Neither Reasonable nor Necessary: “Amateurism” in Big-Time College Sports
The NCAA and its member schools are a joint venture that fixes the compensation of its most important workers, the athletes, at a level that is substantially below what would otherwise occur in a competitive market. Claims of amateurism and the need for competitive balance obscure the more than $3.5 billion dollars in revenue generated mostly on the backs of those athletes. From the point of view of rule of reason antitrust analysis, the NCAA’s justification for its concerted wage fixing has obvious weaknesses. Recent phenomenal growth in revenue has made the claims of the necessity and reasonableness of concerted action to restrain wages increasingly dubious.
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