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NCAA President Responds To Brett Kavanaugh's Comments

Mark Emmert, NCAA president, speaks before the Final Four. His organization oversees major college sports, including FBS college football and Division I college basketball.

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - APRIL 04: President of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Mark Emmert speaks to the media ahead of the Men's Final Four at U.S. Bank Stadium on April 04, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images)

NCAA President Mark Emmert has weighed in on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's harsh rebuke of the organization during today's ruling.

On Monday, SCOTUS ruled 9-0 that the NCAA can not hide behind its amateurism model as a means of blocking student-athletes from further compensation. Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the opinion, with Kavanaugh providing his own concurrent opinion.

Kavanaugh's words were especially blistering, as he wrote that "the NCAA is not above the law" and that the group's "business model would be flatly illegal in almost any other industry in America."

The SCOTUS ruling and Kavanaugh's words aren't a total death knell to amateurism, but they further signal that change is coming, even if Emmert and his counsel are downplaying what the 56-year-old justice put in writing.

"The notable thing is that eight other justices did not agree with that and wouldn't sign on to it," said Emmert's outside lawyer Jeffrey Mishkin regarding Kavanaugh. "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."

As for what the immediate impact of today's ruling, ESPN's Dan Murphy outlined that rather clearly in his piece.

"The case doesn’t decide whether students can be paid salaries," Murphy wrote. "Instead, the ruling will help determine whether schools decide to offer athletes tens of thousands of dollars in education-related benefits for things such as computers, graduate scholarships, tutoring, study abroad and internships.

"As a result of the ruling, the NCAA itself can’t bar schools from sweetening their offers to Division I basketball and football players with additional education-related benefits. But individual athletic conferences can still set limits if they choose. A lawyer for the former athletes had said before the ruling that he believed that if his clients won, “very many schools” would ultimately offer additional benefits."