U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case Relating to College Athlete Compensation

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case Relating to College Athlete Compensation

In an unexpected development, the United States Supreme Court announced today that it will review a lower court decision in Alston v. NCAA that found NCAA bylaws that limit educationally related compensation to college athletes violate antitrust law.  As a result of the lower court decision, NCAA Division I schools are currently allowed to give men’s and women’s basketball and FBS football players thousands of dollars in cash payments as academic awards and incentives.  The lower court ruling also allows schools to provide those same athletes with unlimited educationally related benefits such as computers and post-grad scholarships.

The Supreme Court’s decision could greatly alter the collegiate sports business model.  If the Supreme Court affirms that lower court’s decision, schools will likely begin to give the cash payments and benefits mentioned above in addition to the cost of attendance scholarships that Division I athletes are already allowed to receive.  Further, depending on how broad the Court’s ruling is, it could unleash a new wave of litigation aimed at the elimination of all NCAA bylaws that limit college athlete compensation.

It is also possible that the Court will overrule the lower court’s decision, eliminating the ability of schools to award the educationally-related payments and benefits and cementing the NCAA’s ability to create and enforce rules that restrict college athlete compensation.  With the newly constructed Court it is hard to guess which way it will go.

Regardless of how the Court rules, the decision will be an important one for the future of college athletics.  In combination with state laws, proposed federal laws, and proposed NCAA bylaws that address college athletes’ name, image, and likeness rights, the coming year could see great change for college athletes and the administration of college athletics.

More About Kennyhertz Perry’s Collegiate Sports Practice Group

The need for an attorney experienced in collegiate athletics has never been higher.  From assistance with compliance, eligibility, scholarship, and transfer issues, to advice and representation relating to the newly emerging name, image, and likeness laws and legislation, universities, conferences, coaches, and college athletes often need an attorney to advocate on their behalf and to assist and advise on these types of issues.

The team at Kennyhertz Perry is uniquely suited to guide universities and college athletes through all of these types of issues with respect to the multitude of rules and laws set forth by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and the National Federation of High School Athletic Associations (NFHSAA).

The attorneys at Kennyhertz Perry all have years of experience advocating for clients in high stakes matters and advising them on related issues.  In addition, and most importantly, attorney Mit Winter is a former Division I scholarship basketball player with extensive experience working on collegiate athletics legal matters.  Mit has first-hand experience in understanding the pressures and demands faced by college athletes both on and off the field, and has represented a number of sports-related clients in his practice, including the Big 12 Conference, Conference USA, and the NCAA.

Mit is widely regarded as an expert in collegiate sports law and frequently writes on these legal issues.  He is also the founder and chairman of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association’s Sports and Entertainment Law Committee and serves as a Regional Captain in the states of Kansas and Missouri for the Sports Lawyers Association’s (“SLA”) Outreach Committee.

Kennyhertz Perry’s college sports practice provides representation to those who are seeking an attorney with expertise to advise them on the myriad legal and compliance concerns prevalent in college athletics today.  To learn more about the firm, visit kennyhertzperry.com.

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