The Literature On Pay For Play

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A Review of the Literature on “Pay for Play” in College Athletics by Sara J. Singleton
EDU 7253 Legal Environment of Higher Education
May 28, 2015

Because of recent court cases such as O’Bannon v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the issue of whether intercollegiate student-athletes should be compensated for their athletic appearances on behalf of colleges has been featured in the news and been the subject of much scholarly writing. This literature review will focus on the major themes discussed in peer reviewed journals and law reviews as well as the main judicial opinions on this issue to this point. As colleges and the NCAA continue to battle over the appropriate role of profit and amateurism
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Other themes that are pro-compensation include redefining amateurism and worker’s compensation and liability issues. The fourth stream of literature focuses on various reasons that intercollegiate athletes should not be paid to play, mostly viewpoints that consider the use of the Sherman Act within intercollegiate athletics to be judicial overreach.
The Sherman Antitrust Act
Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, in part, states that “every contract, combination… or conspiracy, in the restraint of trade or commerce… is declared to be illegal.” (Sherman Act, 2006). This law provides “a comprehensive charter of economic liberty aimed at preserving free and unfettered competition as the rule of trade (Northern Pacific Railway Company vs. United States, 1958; Reiter vs. Sonotone Corporation, 1979). It relies on a fundamental belief in supply and demand (Baum Research & Development Company vs. Hillerich & Bradsby, 1998). There are two main ways by which a plaintiff could challenge the NCAA’s no-pay rules under Section 1 of the Sherman Act. First, the plaintiff could argue that the no-pay regulations signify a type of wage fixing that damages not only the market for the student-athletes’ skills but also the value of college sports as a whole. Second, the plaintiff could argue that the NCAA rules create an unlawful group prohibition of those
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