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The Supreme Court v. the NCAA cartel

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It’s not news that the NCAA’s position that everyone associated with college athletics should be allowed to make money hand over fist except for the players is transparently indefensible. Indeed, it is a actually “Clarence Thomas is moved to speak at oral argument to tell you you’re full of shit” level of indefensible:

Justices across the ideological spectrum teamed up during Supreme Court oral arguments on Wednesday to voice skepticism about the N.C.A.A.’s argument that it could bar modest payments to student-athletes in the name of amateurism despite antitrust laws. But they also seemed worried about opening the floodgates to other challenges.

Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, noting that college sports generate billions of dollars in revenue, said that “the antitrust laws should not be a cover for the exploitation of the student-athletes.”

Justice Clarence Thomas noted that other participants in college sports are paid enormous sums. “It just strikes me as odd that coaches’ salaries have ballooned,” he said.

By contrast, Justice Elena Kagan said, colleges and universities have used their market power “to fix athletic salaries at extremely low levels.”

About damned time.

…Paul in comments:

My nominee for the most comical argument was the NCAA lawyers claiming that applying antitrust law to COLLEGE FOOTBALL would harm the “competitive balance” in the sport. Because if there’s one thing college football features these days its competitive balance.

Yeah, it would be really tragic if the players got paid, and then we were faced with a situation where Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State made the college football playoff every year.

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