The Perverse Consequences of the NCAA Ruling

from The Atlantic

The Supreme Court has changed college admissions forever. The justices’ decision late last month allowing NCAA Division I football and men’s basketball programs to provide new educational incentives to student athletes created an overdue avenue for compensating student athletes in commercially lucrative sports, many of whom come from low-income backgrounds. And new rules the NCAA rolled out last week in response to a series of state laws allow student athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness without violating college sports’ amateurism rules. So far, the changes have been celebrated as a step toward greater equity. They may well have that effect at some schools, and for some students.

But the high court’s ruling is also likely to produce a perverse set of consequences, setting off a race among universities to shower wealthy and privileged students with an array of new benefits, and widening the chasm of inequality.

Though the decision itself is relatively narrow, Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s concurrence practically invited other legal challenges to the NCAA’s amateurism policies. Many other programs will likely seek the right to offer new financial incentives to recruit and retain student athletes. That’s what likely awaits: a world in which colleges compete to offer ever more incentives to even the wealthiest student athletes, who are essential to their enrollment goals, their competitiveness, their alumni pride, and their fundraising.

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9 Comments

  1. The article written about the NCAA court ruling is interesting because the court ruling comes with immediate benefits for student athletes, but it also may come with potential consequences for everyday college students. The court ruling is now allowing college sports programs to provide educational incentives to student athletes. I believe this is a great new rule because in my opinion I think should college athletes should be getting compensated for all of their time and effort. In addition to this ruling, the NCAA has also changed other rules which allows college athletes to profit from their image and likeliness. Both of these rules work together to now allow college athletes to receive benefits and or compensation for all the hard work and time they put into college sports programs. For similar reasons, the author of the article points out that the ruling of educational incentives is longer overdue and can be seen as a victory for college athletes because “student athletes give extraordinary time and effort to train and compete, and learn the value of teamwork, perseverance, strategy, and leadership” (Perez). From my own experience I can attest that college athletes give extraordinary time to train and compete because I have a brother who has a very demanding schedule while he plays college football at the Division III level. From the outside, the new court ruling is seen as overall good thing for student athletes but there might be other possible consequences for non-student athletes.

    With further analysis of the court ruling, the author outlines potential consequences that could come from offering educational incentives to college athletes. The possible outlined are mostly applicable to students who comes from a lower income background. The process behind it all is colleges and universities might shift some of their financial resources towards marketing, and recruiting, and retaining college athletes with incentives. Depending on the situation, the schools could end up pulling money from academic investments and their financial aid departments to fund their athletic recruiting and retention. The author’s argument is if the financial resources shift too far towards athletics, then everyday students and low-income students are getting the short end of the stick. I agree with the author a little bit because if the schools end up focusing less on their academic investments, then yes it would be a negative for all students. All the students together would be getting less academic support if the schools end up decreasing their academic investments. On the other hand, I disagree that lower income students are facing even more inequality because many lower income students are being recruited for sports and many other lower incomes students already need college loans anyway. Overall, the court ruling is a great opportunity for college athletes but I think the author is overthinking the situation when he talks about how the inequality for lower income student might increase.

  2. The Supreme Court decision that allows NCAA Division I football and men’s basketball programs to provide new educational incentives is a great step in allowing for student athletes to be fairly compensated for their efforts. Also, the new rules created by the NCAA that now allows for student athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness is a welcome change that has been long overdue. It is a topic that has been widely discussed for many years now and finally, steps are being taken in the right direction. I am not much of a follower of college sports but I have always found it crazy that student athletes, who put so much time, effort, and sacrifice their well being in order to defend their school colors, are not compensated fairly. These student athletes bring in incredible amounts of money, while simultaneously increasing the status of their schools with their achievements. Mark J. Drozdowski, senior writer with BestColleges, details the ridiculous amounts of money in college football in an article discussing the argument of whether or not college athletes should be paid:

    “Some 107,000 spectators have packed the “Big House,” paying an average ticket price of $141. The game airs on ESPN, one of three networks linked to the Big Ten, thanks to a $2.64 billion contract. Players are awash in Nike gear owing to the apparel giant’s $174 million deal with Michigan and $252 million deal with Ohio State. On the sidelines, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh (salary: $8 million) and his counterpart, Ryan Day (salary: $5.7 million), finalize their game plans”(Drozdowski).

