Institutional Control Case Study

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Institutional control refers to the efforts schools go through in order to adequately comply with the NCAA’s rules to detect and properly investigate violations that do occur at their institution. NCAA requires their member institutions to maintain a certain level of institutional control, and a “lack of institutional control” is considered a fairly significant violation, and often comes with serious consequences (“Enforcement Process”). Furthermore, if an employee or student-athlete knows that a fellow player or staff member has violated one of the NCAA rules governing agents but fails to report the violation, that individual has now violated NCAA bylaw 10 (10.1 Unethical Conduct) and thereby, the school can be considered to have a lack of institutional control (“Legislative Services Database”).

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the ruling that the NCAA do unlawfully restrain trade – in order words, do violate antitrust laws – but reversed the district courts ruling regarding compensating student-athletes beyond the full cost of attending college through deferred payments. The ruling was appealed to the Supreme Court as well, but the Supreme Court rejected their option to review the case. This lawsuit could potentially have forced the NCAA and their schools to pay million – perhaps even billions – in damages, as an antitrust lawsuit brings treble damages. Apart from that, would the plaintiffs win the case NCAA Division I sports would be revolutionized, as players would now be allowed to sell their image and negotiate their own sponsorships deals, thereby conflicting their current amateur status. In turn, this could potentially lead to a restructuring of the NCAA divisions, turning the major Division I conferences into its own, separate division

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