Taylor O'Toole


The NCAA's longstanding tradition of amateurism is a pillar of the NCAA that has been regularly challenged by student-athletes and the public. The NCAA has set forth numerous guidelines to safeguard this tradition, including the Self-Employment Guidelines, which provide that a student-athlete may not use his or her name, image, likeness, or reputation as an NCAA athlete in the promotion of his or her business. The Self-Employment Guidelines have become particularly relevant and controversial recently, as the NCAA has found student-athletes to be ineligible based on these Guidelines, and has warned future studentathletes against these practices in order to remain in compliance. In August 2017, Donald De La Haye, the kicker for the University of Central Florida, was deemed ineligible for a violation of the SelfEmployment Guidelines after receiving advertising revenues on his YouTube channel. Additionally, the NCAA has expressed concern over highly anticipated sixteen-year-old basketball star LaMelo Ball's participation in his family's business, Big Baller Brand.

Antitrust claims are a common vehicle for student-athletes to challenge NCAA regulations. Thus, this Comment will engage in a rule of reason analysis of the NCAA's Self-Employment Guidelines to determine if the maintenance of the tradition of amateurism, along with the desire for parity amongst universities and amongst student-athletes, sufficiently justifies any anticompetitive effects that the student-athletes might feel from the Self-Employment Guidelines. Ultimately, this Comment will conclude that the procompetitive justifications outweigh the anticompetitive effects of the Guidelines.

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