clearn.png
Tuesday April 20th, 2021 7:20AM

Supreme Court case could change the nature of college sports

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Supreme Court case being argued this week amid March Madness could erode the difference between elite college athletes and professional sports stars.

If the former college athletes who brought the case win, colleges could end up competing for talented student athletes by offering over-the-top education benefits worth tens of thousands of dollars. And that could change the nature of college sports.

At least that's the fear of the NCAA. But the former athletes who sued say most college athletes will never play professional sports and that the NCAA's rules capping education benefits deprive them of the ability to be rewarded for their athletic talents and hard work. They say the NCAA’s rules are not just unfair but illegal, and they want schools to be able to offer any education benefits they see fit.

“This is letting the schools provide encouragement to be better students and better educated ... in return for what amounts to full-time jobs for the school. What could possibly be wrong with that?” said lawyer Jeffrey L. Kessler in an interview ahead of arguments in the case, which are scheduled for Wednesday.

The former players who brought the case, including former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston, have so far won every round. Lower courts agreed that NCAA rules capping the education-related benefits schools can offer Division I men's and women's basketball players and football players violate a federal antitrust law. The narrow ruling still keeps schools from directly paying athletes, but the NCAA says it is a step in that direction.

In an interview, the NCAA's chief legal officer Donald Remy defended the association's rules. He said the Supreme Court has previously found preserving the amateur nature of college sports to be an "appropriate, pro-competitive justification for the restrictions that exist in the system of college athletics."

The NCAA wasn't happy with the outcome the last time its rules were before the Supreme Court. In 1984, the high court rejected NCAA rules restricting the broadcast of college football. The justices' ruling transformed college sports, helping it become the multibillion-dollar business it is today.

This time, the justices will hear arguments by phone as they have been doing for almost a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. And the public can listen live. The justices will almost certainly issue a decision in the case before they leave for their summer break at the end of June.

A ruling for the former players doesn't necessarily mean an immediate infusion of cash to current college athletes. Currently, athletic scholarships can cover the cost of college athletes’ attendance at college. That includes tuition, housing and books, plus a stipend determined by each school meant to cover things like travel expenses and other incidentals. What a ruling for the students means is that the NCAA can't bar schools from sweetening their offers to Division I basketball and football athletes with additional education-related benefits.

Individual athletic conferences could still set limits. But Kessler said he believes that if his clients win, “very many schools" will ultimately offer additional benefits.

That would mean that to compete for the best players, colleges might offer things like postgraduate scholarships, tutoring, study abroad opportunities, vocational school payments, computer equipment and internships, among other things. And there's a fear some schools might try to disguise other, improper benefits as permissible education spending.

The former college athletes have some big-time supporters. The players associations of the NFL, NBA and WNBA along with a group of former NCAA executives are all urging the justices to side with the former athletes, as is the Biden administration.

Whatever happens at the high court, how college athletes are compensated is already likely changing. The NCAA is in the process of trying to amend its longstanding rules to allow athletes to profit from their names, images and likenesses. That would allow them to earn money for things like sponsorship deals, online endorsement and personal appearances.

Those efforts have stalled, however. For their part, players at this month's March Madness tournament have been pushing for reform with the hashtag #NotNCAAProperty on social media. Even if the NCAA changes its rules, however, any money college athletes might make from endorsement deals would be over and above the educational benefits schools might offer as incentives.

As for the justices, they're not necessarily just watching from the sidelines. The majority are also avid sports fans. Justices Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan love baseball. Justice Neil Gorsuch is a Denver Broncos fan, while Clarence Thomas is devoted to the University of Nebraska. Amy Coney Barrett, who was a professor at Notre Dame, has said her football Saturdays were spent tailgating. Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote simply to lawmakers considering his 2018 nomination: “I am a huge sports fan.”

