Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

First Page



This Note argues that the NCAA's interpretation of the amateurism provisions of the NCAA Division I Manual, with respect to Jeremy Bloom, is unreasonable, particularly in light of the NCAA's treatment of other dual-sport professional athletes. Consequently, the NCAA should create an exception to its amateurism provisions allowing Bloom and similarly-situated student-athletes to earn income from sources unrelated to the amateur sport in which they compete. Furthermore, since the NCAA Bylaws constitute a contract to which student-athletes are third-party beneficiaries, courts should provide a forum to ensure the consistent and equitable application of the provisions of that contract. Part I explains the NCAA's role in regulating student-athletes and the regulations that are applicable to Jeremy Bloom's case. A discussion about the NCAA's inability in this case to forge a solution that is consistent with its principles and rules will also be covered in this part. Part II describes the legal battle between Jeremy Bloom and the NCAA as an example of the court's historical deference to the NCAA in enforcing its amateurism rules. This part also considers the merits of an antitrust claim under these circumstances and provides an analysis of Bloom's contract claim against the NCAA. Part III assesses the NCAA's application of its rules to Bloom and suggests how the NCAA and the courts should approach future cases involving similarly-situated student-athletes. Part IV concludes that the NCAA's reluctance to provide a waiver to Jeremy Bloom is inconsistent with both its rules and its policies. Whether or not a court provides a remedy, the NCAA should revisit its position to better manage future cases.