A Supreme Court Loss for NCAA on Paying College Athletes

An NCAA logo flag at the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field. Jun 11, 2021, Eugene, Oregon. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)
The ruling bodes poorly for the NCAA’s ability to defend its rules in future cases.


he NCAA has a variety of rules against college sports teams paying their players. The Supreme Court this morning, in NCAA v. Alston, unanimously struck down a few of those rules, and the reasoning of Justice Neil Gorsuch’s opinion calls many of the others into question by rejecting the NCAA’s argument that it should be treated differently from any other price-fixing business.

If Gorsuch’s opinion was measured, Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s concurring opinion in the case was much blunter in drawing up a road map for future challenges: “Price-fixing labor is price-fixing labor. . . . The NCAA’s business model would be

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