The Supreme Court affirmed a ruling against the NCAA on Monday, declaring that the organization had illegally limited education-based benefits from collegiate athletes and violated antitrust laws in the process.
The Supreme Court justices voted 9-0, making the decision unanimous and in support of lower court rulings.
The ruling states that collegiate athletes can receive unlimited compensation as long as the expense is related to education. This decision allows more money from the billion-dollar industry to go directly to the players and lifts limits on payment associated with education.
However, the NCAA still holds the power to enforce rules that keep universities from providing salaries or large gifts to recruited and current athletes.
The NCAA has asked Congress for help in creating an antitrust exemption that would both protect the organization in the case of some future legal claims and allow it to continue placing certain restrictions on how athletes can be compensated.
The case was brought to the Supreme Court by current and former collegiate athletes from college football programs, along with men’s and women’s basketball programs. The NCAA, along with eleven conferences, was sued by the athletes with the claim that the organization had violated antitrust laws.
“The NCAA has long restricted the compensation and benefits that student athletes may receive,” Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in a concurrence. “Today, however, the Court holds that the NCAA has violated the antitrust laws.”
An NCAA panel is also scheduled to meet later this week to discuss collegiate athletes and how they could profit from fame.