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Marquette Sports Law Review



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Two judicial opinions have shaped the modem college athletic world. NCAA v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma declared the NCAA's exclusive control over the media rights to college football violated the Sherman Act. That decision allowed universities and conferences to control their own media revenue and laid the foundation for the explosion of coverage and income in college football today. Clarett v. NFL held that the provision then in the National Football League's (NFL) Constitution and By-Laws that prohibited players from being eligible for the NFL draft until three years from the date of their high school graduation was immune from Sherman Act liability because it was protected by the non-statutory labor law exemption. An earlier decision, Haywood v. NBA, declared the National Basketball Association's (NBA) age-based draft eligibility rule an illegal group boycott and a per se violation of the Sherman Act. Therefore, at the time of the Clarett decision, the NFL was the only professional league that had age-based eligibility rules.