In an unanimous decision handed down Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that the NCAA is violating U.S. antitrust law by restricting the benefits colleges can make available to student athletes.
Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered the court's opinion, which said the NCAA unlawfully harmed college athletes by limiting schools from competing for top talent by offering education-related benefits — like school supplies or paid internships. Gorsuch wrote that the NCAA sought "immunity from the normal operation of the antitrust laws," which the court refused to give.
The decision does not immediately open the doors for paid compensation for college athletes, as that issue was not before the court. Instead, it will permit schools to offer a wide range of educational benefits including tutoring, study abroad programs, and graduate scholarships, according to the Associated Press.
Current NCAA rules stipulate that student athletes cannot be paid and cap the scholarship money schools can offer at the cost of attending the school. The NCAA claims these rules are necessary because college athletes do not play at a professional level, and compensating them financially would detract from the amateur nature of collegiate sports.