    All of this money, yet the players don’t receive any of it. The NCAA’s main argument against compensating their players was that it would ruin the tradition of college sports in America. Justice Brett Kavanaugh raised a fantastic point against this argument in his concurring opinion, where he stated that, “Nowhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing not to pay their workers a fair market rate on the theory that their product is defined by not paying their workers a fair market rate. And under ordinary principles of antitrust law, it is not evident why college sports should be any different. The NCAA is not above the law”(Kavanaugh).

    The article does raise some other interesting points that I have not thought of before. The fact that colleges will now have to compensate their athletes fairly raises the question of how they will fund this change. A large percentage of the NCAA’s members do not rake in as much money as the top schools. Will these colleges be forced to take away funds from other things such as student services and scholarships? It will be interesting to see what the future holds for NCAA institutions.

    https://www.bestcolleges.com/blog/should-college-athletes-be-paid/

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/college/2021/06/21/justice-brett-kavanaugh-rips-ncaa-in-shawne-alston-opinion/7771281002/

  3. The Supreme Court decision that allows NCAA Division I football and men’s basketball programs to provide new educational incentives is a great step in allowing for student athletes to be fairly compensated for their efforts. Also, the new rules created by the NCAA that now allows for student athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness is a welcome change that has been long overdue. It is a topic that has been widely discussed for many years now and finally, steps are being taken in the right direction. I am not much of a follower of college sports but I have always found it crazy that student athletes, who put so much time, effort, and sacrifice their well being in order to defend their school colors, are not compensated fairly. These student athletes bring in incredible amounts of money, while simultaneously increasing the status of their schools with their achievements. Mark J. Drozdowski, senior writer with BestColleges, details the ridiculous amounts of money in college football in an article discussing the argument of whether or not college athletes should be paid:

    “Some 107,000 spectators have packed the “Big House,” paying an average ticket price of $141. The game airs on ESPN, one of three networks linked to the Big Ten, thanks to a $2.64 billion contract. Players are awash in Nike gear owing to the apparel giant’s $174 million deal with Michigan and $252 million deal with Ohio State. On the sidelines, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh (salary: $8 million) and his counterpart, Ryan Day (salary: $5.7 million), finalize their game plans”(Drozdowski).

    All of this money, yet the players don’t receive any of it. The NCAA’s main argument against compensating their players was that it would ruin the tradition of college sports in America. Justice Brett Kavanaugh raised a fantastic point against this argument in his concurring opinion, where he stated that, “Nowhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing not to pay their workers a fair market rate on the theory that their product is defined by not paying their workers a fair market rate. And under ordinary principles of antitrust law, it is not evident why college sports should be any different. The NCAA is not above the law”(Kavanaugh).

    The article does raise some other interesting points that I have not thought of before. The fact that colleges will now have to compensate their athletes fairly raises the question of how they will fund this change. A large percentage of the NCAA’s members do not rake in as much money as the top schools. Will these colleges be forced to take away funds from other things such as student services and scholarships? It will be interesting to see what the future holds for NCAA institutions.

  4. There is finally a move in the right direction now that the Supreme Court allows NCAA division 1 football and men’s basketball to be compensated. I have always believed that student athletes should be paid, especially famous division 1 teams that are broadcasted everywhere and sell so many tickets at the many games played throughout the years. These athletes put so much time and effort into their teams on top of having to keep up with their classes.
    Although I agree with this action, I think that it should not just stop at this decision because there are many more teams other than football and men’s basketball that deserve to be compensated. These are also just two men’s sports that were agreed on, women will need to get paid for their NCAA performances as well. This is the backlash I can see happening. I disagree where the author thinks that colleges will “shower wealthy and privileged students with an array of new benefits, and widening the chasm of inequality.” Athletes are recruited based on their athletic ability and not their family’s wealth. Because of this, any great player no matter the background can still be recruited and finally be compensated for all the things the athletes do for a school.
    Despite possible consequences, I believe that this a big step forward for the NCAA. With the amount of money generated by all these teams, the players making it all possible have always deserved to be paid and finally they will get it.

