Court Battles

Advocates allege major colleges violating Black athletes’ rights

A group of advocates for college athletes has filed a federal complaint alleging that major NCAA Division 1 schools are violating the civil rights of Black athletes by prohibiting compensation, The Associated Press reported

The National College Players Association (NCPA) announced on Tuesday that it had submitted its complaint to the Office for Civil Rights in the Education Department, saying that NCAA’s collegiate rules prohibit member schools from compensating athletes, which disproportionately affects those who are Black.

In a statement through his association, Stanford football team wide receiver Elijah Higgins said “I believe it’s important to first acknowledge the reality of the business that is college football,” according to the AP. 

The NCPA also claimed that Division 1 athletes have been denied tens of thousands of dollars in compensation annually, relative to the annual revenue their respective sports generate. 

The complaint also cites Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s concurring opinion in Shawne Alston’s case. 

The Supreme Court voted unanimously to uphold a lower court’s decision that the NCAA was in violation of antitrust law, noting that the NCAA and college conferences cannot cap benefits related to education that schools can offer to athletes, the AP reported. 

“This multibillion college sports enterprise imposes discriminatory practices that disproportionately harms Black athletes, while predominantly white coaches and administrators make millions of dollars,” NCPA Executive Director Ramogi Huma said in a statement. “College athletes throughout predominantly white sports receive fair market compensation, but athletes in the only predominantly Black sports do not.”

In total, the NCAA’s Division 1 men’s basketball tournament and its college football playoffs generate more than $1.2 billion in revenue combined. 

While all of the 358 schools that compete in the basketball tournament receive most of the initial $800 million revenue, The Power Five conferences, the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and Southeastern (SEC), receive most of the $470 million generated from the college football playoffs, the AP noted.

Tags Brett Kavanaugh College football NCAA NCAA compensation NCAA Division I
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