UC Law SF Communications and Entertainment Journal


College sports are a staple of American tradition, bringing in hundreds of millions of viewers each year. Fans from all over the country root for their team’s success and hope they will be the ones to take home the national championship each year. Increasingly, however, college sports have been in the public eye for a very different reason: corruption. The National Collegiate Athletics Association’s (“NCAA”) Amateurism Rule, which prohibits student-athletes from receiving compensation, has contributed to this ongoing corruption. The NCAA insists upon its student-athletes remaining amateurs, even though its own rule is damaging the integrity of college sports. Players, coaches, and fans alike are yearning for change. Nevertheless, the NCAA does not waiver from its Amateurism Rule.

If this corruption is to end, however, something must change. The NCAA has to let go of its archaic rule and allow student-athletes to receive compensation. Or, as an alternative, courts have to refuse to allow the NCAA to hide behind its Amateurism Rule and hold it accountable under section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Either way, if the NCAA wants the endemic corruption to end, the only solution is to allow student-athletes to receive compensation. Although legal issues arise from student-athletes receiving compensation directly from their colleges and universities, allowing student-athletes to accept endorsement deals and receive compensation for the use of their name, image, and likeness is a solution to this problem.