  5. This article discussed the new NCAA rules that will finally allow student-athletes to profit off their names. I have always seen this as a glaring issue because the NCAA is a billion-dollar injury that makes immense profits off their student-athletes. Student-athletes have addressed their issues over their rights to make any sort of profit off of their brand. With this issue addressed, it gives these prestigious athletes a new opportunity to market and profit from their brand of play instead of waiting to go professional to accomplish this. These athletes deserve the right to profit off of their names because the top players in sports such as football and basketball can be the single reason why viewers watch their teams’ games. This is not just due to the athlete’s elite abilities, but also what they do off the field. Many college athletes work very hard to build their brand off the field to become a household name by the time they go professional.
    This isn’t just important for their rights to get a share of the money they have brought to their university and the NCAA, but just the financial support itself. The money that these student-athletes can bring in can be a key principle in getting families out of poverty or paying tuition. The athletes deserve the money that could be potentially life-changing, considering their unique situation. The elite athletes won’t be as dependent upon this because they are likely on the verge of becoming multi-millionaires by going professional in their respected sports. This situation just shows the pure corruption of the NCAA and how they treat the players. A common argument made for the justification of their lack of rights and abilities to profit from their names is the fact most of these athletes have their tuition covered by the University. While this is a fair argument, top athletes such as Zion Williamson and Trevor Lawrence, who brought millions and millions of viewers and revenue for their Universities and the NCAA, were not legally able to turn this into any sort of profit.
    Finally, I disagree with the author that the court’s rulings will result in Universities showering privileged students with benefits. I can see a reason for recruiting to have issues like this, but I don’t think it will apply to specifically the rich. The issue of showering recruits with money illegally has been an issue in college sports for decades, but this decision doesn’t lead me to believe it will lead to a drastic increase for the privileged recruits. These athletes have the security of being wealthy, so it wouldn’t make sense for benefits to be a huge deal for recruiting rather than future success and opportunities. Overall, the change that the NCAA made for the rights of their Student-Athletes was long overdue and should help these athletes rightfully profit off what they are selling to millions of viewers.

  6. I think that the article made great points regarding rule changes with the NCAA. I think that due to the constant criticism and controversy towards the NCAA regarding student athletes not being able to benefit financially off of their names, this scenario was bound to happen. I also think that this happened due to the organization seeing the rise of athletes (mainly in basketball) starting to find different ways to generate attention from professional sports teams rather than playing sports in college. Overall, while it is great that student athletes will be able to profit more off of their names and brands, it is unfortunate that since sports are one of the most profitable aspects of the majority of universities across the country, a cut in colleges giving students financial aid appears to be inevitable.
    As the article mentions, this will make attending college much more difficult and uncommon for those whose families are financially struggling. This is not only a social issue but will also become an economic issue as the competition in many work environments will increase leading many to become unemployed. Another issue I see resulting in this ruling is that it will also result in more expensive student loans being taken out. This will be an issue because more of these loans will not be able to be paid off by the college students which will have repercussions on several aspects of the economy such as negatively affecting the business of banks and decreasing real GDP.
    Lastly, I also could see various highly publicized lawsuits involving the NCAA and former student athletes. I could see students trying to sue the NCAA for profiting so much off their names or not letting them earn their proper cut. I would be interested to see how this would play out in court as the plaintiffs have the disadvantage due to the NCAA being a big organization that likely has a great legal team and proper paperwork or contracts to grant them victory. However, it would be interesting to see if there are any cases between former college students and the NCAA that showcase other shady or controversial aspects of the organization that the public is currently unaware of.

  7. I love the meaning of the article because it has been long overdue especially with some of these athletes not receiving a full scholarship. What makes matters worse is some of these college athletes come from low-income families which means that the family of these students can’t afford to help their children through college or they don’t have the funds to help. I was actually surprised when the Supreme Court changed the rules about allowing NCAA division 1football and men basketball teams. However, I do believe women athletes should get the same benefit as college men because they work just as hard as men. Furthermore, I do believe that women can go through the same issues especially when it comes to financial status. I did like that the players profit from their name, image, and likeness because if we think about it that’s why these athletes make it to the pros because of the candidate’s name, likeness, and image. If these candidates are not allowed to get their name out by having a sponsor to help them. How do we expect all of these college students to get their brand out there? The name, likeness, and image would help others become eligible for the pros. However, the article talks about perverse consequences which can lead to a race issue by what others can describe as wealth and privilege which can mean some universities will have more benefits than can cause inequality. This is also a reason that can cause conflicts between universities. In order for the NCAA not to have conflict, they need to make rules that are not going to show inequality but have to show fairness. The article also stated the negative effect since the pandemic the enrollment decreased and a lot of colleges had to discount tuition. There was also steeped in decline the number of high school graduates making it hard for colleges to reach their revenue goal. I feel the covid effect the ruling from the NCAA because those students that had a low income get effect worse but the wealthy students get affect as well.

