Posted by: sweadickblog | October 9, 2016

Pay for Play? The Supreme Court Passes on Reviewing NCAA Athlete Case

Potential future college athlete & Florida Gator, drawing by nephew Jack McEntire, 2011

Back in 2009, college athlete Ed O’Bannon sued the NCAA and Collegiate Licensing Company for compensation for using his image for commercial purposes and seven years later, the case made its way to the Supreme Court. As the New York Times reported, the Ninth Circuit’s ruling will stand and more cases are on its heels as the NCAA could be found in violation of anti-trust laws.

After discussing with many, including explaining it to my 10-year-old nephew, the ramifications of the ruling and the potential changing state of college athletics is far more compelling to consider than the legal process. Therefore, leading the story with the big questions that arise from considering the upside and the fall-out of paying college athletes could be a stronger story angle.

The people I emailed and talked with were in agreement that college athletes should get some form of compensation for their image to be used for commercial use. Now whether that is tied to academics, how to compensate for the commercialization of a hyped team or individual and how to preserve an athlete’s amateur status is all up for debate. In addition, there are also some other big challenges with Title IX rules and taxing scholarships that further complicate a complicated landscape. There is big money on all sides of the issue, so no doubt that this is far from over.

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