The Jenkins v NCAA lawsuit could not have come at a better time. With sports betting now legalized, the argument for college athletes’ payment becomes more and more plausible.
It’s the Principle of Amateurism that makes it impossible for college athletes to get shared revenue from the NCAA. The idea behind this principle is that education should come first. That’s why college athletes only get paid in scholarships, even though the NCAA gain massive income from those commercialized sports.
Recently, an integral part of gambling laws in US has changed. Sports betting is now legal in the US. Can this lead to the NCAA paying its athletes? We believe that it’s a yes. Legalized sports betting combined with the Jenkins v NCAA lawsuit could finally crack the long held Principle of Amateurism.
Details of the Jenkins v NCAA Lawsuit
According to US gambling news, the US District Court for the Northern District of California will hear the trial between Plaintiff Kris Jenkins and the NCAA starting December 3, 2018. Judge Claudia Wilken is the person who ruled that the Jenkins v NCAA lawsuit could go to federal court.
In the Jenkins case, Plaintiff Jenkins is challenging the NCCA on violating the Sherman Antitrust Act by not paying its athletes the appropriate amount. The Sherman Antitrust Act prohibits anything “in the restraint of trade and commerce.” The sharing of revenues between NCAA and the college athletes is supposed to be one of them.
How Does Legal Sports Betting Affect the Case?
The Jenkins v NCAA lawsuit has more weight due to sports betting. If the college athletes are unpaid, they could be enticed to incentives which might corrupt the matches. NCAA will collapse if there is no equilibrium in this case.
Additionally, there are also lessons learned from the past O’Bannon v NCAA case. In 2014, the presiding judges in the trial did not support O’Bannon with his antitrust challenge. The reason is the lack of evidence that paying college athletes will not disrupt the consumers’ appetite in watching college sports.
To counter this in the Jenkins case, increased sports betting in US would thereby increase the viewership. The logic is easy. If you are betting, it’s more likely that you will be attending the matches and following up to see the results. We cannot know what will happen to the status of NCAA paying its athletes yet. The outcome of Jenkins v NCAA lawsuit may decide this fate!