A federal judge denied a request from the states of Tennessee and Virginia for a temporary restraining order that would have halted the NCAA from enforcing NIL recruiting guidelines. The ruling comes one week after attorney generals from the two states filed a federal antitrust lawsuit. The two states claim that the NCAA violated antitrust laws by denying athletes their ability to earn full NIL compensation.
Though Judge Clifton L. Corker’s decision provides an early victory for the NCAA, his comments may paint a bleaker picture for the organization’s long term standing in the legal battle. Corker said he believed the states’ case will “likely” succeed based on federal antitrust statutes, going as far as to say current NIL regulations “likely foster economic exploitation of student-athletes.”
“Tennessee remains committed to protecting the rights of our student-athletes,” Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti wrote in a statement. “We look forward to litigating this case and enforcing the law.”
NCAA athletes have been permitted to earn NIL compensation since July 2021, but with parameters. For example, schools are not allowed to directly recruit players — high school prospects or transfer portal entrants — using NIL opportunities.
Shortly after the ruling, the NCAA released a statement supporting NIL rights, but calling for oversight in the recruiting proccess.
“The NCAA fully supports student-athletes profiting from their NIL rights, and the association looks forward to discussing how member schools and conferences overwhelmingly support the current…