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NCAA Embarrassed Again With Another Legal Battle Loss

NCAA Embarrassed Again With Another Legal Battle Loss

University of Tennessee and Virginia granted temporary injunction by Federal Judge as NCAA cannot enforce NIL rules

Approximately one month ago, the NCAA irrationally decided to target the Vols for violating Name, Image, and Likeness bylaws, which allow for Student-Athletes to receive compensation through third party brands for promotion and their partnership. These newer rules were a massive turn for the NCAA that used to strictly forbid “pay-for-play” for all collegiate sport participants. However, in 2021 the Supreme Court ruled that this banning violated antitrust laws. As a result, the NCAA scrambled to create NIL rules and regulations, and boy, did they blow it.

Fast forward to this year as Tennessee’s star quarterback Nico Iamaleava was placed under the spotlight for potentially speaking with brands about what potential compensation he would receive if he chose UT. You know, like any reasonable human being with multiple job offers would want to discuss with employers what salary they would receive prior to accepting the position. Yeah … the NCAA in its infinite wisdom said that’s a no-no for student-athletes.

The news broke in January of this investigation and almost immediately the Virginia Attorney General joined forces with the Tennessee AG to file a lawsuit against college sports’ top governing body while UVA faced similar infractions. The NCAA then tried to play the role of victim by suggesting - well, it’s the schools that make these rules and we just enforce them. That excuse is lazy at best considering the fluidity of the rules and the 300+ institutions with differing views on what should be regulated at the top level, what autonomy should be given to conferences, and what should be fair game for each school to decide.

On Friday, the court ruling came down from Judge Clifton Corker (US District Judge of Eastern Tennessee) stating that, “The NCAA’s prohibition likely violates federal antitrust law and harms student-athletes.” As a result, a temporary injunction was put in place and the NCAA cannot impose its NIL rules in the states of Tennessee or Virginia. Seemingly, they will not be enforcing them in all 50 states. 

Although the stay is temporary, this is a massive win for UT and UVA, along with all college athletes who will now have the ability to negotiate their compensation. For those that love the old rules of the NCAA, sorry, but they are never coming back and there is no one to blame but the National Collegiate Athletic Association. They made their bed, now they will lay in it as they watch their power and influence dwindle. 

Reports from CBS Sports, ESPN, and On3 all expect the injunction to become permanent and the NCAA to lose control over NIL. This is the result of a cesspool seeing warning signs for decades that they were in violation of antitrust laws but constantly kicking the can down the road. The NCAA has now gone from a mess to being in shambles. Will the NCAA now disappear? Certainly not anytime soon, but a colossal overhaul is needed to save the organization. If change is not made now, the feds will blast them into oblivion.