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Student athletes won the U.S. Supreme Court challenge against the NCAA

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled among student-athletes that they brought an antitrust challenge against the National Collegiate Athletic Association, in a blockbuster decision that could reshape the more than $ 14bn United States sports industry.

The nine court judges unanimously ruled that the restrictions set by the NCAA, the governing body of U.S. college sports, on the benefits of education for student-athletes were unfair.

“Enabling colleges and universities to offer advanced benefits in relation to education, [the lower court’s] The decision can encourage academic success and allow student-athletes a measure of compensation more consistent with the value they bring to their schools, ”Judge Neil Gorsuch wrote in the court’s opinion.

In an agreement, Judge Brett Kavanaugh discussed NCAA practices more broadly, writing, “The NCAA business model would be completely illegal in almost any other industry in America.”

The decision is the most significant challenge for the American college sports business model, whose traditions date back more than a century and in some cases serve as a de facto talent pipeline for many U.S. professional leagues, including football and in the basket.

The NCAA and its member universities argue that preserving the amateur status of participating athletes is critical to the appeal of college sports, an argument that judges have found unconvincing.

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“Colleges and universities across the country have exploited the sport to earn revenue, attract attention, increase enrollment, and raise money from seniors,” the court wrote in its summary of the case. “This profitable venture is based on ‘amateur’ student athletes competing under horizontal restrictions that limit how schools can compensate them for their game.”

Current NCAA rules effectively limit the type of compensation that athletes competing in member universities can receive for scholarships or related benefits.

The current case, an amalgam of several lawsuits against the NCAA brought by current and former college athletes, argued that those rules violate the United States Sherman Act.

“It is our hope that this victory in the battle for the rights of college athletes will lead to a wave of justice that raises further aspects of athlete compensation,” said Steve Berman, a lawyer who represented the athletes in the case. “This is the right treatment that university athletes deserve.”


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