You have /5 articles left.
Sign up for a free account or log in.
Two Brown University basketball players have sued the Ivy League over its prohibition on athletic scholarships, alleging the policy amounts to price fixing and denies athletes proper compensation for their services, the Associated Press reported.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Connecticut by lawyers representing Grace Kirk, a member of the Brown women’s basketball team, and Tamenang Choh, who played on the men’s team from 2017 to 2022. They are seeking class action status so the suit would cover all current athletes at the eight Ivy League institutions as well as former athletes recruited since March 2019.
The lawsuit argues that Brown, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia and Cornell Universities, Dartmouth College, and the University of Pennsylvania have illegally conspired to limit financial aid by banning athletic scholarships.
“Regardless of whether considered as a restraint on the price of education, the value of financial aid, the price of athletic services, or the level of compensation to Ivy League athletes, the Ivy League Agreement is per se illegal,” the lawsuit states.
Robin Harris, the Ivy League executive director, defended the no-scholarship policy.
“The Ivy League athletics model is built upon the foundational principle that student-athletes should be representative of the wider student body, including the opportunity to receive need-based financial aid,” she told the AP in a statement. “In turn, choosing and embracing that principle then provides each Ivy League student-athlete a journey that balances a world-class academic experience with the opportunity to compete in Division I athletics and ultimately paves a path for lifelong success.”
Lawyers for the basketball players noted that other elite higher ed institutions—including Stanford and Duke—offer athletic scholarships without compromising academic quality.
“These schools are not part of the Ivy League, but they demonstrate they can maintain stellar academic standards while competing for excellent athletes, and without agreed upon limits on price,” the lawsuit said.