Dec 16, 2020 - Sports

Supreme Court to hear cases on NCAA athlete compensation

NCAA Athletes playing basketball.

Tip-off between the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles and the North Carolina Tar Heels during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in 2016. Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear the NCAA's appeal of lower court rulings that found the association violated antitrust laws by placing limits on education-related compensation for athletes.

Why it matters: The rulings expanded the range of education-related benefits student-athletes could receive. The NCAA claims this "effectively created a pay-for-play system for all student-athletes, allowing them to be paid both 'unlimited' amounts for participating in 'internships'" and an additional $5,600 or more per year of eligibility.

The big picture: The decision to hear the cases "comes amid broader national efforts to overhaul college athletics," the Wall Street Journal notes.

  • California last September passed a bill to allow student-athletes in the state to get paid for their name, image and likeness.
  • Lawmakers across the country have introduced similar bills.

What's next: The court will likely hear arguments in the spring, and a ruling is expected to come by the end of June.

  • The court will hear the two cases — American Athletic Conference v. Alston, and National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Alston — together.
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