The NCAA, the college sports association, wanted the case to be heard by the high court, to look into whether the First Amendment protects against realistic portrayals of persons in works like video games.
But the Supreme Court didn’t wrestle with this one; the case will now likely go back to the district court level.
Last year, a Federal Appeals court ruled against the NCAA, saying its amateurism rule violated the antitrust laws -- but also that the NCAA may restrict colleges from compensating athletes beyond offering scholarships and a few thousand dollars.
The same court also rejected another judge’s alternative
that colleges pay athletes up to $5,000 per year in deferred compensation.
There won’t be any big decision on whether college athletes will get paid anytime in near future.
But college sports -- especially live TV college sports -- will continue to make big revenue for the parties involved -- NCAA member colleges, video-game producers, and those TV networks who sell billions in advertising time.
While there has been ongoing full-scale digital media disruption in many areas, when it comes to these specific performers -- yes athletes are also performers -- the status quo remains.
What to do if you are an athlete? Work harder, post better sports performance numbers -- for yourself and your college team -- and then wait for a potential payday in the years to come.
One thing: don’t get injured. Professional sports teams aren’t all that happy in making deals (or giving big contracts) to athletes running at less than 100%.
Also, make sure you have a back-up plan -- like a business, accounting or nursing degree. And have a second plan: How to pay back your college education. Yes, that specific educational debt that you can never, ever default on.
Even better. Get an after-school, after-football workout job. Maybe at a nice restaurant in your local college town -- one that has a TV on somewhere where you can watch sports.