March Madness May Look Different Next Season

March 12, 2021

U.S. Supreme Court to Review NIL Case Later this Month. The Case Could Change College Sports as We Know it.

The U.S. Supreme Court will review a case on March 31, 2021 related to college athletes receiving compensation for the first time for their names, images, and likeness (NIL).  The decision in this case could change collegiate sports landscape, including the upcoming March Madness collegiate basketball tournament. 

Don’t be surprised to watch the NCAA Tournament next season with college basketball stars in a TV ad or a TikTok post endorsing a product or service if the NIL decision is in the amateur athletes’ favor, said Chicago Family Law and Sports Legal Analyst Todd Glassman, who co-chairs Allen & Glassman, Chartered Family Law’s Sports & Entertainment Division, which works with professional and collegiate teams to keep players safe off the field. 

“There may be eventual approval of the NCAA rules on college athletes cashing in on their brands,” said Glassman. “The NCAA continues to maintain tight limits on any compensation for college athletes. This upcoming U.S. Supreme Court battle will not just be about college athlete compensation, but also about the regulation of the multi-billion dollar industry known as college sports.

“There is still a lot to sort out on compensating college athletes and even if paying them is allowed, how to regulate payments will be a key component needing to be worked out. There will more than likely need to be a balancing act as to the rights of compensation for the athletes and the regulations of the NCAA and how everything will be overseen and enforced. This will be a sweeping change for everyone, from the college athletes themselves, to their conferences and schools, advertisers and the fans. And, I think that this U.S. Supreme Court case (NCAA v. Alston) has the potential to be groundbreaking.” 

Latest NIL Update:

  • The Justice Department Wednesday, endorsed by President Joe Biden, filed its written brief urging the Supreme Court to side with college athletes who are challenging the NCAA’s limits on their compensation. 
  • NCAA delayed passage of NIL legislation last January after the U.S. Department of Justice raised questions with the association about antitrust concerns. 
  • While the process has been underway to adopt new rules for college athletes to get paid from endorsements on their name, image and likeness, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review a court decision (NCAA v. Alston) that the NCAA said blurred “the line between student-athletes and professionals’ by removing caps on education-related money certain football and basketball players can receive. 
  • A decision from NCAA v. Alston is expected at some point in the summer of this year. 
  • There are also five NIL bills making their way through Congress right now, including the “College Athletes Bill of Rights” brought forth by Senator Cory Booker and other prominent Democratic Senators. Booker’s proposed bill expands beyond NIL and includes revenue sharing between athletes and universities, and medical trust funds. Some other bills proposed are much more restrictive and have more legal protections for the NCAA.  
  • The NCAA asked Congress for help in drafting a federal NIL law that would serve as a national standard to avoid a patchwork of state laws. Florida’s NIL law goes into effect on July 1.

Glassman was recently on the Drive with Jack podcast discussing the NIL issue:

You can hear his interview at the 61:04 mark via the link below.

Glassman had planned to follow in the career footsteps of his two role models – his parents, both successful  school teachers. Instead, he chose a different way to help others: the law. He selected family law as the practice area that would best enable him to make a difference in people’s lives as he helps families in high conflict situations and also represents children. He also helps athletes stay safe and educated off the field with a well-received seminar series. 

For additional information, visit:

Allen, Glassman & Schatz, LLC