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US: NCAA appeals antitrust ruling with SCOTUS precedent

 |  November 16, 2014

As the National Collegiate Athletics Association launches its appeal of an earlier ruling that would require the group to pay its student athletes, reports say the NCAA’s argument will rely heavily on a 1984 Supreme Court case.

According to reports, the NCAA is fighting a decision made earlier this year with the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals to prevent paying its student athletes. The Association says US District Judge Claudia Wilken incorrectly ruled that the NCAA violates antitrust law by not compensating the athletes for using their names and likeness in various business ventures.

A 1984 SCOTUS ruling in Oklahoma v. Board of Regents set the precedent that establishes amateurism in college sports, the NCAA argues, and Judge Wilken was wrong to not apply that precedent to her decision.

The 1984 case ended the NCAA’s monopoly on television broadcast, but SCOTUS’s ruling included language that “athletes must not be paid,” according to the NCAA.

The NCAA made a 72-page filing with the appellate court early Saturday, reports say. The court documents reveal that the NCAA argues antitrust laws do not apply to the NCAA’s rules regarding athlete compensation “because they do not regulate ‘commercial’ activity, and that the plaintiffs cannot prove any antitrust injury.

The dispute began earlier this year when a group of current and former collegiate athletes, led by Ed O’Bannon, scored a landmark victory when Judge Wilken found that the NCAA’s rules that prevent athlete compensation “unreasonably restrain trade in the market for certain educational and athletic opportunities offered by Division I schools.”

Full content: CBS Sports

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