NCAA compensation rules violate antitrust law, court rules

A three-judge panel ruled Wednesday that NCAA compensation rules for college athletes violate antitrust law, Reuters reported.

“The NCAA is not above the antitrust laws, and courts cannot and must not shy away from requiring the NCAA to play by the Sherman Act’s rules,” the three-person panel wrote in what is known as the O’Bannon case.

The case, brought by athletes wanting some of the billions of dollars universities earn from football and basketball programs, came as colleges are under increasing pressure to provide athletes with better benefits.

The panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals also threw out a federal judge’s previous proposal that NCAA members should pay athletes $5,000 per year in deferred compensation, stating that compensation for the cost of attendance was sufficient.

The majority of collegiate athletes do not go on to play professional sports, and critics argue the NCAA scholarship policy is unfair to students who risk injury and devote many hours to practice, travel and competing, Reuters reported

NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement that the association has allowed schools to provide up to the full cost of attendance since Aug. 1, and does not think that should be mandated by the courts.

An attorney for the athletes could not immediately be reached for comment, according to Reuters.