March 3, 2024

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The latest antitrust case pushes the NCAA closer to its final reckoning

The latest antitrust case pushes the NCAA closer to its final reckoning

As the NCAA continues to press the facts of the NIL, attorney Jeffrey Kessler is digging his teeth deeper into the ankle of the ultimately toothless organization.

The lawyer, perhaps best known for his role as a constant thorn in the NFL’s side, attempts to dismantle the inherently corrupt system by which hundreds of universities have justified refusing to share any of their billions with the men and women who make the money. . Kessler’s latest case goes to the heart of the facade behind which every revenue-generating sports program has hidden for decades.

Via Danielle Murphy of ESPN.com Kessler and Steve Berman on behalf of three college athletes file antitrust lawsuit He directly challenges the failure to pay college athletes For skills.

Duke football player Dewayne Carter, Stanford football player Nia Harrison, and TCU basketball player Sedona Prince joined together in the 70-page complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. This has become the epicenter of the NCAA’s recent antitrust losses. These cases have systematically exposed the simple fact that the various schools have created a collective umbrella under which they have all avoided the reality of competition between the independent commercial interests of those who make money for those companies.

“It is time for the NCAA to realize that rules that prohibit athletes from sharing in the enormous revenues we help generate are harmful to all college athletes,” Dwayne Carter said in a statement. “There are hundreds of people involved in NCAA sports but the only ones who can’t get paid are the athletes; I’m proud to stand with all college athletes to correct this injustice.”

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Amen to all of that. The NCAA and many of its members have brainwashed the nation into believing that services provided by college athletes are adequately compensated by giving them a free education, not by paying them the fair value negotiated with individuals based on actual or projected contributions to The final result. This is how business is supposed to work. free markets. Perfect competition. Fair compensation. The true American way.

Instead, athletes – under the guise of NCAA rules – were denied access to anything beyond room, board, tuition and snacks. the Alston The status of 2021 has become the first clear sign that the end is coming. a Violent agreement Justice Brett Kavanaugh warned of the coming collapse: “Nowhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing not to pay fair market wages to their workers on the theory that their product is defined by not paying fair market wages to their workers. Under ordinary principles of law “Antitrust, it’s not clear why college sports should be any different. The NCAA is not above the law.”

However, the NCAA has managed to consistently break the law. But change is happening. Change will be expensive. Surprising decision yetAlstonallowing college athletes to get paid for their names, images, and likenesses came directly because of that Alston. Because it was clear that while it was bad enough for the NCAA to refuse to pay athletes, it was much worse to distort notions of amateurism to the point where college students couldn’t parlay their personal fame into dollars. And cents.

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There is a class action aimed at forcing the NCAA and its members to compensate athletes for the NIL money they were previously denied earning. More than two years of open season for the NIL will make it much easier for number crunchers to calculate the enormous amounts of money that athletes would have previously earned, if they had been allowed to do so by an organization that was committing rampant and ongoing antitrust violations.

College sports will remain. The industry is too big to fail. Schools will simply have to find a way to reshape their budgets to allow appropriate funds to compensate athletes based on their value to different programs.

Then, of course, budgets are reconfigured to accommodate legal fees and settlements.

Will you turn college sports into professional sports? For anyone asking this question, here is the simple answer. College sports are effectively professional sports, for everyone involved except the people who actually play the games.