The US Supreme Court affirms lower court decisions that certain restrictions imposed by a national sports association on educational benefits for student-athletes violate antitrust laws, a decision that may help future antitrust defendants (NCAA / Alston)

On June 21, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed lower court decisions and held that certain NCAA restrictions on educational benefits for student-athletes violated Sherman Act Section 1. The unanimous opinion was a clear win for the plaintiff class and almost certainly will lead to big changes in college sports. It was also a clear defeat for the NCAA. While the opinion (as the NCAA’s reaction emphasized) maintained the NCAA’s ability to prohibit non-educational benefits and define limits on educational ones, any such NCAA rules must be defended under a full antitrust rule of reason analysis, not a special deferential standard based on language from a 1984 Supreme Court case. Litigation on such issues is already in the lower courts and more can now be expected. Justice Gorsuch’s

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Steven J. Cernak, The US Supreme Court affirms lower court decisions that certain restrictions imposed by a national sports association on educational benefits for student-athletes violate antitrust laws, a decision that may help future antitrust defendants (NCAA / Alston), 21 juin 2021, e-Competitions November 2021 - II, Art. N° 103373

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