LOUISVILLE, Ky. — For years, the National Collegiate Athletics Association has kept amateur and professional sports separate, but Monday's Supreme Court ruling could lead to an unclear division between the two.
J. Bruce Miller has been in the sports law field for more than 50 years.
On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that how much athletes receive in academic benefits cannot be limited.
That decision caught Miller by surprise.
He believes it opens a gate for schools to use beefed-up benefits to get the best players and even misuse funds.
“Who decides what an education expense is?” Miller questioned.
He doesn’t expect all foul plays.
Miller thinks the decision could lead to the whole country following behind the six states that will allow student-athletes to make a profit off their name, image and likeness starting July 1.
“That’s what the Supreme Court is upset about. You’re using an individual with a talent and somebody else making all of the money,” Miller said.
That’s a change Kentucky Democratic Senate leader Morgan McGarvey is hoping to see across the board and not just in those six states.
He picks the NCAA to make the first play.
“If it’s not the NCAA, it needs to be Washington because the NCAA isn’t doing anything. And Washington isn’t doing anything and Washington hasn’t done anything. You’re seeing state legislatures come in and fill that void. I don’t want to see a patchwork of laws across all 50 states so I really want to see a national standard,” McGarvey said.
McGarvey said he believes Kentucky will file its own name, image, likeness legislation before or in the next session.
While the next decisions are uncertain, Miller is sure that Monday’s decision will lead to salaries for student-athletes.
“Whether that’s good or bad, I don’t know. I have no idea. We’ll find out. I know this, it will never be the same. It will never be the same again,” Miller said.
He said a new ballpark of issues that collegiate sports have never experienced like employee rights and benefits could come into the picture.
“I think that there will be many universities that say we’re not going to have anything to do with,” Miller said.
He said his fear is that some athletic programs will become intramural leagues.
“What existed before simply will never exist again,” Miller said.