The College Sports Cartel and NCAA’s Response

For any of you who are into college sports, antitrust law, and published opinions then check out these two pieces:

This first piece was written by Joe Nocera of the New York Times.  The article is available here and titled, “The College Sports Cartel.”

An excerpt from the article sums up the basic premise:

[I]n Indianapolis a few weeks from now, a home-grown cartel will hold its annual meeting, where it, too, will be working to collude and fix prices.  This cartel is the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The N.C.A.A. would have you believe that it is the great protector of amateur athletics, preventing college athletes from being tainted by the river of money pouring over college sports.

In response, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) published a response to Nocera’s Article.  The NCAA’s response is available here and titled, “Why the New York Times’ Nocera is Wrong.”

An excerpt from the response sums up the basic premise:

The NCAA, however, does not fit this [cartel] model. Most importantly, the NCAA is not a collection of independent non-integrated competitors.  To the contrary, the NCAA is a wholly integrated joint venture among schools that creates and supports the unique product of college sports.  The most popular of these sports are football and basketball.  Without collaboration, as Mr. Nocera concedes, there would be no college sports at all.  The same is plainly not true of oil production.

What is your take on the matter?

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