A federal judge ruled Friday that the NCAA's limits on what major college football and men's basketball players can receive for playing sports "unreasonably restrains trade" in violation of antitrust laws.
U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken, in a 99-page ruling in favor of a group of plaintiffs led by former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon, issued an injunction that will prevent the NCAA the "from enforcing any rules or bylaws that would prohibit its member schools and conferences from offering their FBS football or Division I basketball recruits a limited share of the revenues generated from the use of their names, images, and likenesses in addition to a full grant-in-aid."
"We disagree with the Court's decision that NCAA rules violate antitrust laws," NCAA Chief Legal Officer Donald Remy said in a statement. "We note that the Court's decision sets limits on compensation, but are reviewing the full decision and will provide further comment later. As evidenced by yesterday's Board of Directors action, the NCAA is committed to fully supporting student-athletes."
Michael A. Carrier, a Rutgers-Camden law school professor and antitrust expert, told USA TODAY Sports: "I think for the NCAA, this is a huge loss because for the first time you have a court looking at its prized defenses, things like amateurism and competitive balance, and saying this is not persuasive.
"This has to be viewed as a significant win for the plaintiffs and significant loss for NCAA."