By Ken Reed

On Monday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld an earlier court ruling stating that the NCAA rules limiting college athletes’ education-related benefits violate Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

The ruling adds to the growing body of legal and economics literature stating that the NCAA’s “amateurism” rules do not enjoy a special exemption from antitrust law.

Judge Milan Smith, a George W. Bush appointee, stated that the current NCAA amateur policy “deprives the young athletes in this case … of the fundamental protections that our antitrust laws were meant to provide them.”

Judge Smith went on to describe the NCAA as:

“a cartel of buyers acting in concert to artificially depress the price that sellers could otherwise receive for their services … our antitrust laws were originally meant to prohibit exactly this sort of distortion.”

When it comes to their amateurism rules, the NCAA will prove to be on the wrong side of history. They are fighting a losing battle. It’s time they chuck their archaic rules, dump their plantation mentality, and allow college athletes the same civil and economic rights as every other student on campus.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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