Decision time for the Ivy League: What the NCAA v. Alston Supreme Court decision means for the Ivy League’s policy of not providing athletic scholarships

Editor’s note: The authors of this article submitted this article to the Ivy League’s eight presidents Monday to share their views and recommendations, eight days after it was published here:

In June 2021, the Supreme Court unanimously decided in NCAA v. Alston that the antitrust laws prohibit the NCAA from limiting in any way its Division I schools from offering “education-related compensation or benefits” to student-athletes (men and women) who play basketball and football.

This means, for example, that the NCAA is barred from preventing any college from giving full tuition, room and board or other education-related benefits — such as tuition for graduate or professional school, textbooks, or internships while in school — to these college athletes. The Supreme Court agreed with the federal district trial court that the NCAA could set standards or definitions of what types of expenditures are “education-related,” including those items just noted. In reaching its decision, the Supreme Court recognized that the antitrust laws exist to ensure and protect competition and to prevent practices that interfere with a student athlete’s right to have schools compete for their services.

As the Supreme Court described the effect of the district court’s finding, “competition among schools would increase in terms of the compensation they would offer to recruits, and student-athlete compensation would be higher as a result … Student-athletes would receive offers that would more closely match the value of their athletic services.”

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What will NCAA NIL policy impact be on Ivy League and its athletes?

The NCAA on July 1 enacted an interim policy allowing college athletes to be compensated for their name, image and likeness (NIL) for the first time with the following guidance:

  • Individuals can engage in NIL activities that are consistent with the law of the state where the school is located. Colleges and universities may be a resource for state law questions.
  • College athletes who attend a school in a state without an NIL law can engage in this type of activity without violating NCAA rules related to name, image and likeness.
  • Individuals can use a professional services provider for NIL activities.
  • Student-athletes should report NIL activities consistent with state law or school and conference requirements to their school.

The Ivy League has noted that it has adjusted rules to allow athletes to engage in NIL activity.

But what will the impact of the NCAA’s new NIL policy be on Ivy hoops athletes and the Ivy League itself? Ivy Hoops Online writers weigh in:

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Ivy hoops roundup – NIL gains and Olympic games

The NCAA’s new, long awaited policy of allowing players to use their name, image and likeness for commercial profit extends to the Ivy League, which says it has adjusted rules to allow players to take part in NIL activity.

Former Columbia Lions Tai Bibbs and Randy Brumant quickly signed a deal to advertise for GCDC, a Washington, D.C. grilled cheese bar, per Dafter having transferred from Morningside Heights to Howard to join former Columbia assistant coach Kenny Blakeney.

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