ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A landmark decision coming down from the US Supreme Court Monday will give college athletes the ability to receive academic benefits in addition to their scholarships. The impact the ruling will have on local athletic programs remains to be seen.
All nine justices ruled unanimously against the NCAA on capping academic compensation for athletes, which previously was limited to the value of a full scholarship.
Now, following the ruling, student athletes can begin to receive additional educational benefits, for example a computer for classes, or a study abroad program.
“Well now they can be wooed by colleges, by additional offers of full graduate school scholarships, further educational benefits, the door’s wide open,” said Steve Berman, the co-lead counsel for the NCAA student athletes in the case that was heard by the nation’s highest court.
The impact this ruling will have on NCAA programs in the Capital Region and across the state remains to be seen.
In a statement, the State University of New York said, “SUNY will review the Supreme Court’s decision with leadership and athletic directors across our campuses that participate in a wide variety of conferences, including nationally-ranked NCAA, NJCAA, NAIA, and USCAA.”
A representative for Siena College’s athletic department said their program also continues to assess what the changes will mean for them.
The landmark ruling also comes as the New York State Senate passed a bill before the session concluded that would allow college athletes to receive compensation for the use of their name and likeness.
“The money that he made would go to him, and it would not be violative of the rules of the college,” said State Senator Neal Breslin, who voted for the bill.
The legislation still needs to pass in the Assembly, but Breslin is confident that the bill, along with the SCOTUS ruling, will be the first steps in bringing change to college sports.
“We still have a long way to go. It would seem to me that if you wait for each state to make rules, it’ll be a hodgepodge, so, hopefully someone at the federal level, congress will introduce legislation,” he said.
The Supreme Court’s ruling does not mandate schools to pay their athletes.