The Supreme Court ruled on Monday morning that the NCAA cannot prevent colleges from granting education-related payments to student-athletes. The decision in the case, NCAA vs. Alston, was unanimous.
The NCAA had argued that any form of payment, such as free laptops or compensation for internships, would mean that players could not maintain their amateur status. In ruling for the athletes, the Court left the door open for further evolution of the NCAA's model.
In a concurring decision, Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote, "Nowhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing to not pay their workers a fair market rate on their theory that their product is defined by not paying their workers a fair market rate. The NCAA is not above the law."
There has been a growing push for college athletes to be allowed to profit off their name, image and likeness (NIL), an issue that NCAA vs. Alston did not address directly. Several states, including California, have passed NIL laws in the athletes' favor that will take effect July 1.
On Friday, NCAA president Mark Emmert urged the organization's member schools to pass NIL reform so that there are standard rules instead of a patchwork of policies across different states. He says that he will take action himself if the board of governors doesn't act by July 1.