December 16, 2020

By: Matthew J. Bilker, Esquire

If you are a sports enthusiast, this legal blog is for you!

Today, the United State Supreme Court decided to review a case appealed by the NCAA, and some of its member conferences, regarding rules that prohibit college athletes from getting paid.

For years, the NCAA has made billions of dollars on college athletics; and it is not just on sports, but on the athletes who play college sports.  The Supreme Court will now review whether those same athletes should have the ability to be paid.

The NCAA believes that antitrust laws allow it to impose compensation restrictions on college athletes to promote competitive equity and to distinguish itself from professional sports.  The plaintiff, a former college athlete, believes that the NCAA is misapplying antitrust law.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals determined that the NCAA was, indeed, in violation of antitrust law. If the Supreme Court agrees, the rules and restrictions about compensation, and education-related benefits schools give (scholarships), are in for an overhaul.

If the Supreme Court affirms the lower court’s ruling, the member conferences, like the Big Ten or SEC, would still be able to limit benefits schools could provide, including compensation.  However, they would not be able to act collectively. Thus, if the Big Ten chose not to allow their college athletes to be compensated, and the SEC chose to allow their college athletes to be compensated (let’s not kid ourselves – we know this will be the SEC’s decision), there would be an inherent competitive advantage to SEC athletic programs.

The case itself will not be argued until 2021, and a decision is expected before summer.

A Message to Our Customers About Coronavirus COVID-19:

A Message to Our Clients About Coronavirus COVID-19:

We want to assure everyone that during this unprecedented and difficult time, we are still operating and will continue to meet all the legal needs of the residents of the Delaware Valley. While the Governor’s recent orders have restricted the operations of some businesses, Eckell Sparks has deployed a variety of applications and hardware that allows both our attorneys and our support staff to confer with clients remotely, provide consultations to those seeking legal advice, and continue to provide the high level of legal services to our clients as we have always done. For more than 50 years, our Firm has been a force in the Delaware Valley legal community. And by now also leveraging technology, we will continue to do so both during, and after, the current public health emergency.

So, if you need us, we are here. Are you an employer and don’t know what to do under all the new Corona-virus laws being passed in Washington? Were you injured in a car accident either before, or during, the current crisis? Call or email us. We can help. www.eckellsparks.com 610-565-3700.

Stay safe out there.