US: Judge ends NCAA cap on athlete compensation

A judge has ruled against the NCAA in a federal antitrust case, opening door for players to receive more compensation. On Friday night  US District Judge Claudia Wilken said that the NCAA cannot “limit compensation or benefits related to education” for athletes playing Division I men’s or women’s basketball or Bowl Subdivision football.

Wilken said these athletes may receive are scholarships to complete undergraduate or graduate degrees at any school. The judge also appeared to open the possibility of athletes being able to receive cash or cash-equivalent awards based on academics or graduation, albeit under some constraints.

At the same time, however, her 104-page ruling prevents athletes from receiving unlimited benefits, as the plaintiffs had hoped.

The NCAA “may continue … to limit compensation and benefits that are unrelated to education,” Wilken ruled.

She also said that the association may adopt a definition of compensation and benefits that are “related to education.”

Wilken wrote that the changes to the NCAA’s current system will take effect in 90 days, but will be stayed if either side appeals.

The outcome represents a partial victory for plaintiffs who were seeking to have the association’s limits on athletes compensation in favor of allowing conferences to determine what athletes can receive.

Full Content: USA Today

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