The Supreme Court of the United States handed down a major decision involving the NCAA on Monday, signaling that significant change could be on the way in college sports.
SCOTUS ruled 9-0 against the NCAA, determining that the governing body can no longer hide behind “amateurism” as a way to not further compensate student-athletes in the future. The ruling was met with support from fans and media members alike.
ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas saved his thoughts for Tuesday morning before he called out the NCAA for not being more proactive about paving a path to fair compensation for athletes.
Hey NCAA: If you’re constantly in litigation over your restrictive policies on athlete compensation, perhaps the athletes are not the problem. Perhaps your policies are the problem. Perhaps you should change them to allow athletes the same economic rights as everyone else.
— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) June 22, 2021
NCAA president Mark Emmert released a short statement after the decision, mentioning that the ruling did not “directly address” the ongoing battle over allowing college athletes to profit off of their name, image and likeness. He affirmed the NCAA’s commitment to creating a path forward.
“Even though the decision does not directly address name, image and likeness, the NCAA remains committed to supporting NIL benefits for student-athletes,” Emmert said in a statement, via ESPN. “Additionally, we remain committed to working with Congress to chart a path forward, which is a point the Supreme Court expressly stated in its ruling.”
The SCOTUS decision this week won’t immediately lead to change but does open up the door for some in the near future. ESPN’s Dan Murphy explained some of the more definite outcomes of the ruling in a piece on Monday.
“The case doesn’t decide whether students can be paid salaries,” Murphy wrote on ESPN.com. “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.”