Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial & Commercial Law


Daniel Erber

First Page



College athletics, specifically the NCAA, has faced legal challenges throughout its history. In the wake of Alston and other Supreme Court decisions regarding antitrust violations tied to student-athlete benefits, many states proposed and passed laws explicitly allowing student-athletes at NCAA institutions to utilize their names, images, and likenesses for commercial purposes. With the state laws in direct conflict with NCAA rules, college sports entered an era of extreme uncertainty. While the NCAA attempts to maintain its grip on the commercial endeavors of student-athletes and member institutions, states and society are pushing a free market agenda geared towards liberalizing the economic opportunities granted. However, operating as a free market while also subject to NCAA rules results in an environment of confusion, risk, and detrimental consequences. Student-athletes and schools must be cognizant of conflicting laws and rules, the NCAA must learn from past antitrust violations, and college athletics must adjust to a new normal. Although many benefits arise from the new opportunities granted to student-athletes, there is a necessity for a clear understanding and uniformity of laws and rules to fully seize the benefits. Therefore, this Note analyzes the history of college athletics, the common law rules produced by past litigation, and proposes uniform legislative action to combat future harm.