The Supreme Court and the NCAA

The Case for Less Commercialism and More Due Process in College Sports

Subjects: Law, Supreme Court and Constitutional Law, Political Science, Judicial Politics, Sports, Education, Higher Education
Paperback : 9780472035458, 264 pages, 6 x 9, August 2013
Hardcover : 9780472118045, 264 pages, 6 x 9, January 2012
Ebook : 9780472028092, 248 pages, 6 x 9, January 2012
Audiobook : 9780472004058, 264 pages, 6 x 9, May 2021
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Porto identifies the Court’s role in shaping college sports and advances a prescription for reform

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Two Supreme Court decisions, NCAA v. Board of Regents (1984) and NCAA v. Tarkanian (1988), have shaped college sports by permitting the emergence of a supercharged commercial enterprise with high financial stakes for institutions and individuals, while failing to guarantee adequate procedural protections for persons charged with wrongdoing within that enterprise. Brian L. Porto examines the conditions that led to the cases, the reasoning behind the justices' rulings, and the consequences of those rulings.

Arguing that commercialized college sports should be compatible with the goals of higher education and fair to all participants, Porto suggests that the remedy is a federal statute. His proposed College Sports Legal Reform Act would grant the NCAA a limited "educational exemption" from the antitrust laws, enabling it to enhance academic opportunities for athletes. The Act would also afford greater procedural protections to accused parties in NCAA disciplinary proceedings. Porto's prescription for reform in college sports makes a significant contribution to the debate about how best to address perennial problems in college sports such as cost containment, access to a meaningful education for athletes, and fairness in rule enforcement.

Brian Porto is Professor of Law at Vermont Law School and a lawyer in private practice.

"An excellent book."
 --The Sport Digest

"... very well written, very thought provoking … Porto has done a terrific job of articulating that the Supreme Court's Board of Regents decision in 1984 greatly accelerated the commercialization of major college football."
—Gary R. Roberts, Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis

"This is an important book and one that addresses issues in college sports that are timely and of current interest to lawyers, higher education administrators, public policymakers, and faculty members in a number of disciplines, most specifically sport law and sport management."
—Ellen J. Staurowsky, Drexel University

"If you want to know how important Supreme Court cases affect intercollegiate athletics, read Porto's book. You will see a new legislative approach to reforming college athletics as the NCAA searches for academic integrity."
—Ronald A. Smith, Professor Emeritus, Pennsylvania State University

"An excellent book."
The Sport Digest

- Greg Tyler

"Porto's suggestions for improvement (e.g., revamping NCAA enforcement procedures and applying the administrative model to the NCAA) are persuasive." 
—D. Yalof, Choice

- D. Yalof

"The issues of parity and fairness in intercollegiate athletics deserve more attention in higher education literature, and Porto should be commended for the thoroughness in which he examines these issues."
—Joy Blanchard, The Review of Higher Education

- The Review of Higher Education

Listen | Interview on NPR's Only a Game | 2/18/2012