The NCAA, member schools and broad­casters may be forced to nego­tiate licensing deals to pay col­lege foot­ball and bas­ket­ball players for appearing in live broad­casts of cham­pi­onship games, cut­ting into more than $16 bil­lion in tele­vi­sion con­tracts for the NCAA and its con­fer­ences. Cur­rent and former ath­letes could band together to bar­gain for group licenses, while star players poten­tially could hire agents.

Those deals would destroy the model that has devel­oped since Rut­gers Col­lege defeated what is now Princeton Uni­ver­sity in the first col­lege foot­ball game in 1869.

The free market has to operate and these stu­dents ath­letes have the same rights that everyone else has to take advan­tage of the com­mer­cial value of their names and like­nesses,” Roger Abrams, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity School of Law pro­fessor, said of yesterday’s decision.

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