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It is somewhat ironic that the recently-granted Supreme Court appeal in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) v. Alston falls so near the 100-year anniversary of Federal Baseball v. National League, a well-debated opinion by the Supreme Court that gave a particular sports league—and, for decades only that sports league—broad immunity from the antitrust laws. In doing so, the Court set up the field of sports antitrust law in a way that would position professional baseball apart from the other leagues to a degree that the Court would later remark is “unrealistic, inconsistent, or illogical.” Indeed, even a sitting member of the Court has remarked on the baseball exemption’s controversial nature, noting that Federal Baseball has been “pilloried pretty consistently in the legal literature since at least the 1940s.”

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