Constitutional FAQ Answer #77 – The U.S. Constitution Online – USConstitution.net

Constitutional FAQ Answer #77

<<Previous Question |
Question Index |
Subject Index |
Constitutional Index |
Next Question>>

Q77. “Is it unconstitutional for an organization
such as the NCAA to deny athletes the right to obtain a job, or put a limit on
the amount of money that a person can make? Does the 14th Amendment cover this
when it says no State can deprive any person of life, liberty, or

The Constitution, for the most part, places restrictions or grants powers to
the federal government; state government less so. It has no power over private
individuals or organizations. That having been said, however, the federal
government can make laws that make it illegal to do this or that. So while it
is not unconstitutional for a private organization to deny an athlete the
right to work, it could be made illegal.

Now, let’s look at this specific case. Be aware that I am not a lawyer, nor
did I crack the books to do extensive research on the NCAA. So if anyone has info to the
contrary, please let me know.

As I understand it, a school must be a member of the NCAA to play sanctioned
games against other NCAA schools. To be an NCAA school, the school agrees to
abide by certain rules, which may include restrictions on what amateur
athletes can and cannot do, and what schools can and cannot do for a member of
their teams. If one of the rules is that you cannot provide cars for your
athletes, then that’s one of the rules. The player has the option of not
playing for that team if he or she does not agree with the rules. The school
has the option of being an NCAA team or not. So I doubt that there is any law
that prevents the NCAA from making rules of this nature, and unless the NCAA
was taken over by the federal government, it would not be unconstitutional.

Last Modified: 10 Aug 2010

Valid HTML 4.0