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US: NCAA can’t legally ban CA for allowing athletes to profit

 |  June 25, 2019

According to an article in Monday, June 24’s USA Today, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) President Mark Emmert has sent a letter to the California state legislature threatening to ban California schools from postseason sporting events if the state passes a bill that would allow college athletes to earn money for the use of their own name, image, or likeness.

Although this threat is rightfully scary to some California member colleges, it is doubtful whether the NCAA could truly enforce a postseason ban on these grounds. Banning a member college for allowing athletes compensation in compliance with state law is likely an act that would violate federal antitrust laws, as well as California’s common law right to good faith and fair dealing.

As many college sports fans already know, the NCAA has long maintained a series of bylaws that disallow college athletes from accepting “payment” for participation in their sport. The NCAA’s definition of “payment,” nevertheless, has changed throughout time. At present, “payment” includes not only direct sums of money provided by colleges to athletes, but also the receipt of proceeds derived from the licensing of one’s name, image, or likeness to third-party endorsers such as Nike or Coca-Cola. This is the very right that California state law seeks to allow state athletes to control and monetize.

Full Content: Forbes

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