On Demand

The Future of College Athletics After the SCOTUS Decision in NCAA v. Alston

1h 1m

Created on November 01, 2021





On June 21, 2021, in NCAA v. Alston, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously held that the National Collegiate Athletic Association's ("NCAA") rules limiting the amount of education-related compensation colleges and universities can provide to student-athletes violate Section 1 of the Sherman Act. In the opinion of Justice Gorsuch, the Court affirmed the district court's holding that the NCAA is not exempt from the antitrust laws. The Alston case is the first comprehensive case addressing the NCAA's scope of authority in more than 35 years.

While the NCAA's rules limiting payments unrelated to education remain intact, Alston did not define what constitutes education-related compensation, and the NCAA still has the ability to define the outer boundaries of that term. Accordingly, it remains unclear exactly what types of limitations on compensation the NCAA may impose. There will likely be more litigation on the horizon challenging the NCAA's rules limiting payments to student-athletes unrelated to education.

This program, presented by Melissa Maxman and Ronald Wick of Cohen & Gresser LLP, will explore NCAA v. Alston as it relates to the Sherman Act and the implications the Court's decision will have.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Discuss the different standards of review the Courts apply to Section 1 of the Sherman Act (i.e., "per se", "rule of reason", and "quick look") 

  2. Discuss the scope of the NCAA v. Alston decision and its limitations: Who does the decision apply to on its face? Where will the next battles in this area be fought? 

  3. Explore why the Supreme Court was unwilling to embrace the NCAA's "amateurism" defense despite its general deference to business judgments:  What made this case differently? What are the natural repercussions of the "amateurism" defense? Is a business model based on "amateurism" still viable?

  4. Analyze the impact of the decision beyond athletics: Is this a warning to colleges, universities, and non-profits at the intersection of money and education? Who should be worried and why?

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