Supreme Court Hears Arguments On Paying NCAA Players

Should college athletes be paid to play? It's a hotly contested issue that has made its way to the Supreme Court. CBS2's Steve Overmyer reports.

Video Transcript

- Should college athletes be paid to play? It's a highly contested issue that's made its way to the Supreme Court.

- And the ramifications could change college sports. CBS 2's Steve Overmyer has more.

STEVE OVERMYER: Amid the backdrop of March Madness--

- It's over, at UCLA! From the first four to the final four!

STEVE OVERMYER: The NCAA is in its own battle in the Supreme Court. At the heart of the matter is college athletes getting paid. Right now, student athletes can't get paid. But the Supreme Court could decide to lift those restrictions.

Today, the NCAA made their argument against pay for play.

SETH WAXMAN: For more than 100 years, the distinct character of college sports has been that it's played by students who are amateurs, which is to say that they are not paid for their play.

STEVE OVERMYER: The NCAA believes compensating athletes will destroy demand for college sports. In an extraordinary open conference call, Justice Brett Kavanaugh voiced his concerns over the NCAA's argument.

BRETT KAVANAUGH: If the schools are conspiring with competitors, agreeing with competitors, I'll say that, to pay no salaries to the workers who are making the schools billions of dollars.

STEVE OVERMYER: Recently, lower courts have ruled student athletes can get the same financial awards as students on academic scholarships, up to roughly $6,000 a year. Now, the Supreme Court is poised to support that ruling. The NCAA fears a loss in this court could open the door for schools to pay athletes unlimited benefits. But Judge Elena Kagan suggests a different narrative.

ELENA KAGAN: Schools that are naturally competitors, as to athletes, have all gotten together in an organization, an organization that has undisputed market power, and they use that power to fix athletic salaries at extremely low levels.

STEVE OVERMYER: The nation's highest court will now decide if student athletes have the right to earning salaries. Steve Overmyer, CBS 2 News.

- The justices heard a total of 90 minutes of arguments today, and expected to issue a ruling in the next two months.