NCAA Fails to Set Aside Ruling Its No-Pay Rule Cheats Athletes

UCLA's Ed O’Bannon celebrates by cutting his part of the net after the Bruins 102-96 win over UCONN in the NCAA West Regional Final in Oakland, California on March 26, 1995.

Photographer: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s longstanding refusal to pay its athletes was deemed illegal by an appeals court that said a 2014 ruling offering them modest compensation needs to be revisited.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco, while upholding a landmark decision opening the door to college athletes being paid, said Wednesday that a fee formula imposed by a judge isn’t the appropriate fix for antitrust violations.

The 2009 lawsuit by ex-college basketball player Ed O’Bannon challenged the treatment of students as amateurs as college basketball and football evolved into multibillion-dollar businesses, with money flowing to the NCAA, broadcasters, member schools and coaches -- everyone but the players.

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