SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement Monday that the next step should be to talk to member institutions about the “implications” from a Supreme Court ruling earlier in the day.
The high court ruled unanimously the NCAA can’t limit education-related benefits — like computers and paid internships — that colleges can offer their sports stars, a victory for athletes that could help open the door to further easing in the decades-old fight over paying student-athletes.
Schools recruiting top athletes can now offer tens of thousands of dollars in benefits that also include study-abroad programs and graduate scholarships. However, the case doesn’t decide whether students can simply be paid salaries for the benefits their efforts bring — measured in tens of millions for many universities.
The high court said specifically that NCAA limits on the education-related benefits that colleges can offer athletes who play Division I basketball and football violate antitrust laws.
“The Supreme Court’s opinion today in the Alston case provides clarity as we move forward toprovide additional educationally-related benefits to student-athletes,” Sankey’s statement read. “What also is clear is the need for the continuing evaluation of the collegiate model consistent with the Court’s decision and message.
“Our next step is to engage with our member institutions to consider the implications of the opinion delivered today by the Court and to continue our tradition of providing superior educational and competitive opportunities while effectively supporting our stuent-athletes.”
Under current NCAA rules, students cannot be paid, and the scholarship money a college can offer is capped at the cost of attending the school.
The NCAA had defended its rules as necessary to preserve the amateur nature of college sports, preventing a blurring of the line between them and professional teams, with colleges trying to lure talented athletes by offering over-the-top benefits. A lower court had upheld the limits on scholarships and cash awards.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.