On Friday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals put the 2014 NCAA injunction on hold.
The 2014 injunction stemmed from the O’Bannon vs. the NCAA antitrust lawsuit.
As such, college athletes keep the amateur status as the upcoming competitions organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association resume. The 2014 order would have allowed college athletes to receive remuneration up to 5000 dollars annually as their images and names are used by the NCAA.
As the debate is ongoing, David Ridpath of the Ohio University, sport administration professor and the president-elect of a group of university faculty members who have been raising awareness towards needed changes for more than a decade, stated:
“It’s a heavyweight fight and it’s far from over. It is delaying the inevitable as the initial ruling is not changed, just delayed”.
Indeed, there is little room for going back. College athletes are bound to eventually receive a share of revenues stemming from broadcast and licensing gains.
Back in 2009, Ed O’Bannon, the UCLA basketball player sued the NCAA for using his name and image in TV broadcasts, while he did not receive any payment for his athlete status.
The NCAA’s revenues from broadcast contracts add up to 31 billion dollars. Of these, according to the 2014 ruling, a share should go to the athletes involved in college leagues.
For now, the athletes remain in the amateur ranks. Some receive scholarships that aid them in the educational process. Yet, according to the NCAA, payment for college athletes would undermine the popularity, as well as the purpose of college football or basketball.
However, for Judge Claudia Wilken, the NCAA’s view represent those of a cartel that at large is set on limiting athletes’ revenues and possibilities. While the 2014 decision ruled in favor of college athletes across the U.S., the San Francisco court delayed its enforcing.
Overall, according to Bloomberg, 2 billion dollars were spent in 2014 on football programs of the 126 schools involved in the top division. Another 1.1 billion dollars were spent by the 346 Division I basketball institutions.
The data was retrieved from the U.S. Department of Education.
Photo Credits: businessinsider.com