NCAA's current business model could end after landmark ruling: Report

Boowie State  v George Washington
Boowie State v George Washington / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

The NCAA's current business model as we know it could be fundamentally changed after the National Labor Relations Board's February 5 decision to classify the Darthmouth men's basketball team as employees of the school.

“Because Dartmouth has the right to control the work performed by the Dartmouth men’s basketball team, and the players perform that work in exchange for compensation, I find that the petitioned-for basketball players are employees within the meaning of the [National Labor Relations] Act,” read a 26-page decision from the NLRB (h/t Front Office Sports).

Front Office Sports' Amanda Christovich believes Dartmouth is standing in the way of massive changes to college sports as we know it.

"Representatives from the NCAA, Ivy League, and Dartmouth did not immediately respond to requests for comment," Christovich prefaced before saying, "However, it is almost guaranteed that Dartmouth will appeal this ruling, as it would spell the end to the NCAA’s business model."

NCAA reaching inflection point in the NIL era

NIL has made the NCAA a mostly pay-to-play operation, with much less revenue being generated for athletes on sponsorship meaning the schools are footing the bill for stars. Evidently, the system has blown up in a big way, and the inflection point in this mess is imminent.

I spoke with Postgame CEO Bill Jula, founder of an NIL-based agency representing headline names like Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter, and he claimed that congress wouldn't make a move in the NIL space. It seems as though the universe decided to rebel against his claim with this NLRB ruling.

Dartmouth being the school representing the NCAA as we know/knew it has to make one averse to change worry, given the Ivy League's penchant to de-emphasize sports -- we didn't forget the COVID-19 season that wasn't -- and make radical changes across all facets of the college experience.