Should the world of U.S. college sports operate like the free market?
Some players say yes.
The NCAA policy of preserving "amateurism" means players aren't paid like professional players are. They're students first. That policy has let the NCAA limit how student athletes are compensated, usually for expenses like the cost of attendance. The association argues that paying college athletes would create heated competition among universities for top players and distract them from their primary goal: getting an education. But some players say they work the equivalent of full-time jobs for the NCAA, and they want to be able to unionize and fight for better wages and better treatment.
This legal battle is ongoing. Last week, a court handed a somewhat mixed victory to the NCAA. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the way the NCAA limits athletes' pay to the cost of tuition is appropriate. Still, the court did insist the N.C.A.A. is not above antitrust law, thereby uphold a ruling from last year which scolded the NCAA for conspiring with schools to keep players from getting revenues from TV contracts.