Supreme Court Denies Review of O’Bannon Lawsuit

On October 3, 2016, the United States Supreme Court announced that it denied requests from both the NCAA and former student athletes to review the ruling in the infamous O’Bannon lawsuit. As a result, the Court will not attempt to tackle the issue of compensation for college student athletes, leaving the Ninth Circuit’s panel decision intact.

In response, the chief legal counselor of the NCAA, Donald Remy, promptly released a statement reacting to the court’s decision. According to Remy, while they are obviously disappointed with the court’s decision, they “remain pleased that the 9th Circuit agreed with [them] that amateurism is an essential component of college sports and that NCAA members should not be forced by the courts to provide benefits untethered to education, including providing any payments beyond the full cost of attendance.”

Thus, the Ninth Circuit’s finding that the NCAA’s rules banning compensation for student-athletes are anti-competitive but that compensation could be capped at the cost of attendance will stand. The parties had wanted the Supreme Court to review the economics of college athletics for the first time since 1984, but it was always a long shot that the court would agree to hear the appeal.

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