Bloomberg Law
Aug. 6, 2021, 9:56 AM

For NCAA’s Antitrust Woes, Athlete Unions Pose Ironic Solution

Dan Papscun
Dan Papscun

Beaten at the U.S. Supreme Court, outflanked by state laws, pressured in Congress, and with antitrust clouds building on the horizon, the National Collegiate Athletic Association may find solace in the most unlikely of places: by collectively bargaining with its student athletes.

In doing so, the NCAA would have to throw out its strongest-held claim—that college athletes are students, not employees.

The non-statutory labor exemption for collective bargaining agreements between employers and their unions shields the employer from antitrust liability—and may be a solution to many of the problems the nonprofit faces. The Supreme Court-recognized exemption exists to allow for ...

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