they are allowed to make money on their own.


    13 8 Rate This


    Good luck continuing college sports, especially football and basketball, under that model

  14. I completely agree that these kids should be getting paid. At the same time, we aren’t far off from a whole lot of college football (and other sports) just closing up shop when they can’t generate enough money to pay salaries. These kids’ rights as players sacrificing their health trumps my right to watch a ton of college football, but I know I’m not going to like where it all ends up.

  15. “Guh. Now money has moved its way into college football like it did into pro ‘sports’, so now college football’s spirit will die like all the players-get-rich ‘sports’ have died.”

    Money made its way into college football decades ago as evidenced by the universities, coaches, athletic directors and NCAA all shamelessly getting rich. But we can’t have the players getting their fair share because the “spirit would die” of the gigantic money machine.

  16. I think we might be ignoring the obvious- they will need to let kids cash in on their likeness. they don’t cut other sports or title 9 related activity. They will still grant scholarships to attract elite talent. Boosters are still illegal, so where will the difference be made? How about the remainder of the student body- non-athletes. Think tuition is ridiculous now? Wait until this is somehow passed on to cover any costs laid out by the school. Think they’ll go in the red over this? Not a chance.

  17. Me and my teammates did a Century 21 commercial when we were in High School. We got paid $250 for a days work (a lot for a HS kid in the 80’s). Our coach informed us that we had to donate the checks because we wore uniforms and did a little running. We got paid for our likeness so he confirmed with the league that we would lose our amateur status and couldn’t play HS or College ball. Total BS. Every other egghead could get paid for their likeness….

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