#CaseCommentary – NCAA v. Alston

Against the context of March Madness, college sports’ most famous and lucrative affair, there is a decades-long reckoning underway that will permanently alter the face of college athletics. Earlier today, the Supreme Court heard arguments in NCAA v. Alston. Former Division I college athletes filed the complaint, alleging that the NCAA’s policies governing education-related benefits are unconstitutional under federal competition law. The Supreme Court will consider a lawsuit concerning the NCAA for the first time in four decades. The central question is whether athletes should be eligible to obtain educational advantages such as laptops, scientific tools, and musical instruments. Unlike other students, college players, who are also on athletic scholarships, are not qualified for financial benefits. NCAA v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma was the NCAA’s last Supreme Court fight. It gained a valuable concession from that case, where NCAA was held to be unlike most companies in that it needs enough latitude to uphold a legacy of amateurism in college athletics.

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