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.