How Stanford soccer’s Nya Harrison is fighting NCAA to get athletes paid

January 5, 2024 – Media Mention
San Francisco Chronicle

Irwin Kishner, co-chair of Herrick's Sports Law Group, spoke to the San Francisco Chronicle about a recent lawsuit filed by student-athletes regarding compensation. Specifically, Stanford soccer player Nya Harrison and her co-plaintiffs, student-athletes from TCU and Duke, filed suit against the NCAA in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California requesting an injunction "to prevent the NCAA from enforcing rules that prohibit 'pay for play' compensation for athletes, along with seeking damages for past payments the athletes would have received if those restrictions didn’t exist."

"California has traditionally been a favorable state for student-athletes," said Irwin. "They usually come out favoring employees. It’s getting progressively more difficult not to grant (athletes in) the big programs revenue. If you’re on Michigan football, that brings in millions of dollars of revenue to the university. So, the question then becomes, why not share that with the players?"

The article notes that the NCAA has historically argued that "paying athletes would result in cuts to non-revenue and especially women’s sports, a possible 'unintended consequence,'" about which Irwin expressed concern.

"Does that mean that now that universities are going to limit the amount of sporting programs it’s going to undertake, because you’re going to need to pay people?" Irwin said.

According to the article, the evidence demonstrates that sports have "never been cut as a result of money being spent on athletes." 

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