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New Suit Alleges Ivy-League Schools Engage In Illegal Price-Fixing By Not Allowing Athletic Scholarships

 |  March 7, 2023

Ivy League schools are facing a class action antitrust lawsuit that alleges its agreement to ban athletic scholarships is illegal, The Wall Street Jurnal reported. The lawsuit has been filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, and it could potentially upend the way Ivy League institutions award financial aid to athletes. The suit claims that by not allowing athletes to receive merit-based scholarships, the Ivy League schools are engaged in so-called “price-fixing ” and “collusion.”

The two plaintiffs are a current Brown University women’s basketball player, Grace Kirk, and a former Brown men’s player, Tamenang Choh. The suit says they are bringing the lawsuit “on behalf of a class of fellow current and former Ivy League collegiate athletes.”

The suit alleges that under what is termed “the Ivy League agreement,” not awarding athletic scholarships “constitutes unlawful price fixing in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.”

Lawyers for the plaintiffs say the same rules that apply to the NCAA, as determined by the Supreme Court in a 2021 antitrust case, should apply to the Ivy League conference as well.

Tuesday’s lawsuit cites Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s concurring opinion in that case: “Nowhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing not to pay their workers a fair market rate on the theory that their product is defined by not paying their workers a fair market rate.”