Big Changes in Pay Structure in the NCAA

football near orange marker on sideline of football fieldNow that the 2014 NCAA FB season is almost here, a judge has ruled that the NCAA must permit colleges to pay athletes, a decision that could affect the world of college sports drastically. The decision by the Judge was that the decades-old rule not permitting payment to university athletes was an antitrust law violation.

The ruling of some 99 pages gave a strong disagreement with the foundation of the NCAA, and issued an injunction against the present rules regarding pay to athletes that prohibits same.

The decision in this case allows colleges to offer football basketball players trust funds that could be received after graduation, which would let players share in TV revenues that players helped to generate for their universities and the NCAA. This seems to be somewhat discriminatory, since it restricts some colleges and women players from receiving payments.

This new court ruling is set to take effect in the 2016 season and does not mandate that the players be paid, but it could allow colleges to engage in bidding for the best athletes. That would more than likely be blocked by the NCAA with payment capping which the ruling permits.

Some of the logic in this ruling comes from the fact that increased spending for improving and developing training facilities along with the increasing salaries paid to coaches, suggest the universities would indeed be able to provide their student athletes a share of licensing revenue that could be generated from the use of those player-students’ names, likenesses and images.

The court ruling would permit colleges to set up athlete trust funds and payments annually that would include the full cost of attending the schools.

The day before this ruling was released, the NCAA voted to allow the five high profile conferences a degree of control in setting their own rules for athletes’ benefits. With this decision by the NCAA, next season there will be some 65 different universities in those high profile conferences that can offer their athletes an amount to be paid above cost of current scholarships.

Also, a unionization movement at Northwestern University by football players and has gained some ground, and now with a suit has been filed that demands college athletes to be paid at a market rate. But many think the O’Bannon rule is a bigger threat than the Unionization move.

Regarding all the suits and issues, the chief legal arm of the NCAA Remy stated his disagreement with the ruling and that he expects the NCAA to file an appeal.

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