Paying College Athletes?

Supreme Court agrees to hear NCAA on athlete compensation

On December 16, 2020, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case presented by the NCAA regarding student-athlete compensation, particularly in the realms of Division I football and basketball. In terms of compensation for labor, the student-athletes that drive this multibillion-dollar entertainment industry generally go unnoticed in comparison to the collegiate coaches and athletic directors raking in hefty sums of cash each year. According to NCAA lawyers, “the decision will transform student-athletes into professionals, eliminating the pro-competitive distinction between college and professional sports.” Furthermore, on top of removing the aspect of competitiveness and barrier of professionalism, the NCAA is currently in the process of permitting student-athletes to be compensated for the use of their likenesses, opening the door to endorsement and sponsorship deals. The NCAA has made it known that they believe colleges should be allowed to improve the student-athlete experience, without having to constantly face dated laws and regulations. Ultimately, a very realistic outcome is competition within conferences and between schools to attract an athlete’s talents, possibly even paying any sum they want to reel in an athlete. The Supreme Court’s decision could uproot the entire structure of college sports and fundamentally change how athlete recruitment operates, so keep an eye out for their ruling which could come as early as this summer.  

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