After years of debate over whether college athletes should be paid, the Supreme Court weighed in on the issue. Now, though, the NCAA is fighting back with a few choice words for one particular Justice.
The Supreme Court ruled that the NCAA could not prevent college athletes from accepting certain education-related benefits such as “scholarships for graduate or vocational school, payments for academic tutoring, or paid posteligibility internships.” The ruling did not, however, allow players to receive outright cash payment with no educational connection.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote a scorching concurring opinion to the unanimous Supreme Court ruling that blasted the NCAA and appeared to open the door for future legal challenges.
“NCAA and its member colleges are suppressing the pay of student athletes who collectively generate billions of dollars in revenues for colleges every year,” Justice Brett Kavanaugh said in his concurring opinion. “Those enormous sums of money flow to seemingly everyone except for student athletes. The NCAA’s business model would be flatly illegal in almost any other industry in America.”
“All of the restaurants in a region cannot come together to cut cooks’ wages on the theory that ‘customers prefer’ to eat food from low-paid cooks,” he added.
The NCAA has fired back, though, saying Justice Kavanaugh’s comments should be given little attention.
“The notable thing is that eight other justices did not agree with that and wouldn’t sign on to it,” the NCAA’s outside lawyer Jeffrey Mishkin told USA Today. “So I don’t think that you can make very much of that concurrence. It’s his own view, and he’s writing for himself. So, I think that’s just not at all central to what’s been decided today.”
Those are strong words for a Supreme Court Justice, especially after the high court just unanimously ruled against your side.
This will likely end up in court again, and the NCAA may wish they had lost with a little more grace.