___

Associated Press writer Ralph D. Russo contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Online Basketball, AP Online Headlines - Washington, College Sports, AP Entertainment, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Business, AP Sports - College Football, AP Sports - Women's College Basketball
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Witness in George Floyd case: 'I witnessed a murder'
A man who was among onlookers shouting at a Minneapolis police officer to get off George Floyd last May says he called 911 to report a murder after Floyd was removed by paramedics
11:11AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Video shows Asian American woman assaulted on NYC street
The New York City Police Department says an Asian American woman was attacked by a man Monday afternoon who repeatedly kicked her in front of witnesses who seemingly stood by
11:09AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Supreme Court case could change the nature of college sports
A Supreme Court case being argued this week amid March Madness could erode the difference between elite college athletes and professional sports stars
11:06AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Dapper Labs, creators of NBA Top Shot, get $305M in funding
Canadian blockchain technology company Dapper Labs has secured $305 million in private funding — some of it from current and former NBA players, including Michael Jordan — to scale up its virtual NBA trading card site, the company said Tuesday
9:02AM ( 2 hours ago )
Baylor beats Arkansas 81-72 for first Final Four in 71 years
Baylor reached the Final Four for the first time in 71 years, getting 22 points from MaCio Teague and a dominating defensive performance from Davion Mitchell to beat Arkansas 81-72
2:34AM ( 8 hours ago )
Houston tops Oregon State, reaches 1st Final Four since '84
Houston overcame a blown 17-point lead to hold off Oregon State 67-61 in the NCAA Tournament and reach the Final Four for the first time in 37 years
12:19AM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Sports
The Latest: Johnson & Johnson to give Africa 400M vaccines
Johnson & Johnson says it’s agreed to provide up to 400 million doses of its one-dose COVID-19 vaccine to African countries, starting this summer
11:50AM ( 23 hours ago )
The Latest: Palestinian Authority gets 100K vaccine doses
The Palestinian Authority received a shipment of 100,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine donated by China
10:48AM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Biden extends federal moratorium on evictions
The Biden administration is extending a federal moratorium on evictions of tenants who have fallen behind on rent during the coronavirus pandemic
9:44AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Football
Olympic failures show structural issues for US Soccer, MLS
The Catch-22 for U.S. men’s soccer in the Olympics is that the better a player gets, the less likely he is to play
6:23PM ( 17 hours ago )
What To Watch: Remaining Final Four spots up for grabs
Final Four appearances are up for grabs Tuesday as the NCAA Tournament holds its remaining regional finals in the men's and women's divisions
12:43PM ( 22 hours ago )
What To Watch: men's, women's regional finals start Monday
The men's and women's NCAA Tournament regional finals begin Monday
1:57AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Basketball
Biden announces diverse first slate of judicial nominees
President Joe Biden has announced his first slate of nominees to serve on federal courts and for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
8:44AM ( 2 hours ago )
Syrian who fled to Germany drops out of race for parliament
A Syrian man who came to Germany as an asylum-seeker in 2015 and was running for a seat in parliament in his new country’s September election says he is withdrawing his candidacy
7:38AM ( 3 hours ago )
China sharply reduces elected seats in Hong Kong legislature
China has sharply reduced the number of directly elected seats in Hong Kong's legislature in a setback for the democracy movement
7:02AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
No. 11 UCLA beats 'Bama 88-78 in OT to reach Elite Eight
Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored 17 points, hitting two big jumpers early in overtime, and No. 11 seed UCLA held to beat No. 2 seed Alabama 88-78 in overtime in a Sweet 16 showdown Sunday night
10:04PM ( 1 day ago )
Inside job: Michigan goes to the paint to top FSU 76-58
Hunter Dickinson scored 14 points and top-seeded Michigan took the inside route to the Elite Eight, pounding away in the paint for a 76-58 takedown of surprisingly helpless Florida State
9:56PM ( 1 day ago )
Sister recovering from leukemia now rooting Staley in person
South Carolina coach Dawn Staley had a special supporter on hand for the team’s Sweet 16 victory
8:26PM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
Birds as revelations: Atwood writes foreword for Gibson book
Margaret Atwood's latest project isn't one of her own books but a popular book by her late partner, Graeme Gibson