  8. As a college athlete, I found this article very interesting. The decision for the NCAA to finally allow students to profit from their name, image, and likeness has been a long time coming. I believe that the NCAA felt the pressure of high prospect athletes bypassing the college system in order to go straight into professional sports in order to maximize their athletic abilities while making money in the process. It’s no secret that athletes are on a running clock of their peak athletic performance, so why waste four years of your body’s prime state to play uncompensated while your school uses your name, face, and likeliness to profit millions. Athletes spend an ungodly amount of time practicing, lifting, getting treatment, etc all at the cost of their college experience. Most athletes have to schedule classes around their practice and travel schedule which results in more academic challenges, so, at the bare minimum, the schools should be able to provide some compensation in return for their efforts. No athlete is going to make a living through the change of this rule, this is only made to support them for the hours lost that could have been used working a job, but instead was used to attend team events.

    Student-athletes are now having to learn how to navigate the new NIL rules in order to reap the benefits of the new changes. UConn Women’s BAsketball player Paige Bueckers has been able to make over $3,600 for each Instagram post due to her large social media presence. Her accounts on TikTok and Instagram have made her one of the most targeted college athletes. One of the less known parts of the NIL is that athletes are not allowed to be associated with brands while wearing their school jerseys. They would have to be featured in plain athletic clothing making it much harder for smaller athletes to be recognized and marketable without their school’s logo being featured or mentioned as well. I believe that this encourages athletes to build a brand for themselves and work harder outside of sports.

    Despite what feels like a much-needed change, Angel Perez brought up extremely valid points in his article. The focus of athletics is in fact drawing away money from other parts of the school such as financial aid. By increasing the focus on athletics, the recruitment of low-income students and focus on financial aid for others is slowly being ignored. What fails to be noticed is that many of the student-athletes receiving these benefits are also part of the low-income group of students. Schools changing their focus to athletics is not the problem, it’s the ridiculous cost of attending a school that is at large here. It’s hard to believe that simply the shift from athletics will drastically change the outcome of other students, but instead, help build the institution more money to later be reinvested into the school. After all, how many times can you renovate an athletic facility?

  9. Sports can definitely impact the student population of a college or university because if there is variety in the amount of sports offered at a school, it will be attract moe students than limiting the types of sports of popularity, for example, basketbal and football. College athletes get to make the choice of what school they want to attend to if given offers and the sports program they choose to join has great financial support, they are going to be more inclined to accept that offer. This article talks abou the NCAA rule about allowing college athletes “to profit off of their name, image and likeness without violating college sports amateurism rules”. I think it is impotant for these athletes to be able to receive this opportunity because if they do create an impact for the team of that school, their hard work is now creating a better reputation for that team and school. The problem that is found presented in this article is that it can effect the amount of tuition scholarships available for non-student athletes. It was stated in the article that “resources at most colleges and universities are stretched”. What this means is that it is shared amongst even non-atheltic expenses, such as financial aid. This can effect the amount of young adults attedning the college that beging to implement more money into their sports program to attract top-notch athletes into their program. It is sort of a win-lose situation because the student athletes will be given the equipment, attire, facilities and any extra bonuses along with education on a full ride while some poorer families of a student tyring to get into the sme school arew struggling because the school is unable to provide them with sufficient financial aid. Seton Hall is a great example in this case. We are a Division 1 school and our mens basketball team is definitely a focal point throughout the school. There are posters adevertsing the games on campus and Seton Hall University definitely takes pride in having such a highly respected mens basketball team. If Seton hall decides to start putting more money into this program and any other programs, there can create an imbalance in the distribution of money and it would be unfair to me or other students who want to attend this school but are not giving the amount of money we deserve because it is going straight to athletics. I agree with the idea of allowing players to be able to profit off of themselves because they are using their talent for the school to profit off of, but they are given a full ride scholarship for their athletic talent and I believe that students with educational talents should be offered the same respect. There should just be a certain balance of resources between all investements made.

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