Early arguments in Johnson v NCAA shows why the NCAA needs a Plan B. And C. And D.
The NCAA has certainly had better days in court.
Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.
Wednesday afternoon marked oral arguments in one of the most important legal cases in college sports, Johnson V NCAA. The crux of the case centers around whether college athletes should actually be classified as employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act and thus afforded rights like access to overtime pay and minimum wage.
I may have a political science degree, but I’m very not much not a lawyer, and I won’t pretend to be one for this newsletter. I have written enough about legal proceedings, and talked to enough lawyers, to know that one shouldn’t automatically assume that questioning during oral arguments portends exactly how the court will rule on a particular case.
So I won’t sit here and say that Amateurism as we know it is completely dead in the water. The question of amateurism wasn’t even up for this particular panel on Wednesday (this panel has been asked to determine if a previous federal district court judge correctly denied the NCAA’s motion to dismiss the case). But plenty of legal analysts are saying that the NCAA did not have a very good day in court…and given the potential stakes of this case, that’s a big deal.
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