Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Law and Economics of the NCAA’s Claim to Monopsony Rights

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Jeffrey Lynch Harrison, University of Florida - Fredric G. Levin College of Law and Casey C. Harrison, University of Florida have authored The Law and Economics of the NCAA’s Claim to Monopsony Rights.

ABSTRACT: This article considers the legal and economic implications of the NCAA monopsony power with respect to players in the two most financially lucrative college sports - football and basketball. The principal means of doing so is through the evaluation of three recent legal challenges to the NCAA. Those challenges are to limits on payments to players, limits on the number of players receiving payment, and the rights of players under scholarship with respect to payments for commercial use of their images. The focus is on two questions. First, under current interpretations of the antitrust laws, what would the likely results of these cases be if they reached a final substantive resolution based on the strict application of these interpretations? More generally, what are the limits to the NCAA’s use of monopsony power? The second question is whether there should be liability under the antitrust laws. This is a more complex question with the answer depending, in part, on whether the antitrust laws are to be applied to affect allocative or distributive outcomes.

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