Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to reshape the Supreme Court.
But no one expected this.
And Brett Kavanaugh took an unexpected position on one major Supreme Court case.
One of the marquee Supreme Court cases of this term was NCAA v. Alston which put the NCAA’s “amateur” sports model on trial.
Currently, college athletes are barred from receiving any compensation between the room, board and tuition that comes with a scholarship.
Supporters of the system argue that the players receive compensation in the form of a free education that their peers are taking on trillions of dollars in student loan debt to receive.
Critics contend that the NCAA generated 827 million dollars in TV contracts in 2020 that is built on the back of unpaid labor.
The NCAA’s lawyers argued that if the players were paid, the fans would lose interest in college sports claiming that the amateur student-athlete ideal separates college athletics from the pros.
Both conservative and liberal Supreme Court justices expressed deep skepticism for the NCAA’s arguments.
Brett Kavanaugh was one of the most vocal critics of the NCAA’s amateur model.
Kavanaugh claimed schools acted in concert to deny the players financial compensation despite raking in billions of dollars in television rights fees that are predicated on the public’s demand to watch the unpaid players compete.
“It does seem … the schools are conspiring with competitors, agreeing with competitors, to pay no salaries to the workers who are making the schools billions of dollars on the theory that consumers want the schools to pay their workers nothing. And that just seems entirely circular and even somewhat disturbing,” Kavanaugh stated.
Kavanaugh also questioned the anti-trust law which allowed the NCAA to avoid paying the players.
“Antitrust laws should not be a cover for exploitation of the student-athletes,” Kavanaugh added.
Justice Samuel Alito took issue with the NCAA’s argument that paying the players would decrease fan interest.
Alito pointed out that the players receive compensation in form of tuition, room, board as well as small stipends and that fans still pack stadiums and arenas.
Liberal Justices Elena Kagan and Sonya Sotomayor agreed.
But like most major cases, the Court was divided on this matter.
Liberal Justice Stephen Breyer wondered if it was the Court’s job to micromanage college athletics.
“This is a tough case for me … because it’s a unique product and it brings joy to a lot of people,” Justice Breyer stated. “I worry about judges getting into the business of how amateur sports should be run.”
The decision in this case will come down in June and if the justices rule that college athletes are entitled to earn money for their labor it will change college sports forever.
But no one is sure if it will be for better or worse.
If you want Black Eye Politics to keep you up to date on any new developments in this ongoing story and the rest of the breaking news in politics, please bookmark our site, consider making us your homepage and forward our content with your friends on social media and email.