10:10AM ( 1 hour ago )
Goldberg, Zendaya to be honored at Essence Hollywood awards
Whoopi Goldberg and Zendaya will be among the honorees at this year’s Essence Black Women in Hollywood event
8:00AM ( 3 hours ago )
Japan's famous cherry blossoms see early bloom amid warming
Japan’s famous cherry blossoms have reached their flowery peak in many places earlier this year than at any time since formal records started being kept nearly 70 years ago, with experts saying climate change is the likely cause
6:45AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Capitals hold on to beat Rangers for 10th win in 11 games
Tom Wilson had two goals, Alex Ovechkin scored the 724th of his career and the Washington Capitals held on to beat the New York Rangers 5-4 for their 10th victory in 11 games
3:57PM ( 1 day ago )
Eddie Murphy inducted into NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame
Eddie Murphy was inducted into the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame at the organization’s show that highlighted works by entertainers and athletes of color
11:14PM ( 2 days ago )
LeBron James, Chadwick Boseman honored at NAACP Image Awards
LeBron James received the President’s Award for his public service achievements at the 52nd NAACP Image Awards that highlighted works by entertainers and writers of color
10:02PM ( 2 days ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
The Latest: Italy orders 5-day quarantine on entries from EU
Italy has imposed a five-day quarantine on people entering from other EU countries in a bid to deter Easter getaways and limit the spread of the coronavirus
9:50AM ( 1 hour ago )
Weakness in Big Tech pulls stocks slighly lower; yields rise
Stocks are off to a weak start on Wall Street as drops in Big Tech companies outweigh gains in banks and elsewhere
9:47AM ( 1 hour ago )
Thailand denies forcing fleeing villagers back to Myanmar
Thailand’s prime minister is denying that his country’s security forces forced villagers back to Myanmar who had fled from military airstrikes, saying they returned home on their own accord
9:41AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
The Latest: South Carolina plans for fans at spring FB game
South Carolina plans to have about 9,000 fans at Williams-Brice Stadium for its spring football game on April 24
12:28PM ( 4 days ago )
NCAA basketball players use biggest stage to deliver message
A social media effort to raise awareness about inequities in college sports by some prominent basketball players came with calls for rules changes and requests for meetings with the NCAA president and lawmakers
9:34PM ( 1 week ago )
Not NCAA Property: Players push for reform on social media
Some of the top players at the March Madness tournament in Indiana are speaking out against the NCAA
6:53PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Sports - College Football
Williams, Bueckers lead UConn past Iowa in NCAA Sweet 16
Christyn Williams scored 27 points and Paige Bueckers added 18 to lead No. 1 UConn to a 92-72 win over fifth-seeded Iowa in the Sweet 16 of the women’s basketball tournament
9:29PM ( 2 days ago )
NCAA Sweet 16: Williams, Bueckers lead UConn past Iowa 92-72
Christyn Williams scored 27 points and Paige Bueckers added 18 to lead No. 1 UConn to a 92-72 win over fifth-seeded Iowa in the Sweet 16 of the women’s basketball tournament
3:17PM ( 2 days ago )
Williams, Bueckers lead UConn past Iowa 92-72
Christyn Williams scored 27 points and Paige Bueckers added 18 to lead No. 1 UConn to a 92-72 win over fifth-seeded Iowa in the Sweet 16 of the women’s basketball tournament
2:59PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - Women's College Basketball
Witness in George Floyd case: 'I witnessed a murder'
A man who was among onlookers shouting at a Minneapolis police officer to get off George Floyd last May says he called 911 to report a murder after Floyd was removed by paramedics
11:11AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Video shows Asian American woman assaulted on NYC street
The New York City Police Department says an Asian American woman was attacked by a man Monday afternoon who repeatedly kicked her in front of witnesses who seemingly stood by
11:09AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Years later, Chickasaw remains returning to Mississippi home
Over the last century, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History has stored the remains of hundreds of Native Americans who once inhabited the state
10:48AM ( 39 minutes ago )
'Lighting a fuse': Amazon vote may spark more union pushes
What happens inside a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama could have major implications not just for the country’s second-largest employer but the labor movement at large
10:43AM ( 45 minutes ago )
AstraZeneca shots halted in parts of Germany for under-60s
Authorities in Berlin, Munich and the state of Brandenburg are again suspending the use of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine for people under age 60 due to new reports of unusual blood clots in people who recently received the shots
10:30AM ( 57 minutes ago )