2021 Louise Halper Award Winner for Best Student Note

The unrest revolving around compensation for college athletes is not a new concept. However, public attitudes are shifting. With spirited arguments on both sides, and the recent Supreme Court decision of National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Alston regarding antitrust exemptions, the issue has been placed in a spotlight. This Note examines the buildup of discontentment through the history of the NCAA and amateurism, specifically how the term “student-athlete” became coined. It will then move to litigation efforts by athletes in an attempt to gain employment status, and an alternative route of unionization. Models that examine the fair market value of athletes, as well as the issue of rent sharing, place the monetary value of this labor into perspective. This Note highlights recent legislative pushes, both state and federal, to compensate athletes through name, image and likeness laws and the subsequent approval of the NCAA. However, this Note proposes that this new publicity surrounding NIL law creates the opportunity to rectify injustices beyond that of what third-party compensation models could provide. In conclusion, this Note advocates for the full-spectrum protection offered through a proposed College Athletes Bill of Rights.



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