College sports has been undergoing rapid commercialization and reorganization. This transformation has led to sharpening inequality among schools within and between divisions, unstable and unsustainable economics, and burgeoning legal challenges. It is not an exaggeration to state that intercollegiate athletics is at an economic and legal tipping point. This article first discusses the economic issues confronting college sports. It then turns to consider the plethora of litigation facing the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and argues that antitrust and labor laws are inadequate means to respond effectively to the economic and legal challenges surrounding college sports. Finally, the article makes the case for a limited and conditional antitrust exemption for the NCAA that would promote the primacy of academics and the fair treatment of athletes.
Antitrust exemption, College athletic department operating deficits, Intercollegiate academic and fairness reforms, Intercollegiate health and safety, O’Bannon, Rule of reason
© The Author(s) 2017
Meyer, Jayma and Zimbalist, Andrew, "Reforming College Sports: The Case for a Limited and Conditional Antitrust Exemption" (2017). Economics: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.