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The Ivy League Lawsuit: A College Student’s Perspective

The Ivy League is being accused of engaging in antitrust in order to eliminate competition within intra-conference athletic recruitment. A recent class action lawsuit has been filed by a current Brown University Basketball player, as well as Brown Basketball alumni. The plaintiffs allege that Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University have broken federal antitrust laws in order to cheat student-athletes out of scholarship money and decrease the schools’ total scholarship payments.

In reality, this is not collusion or market manipulation. The Ivy League doesn’t have a monopoly on NCAA athletics. These athletes were not forced to go to the Ivy League. These students agreed, with full knowledge, that they would be paying for their education when they committed to Ivy League schools for sports.

While the plaintiffs’ argument sounds juicy at first, when you think about it, it isn’t. While it is true Ivy League policy banning athletic scholarships does eliminate scholarship competition within Ivy League recruitment, these athletes had plenty of other choices. The Ivy League hardly has a monopoly over NCAA Division I sports. While it differs by sport, most major NCAA Division I sports have dozens of conferences for the athletes to choose from. These athletes were free to attend any other D1 school in any other D1 conference. In fact, many of these athletes were likely recruited by such other schools, yet they chose to attend these Ivy League schools to enhance their own individual pedigrees.

Sources: t-says-e1e7c29c %20Sherman%20Act%2C%20enacted%20by,bid%20rigging%20and%20tying%20agreements.

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