SSI-funded Research featured in SCOTUS filing

July 19, 2021

SSI-funded Research featured in SCOTUS filing


Data from the first National Sports and Society Survey, funded by the Sports and Society Initiative and executed by SSI Research Chair Dr. Chris Knoester (pictured) and faculty affiliate Dr. B. David Ridpath, was used in the Players' Associations filing brief in Alston v. NCAA case decided recently before the Supreme Court of the United States.

The court unanimously ruled in that case that the NCAA can’t enforce certain rules limiting the education-related benefits colleges offer athletes.

The brief stated, "To the contrary, the district court correctly found that eliminating restrictions on education-related benefits would “only reinforce consumers’ perception of student-athletes as students, thereby preserving demand.” Pet. App. 43a. Consumer demand did not wane after the NCAA itself loosened restrictions on other education-related benefits. Id. at 20a, 36a. And the latest research reveals that a majority of American adults support allowing college athletes to be paid and that “support appears to be highest among passionate sports fans.” Chris Knoester & B. David Ridpath, Should College Athletes Be Allowed to Be Paid? A Public Opinion Analysis, Soc. of Sport J. 8, 11 (2020). 

"In other words, college sports are distinct because “student-athletes are, in fact, students,” not because they are unpaid."