Paul Finebaum predicts high court ruling bad news for NCAA

Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 5:10 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling Monday that opens the door for college athletes to get compensated.

The decision is considered a big blow to the NCAA, which asked the high court to limit any sort of education related perks.

The 9-0 unanimous decision sends a powerful message that the NCAA can not try to limit educational benefits in an effort preserve the amateurism of college athletes.

The NCAA, the governing body of college athletics, challenged a lower court ruling that said colleges in Division I can provide educational perks such as scholarships for graduate degrees, paid postgraduate internships, laptops and musical instruments related to education free of charge.

“I think long term, this is the end of the NCAA as we know it,” said Paul Finebaum.

Finebaum, who has been a long time critic of the NCAA, said the ruling opens the door for litigation which will take away much of the NCAA’s authority. He doesn’t believe the organization will exist in its present form much longer.

The ESPN talk show host said the ruling does not deal with the issue of giving college players a chance to profit off their name, likeness and image - that is a separate issue.

“This is not a case that opens the door that tomorrow athletes can legally start getting cars. I say legally,” Finebaum said.

On July 1, Alabama’s new law allowing college players to financially benefit from their name, image and likeness begins. Many states have approved similar laws.

Finebaum said the NCAA hoped congress would solve this issue and allow them to continue enjoying its anti-trust provision where they cannot be sued. But Finebaum said not now.

“The NCAA has no defense now. It is for all intents and purposes a spineless organization,” Finebaum said.

Finebaum said the big five power conferences such as the SEC, ACC, and others have been running college athletics. This ruling, he believes, means they will give lip service to the NCAA and future sanctions from the NCAA are not likely.

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