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Today’s Headlines: Supreme Court rules against NCAA

A basketball player shoots in front of the NCAA logo.
The Supreme Court has sided with athletes in a dispute with the NCAA over rules limiting certain compensation.
(Patrick Smith / Getty Images)

The U.S. Supreme Court sided with athletes in a dispute with the NCAA over rules limiting benefits.

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Supreme Court rules against NCAA

The Supreme Court has ruled unanimously against the NCAA, deciding 9-0 that the multibillion-dollar college sports industry can be sued under antitrust laws for conspiring to make money by insisting that star athletes be unpaid amateurs.

The decision upholds rulings by judges in California who struck down the NCAA’s limits on extra benefits for football and basketball players, such as computers or scholarships for graduate study. Several states, including California, have passed laws that would allow athletes to profit from their names and celebrity.

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The NCAA Division I Council, which votes on rule changes, is set to meet this week. Now that the schools know with this Supreme Court opinion that the NCAA’s dream of an antitrust exemption is off the table, the name, image and likeness (NIL) rules can take shape with that in mind.

The NCAA is still waiting for Congress to pass a one-size-fits-all federal solution to NIL. Still, it should worry that the Supreme Court’s opinion could embolden Democratic senators to push for broad reform that includes protections for athlete health and safety, along with full NIL rights. Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s concurring opinion in the NCAA vs. Alston case should add fuel to the fire for college athlete activists across the country in the coming months.

New York lawyer Jeffrey Kessler, who led the suit against the NCAA, said, “This historic 9-0 decision is about the athletes, especially those who will never join the pros. Hopefully, it will also swing the doors open to further change.”

U.S. Appeals court upholds California’s assault weapons ban

In a brief order, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals put on hold a judge’s decision to overturn California’s 30-year-old ban on assault weapons.

On June 4, Judge Roger T. Benitez overturned the California ban but gave the state 30 days to challenge the decision. In so doing, he likened an AR-15 semiautomatic to a Swiss Army knife and called it “good for both home and battle.”

However, the 9th Circuit, acting on a June 10 appeal filed by Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta, put Benitez’s ruling on hold pending decisions in other gun cases that are now before the court.

Seven states, including California, as well as Washington, D.C., ban assault weapons. The California case is expected eventually to go to the Supreme Court, where most justices are conservative and some have been highly critical of gun regulations.

More from the courts

— In Washington, a federal judge ruled that Black Lives Matter can’t claim damages from former President Trump over the removal of protesters from Lafayette Square last summer before his much-publicized walk from the White House to a nearby church.

— A federal appeals court revived a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a California law that requires women to be placed on the boards of publicly owned companies.

All aboard to LAX, soon

Officials gathered at the outskirts of Los Angeles International Airport to break ground on a $900-million Airport Metro Connector project that by 2024 will link L.A. County’s fast-growing rail network to a people mover system being built at the airport.

Approval for the connector station came in 2014. In May, the Metro board approved an $898-million budget for the project, funded in part by tax Measures R and M. The project is set to be up and running in time for the 2028 Olympics. But, more important, some officials see it as a potential turning point in L.A.’s ambitious, expensive efforts to make mass transit a serious alternative in a city known for its cars.

Gov. Gavin Newsom in May offered as much as $1 billion in state funds to help support the county’s construction blitz, which also includes a Westside subway extension and a light rail line in South Los Angeles. The projects are part of Metro’s “28 by ’28” effort to complete an array of transit projects before the Summer Games.

The Airport Metro Connector will join several huge rail projects under construction, including a subway to Santa Monica, another through downtown L.A. and new lines in southwest L.A. and the San Gabriel Valley. Despite the rise of rail over the last few decades, passenger growth has been slow. Many hope a connection to the airport could jump-start the effort.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

In 1940, actress Shirley Temple appeared at a two-hour nationwide radio benefit for the American Red Cross Mercy Fund. More than 50 celebrities, including Bing Crosby and Mickey Rooney, helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to help war refugees in Europe.

The Los Angeles Times reported: “During the show, Western Union messengers — working for nothing — picked up 2,500 donations. ... Los Angeles motorcycle police also made scores of trips to pick up checks.”

A check from Howard Hughes for $25,000 was delivered by a police car.

Shirley Temple
June 22, 1940: Actress Shirley Temple appears at a two-hour nationwide radio benefit for the American Red Cross Mercy Fund.
(George Wallace / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

— A San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy is under criminal investigation after video showed him kicking a suspect in the head after the man appears to be surrendering during an arrest.

— Decades ago, California’s prison boom helped revive Susanville, a town near the Nevada state line. Now, plans to close the California Correctional Center are sparking anger and fear.

— A police pursuit in Chino ended with a stolen big rig crashing into a house and the driver in custody.

Aaron Harvey was one of 33 people accused in a sweeping 2014 conspiracy case targeting gang murders. He fought back, and the charges were dropped. Now he’s a UC Berkeley graduate.

THE CORONAVIRUS

— A new study suggests that COVID-19 might shrink parts of the brain.

— Days into its launch, California’s digital vaccination record system has glitches. Here’s how to fix yours.

— The U.S. is reaching a pair of encouraging milestones as the COVID-19 pandemic’s grip on the nation continues to loosen.

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NATION-WORLD

— Dozens of wildfires are burning in hot, dry conditions across the U.S. West, including a blaze touched off by lightning in Arizona.

— A 77-year-old driver who accidentally slammed his truck into fellow members of a gay chorus group, killing one and injuring two others, said he was devastated by the crash at the start of a Pride parade in South Florida.

— The United States, the European Union, Britain and Canada joined forces to impose sanctions on several senior officials in Belarus over the forced diversion to Minsk of a passenger plane traveling between two EU countries last month.

Stefan Lofven, Sweden’s Social Democratic prime minister since 2014, lost a confidence vote in parliament, making him the first Swedish leader ever to lose such a motion.

Iran’s president-elect said he would not meet with President Biden or negotiate over Tehran’s ballistic missile program and its support of regional militias, sticking to a hard-line position.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

— The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released the results of its latest round of elections for the organization’s board of governors, boosting the share of women and people of color in the group’s leadership ranks to historic levels.

— Starz’s “Blindspotting” comes with a touch of magical realism but is rooted in Bay Area culture. Locals may be its toughest critics.

True crime has become one of TV’s top genres. But for all its devotees, the frenzy around cases can be a double-edged sword with complex consequences.

Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel and another executive have resigned their seats on the board of Live Nation after the Department of Justice cited antitrust concerns.

BUSINESS

— In Hollywood’s relationship-based economy, the barriers to entry for people of color start at an early age, experts say. Can George Clooney and a new L.A. high school make crews more inclusive?

— Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg, once sharply critical of Netflix’s film release strategy, is deepening his ties with the streaming giant with a multiyear partnership.

— After a number of high-profile incidents, U.S. airlines and their unions want the Justice Department to send a strong message to unruly passengers with additional federal criminal charges.

SPORTS

Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib made history, becoming the first active NFL player to come out as gay. That brings a sense of both relief and responsibility, said retired NBA center Jason Collins, who publicly came out as gay at the conclusion of the 2012-13 season.

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OPINION

— Student athletes deserve better from the NCAA. Thank goodness the Supreme Court agreed, writes deputy editorial page editor Jon Healey.

— Palm Springs is a famously LGBTQ-friendly city, but the Marilyn Monroe statue is an offense to Pride Month, art critic Christopher Knight writes.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

— The queer Liberian American designer Telfar Clemens, who became fashion’s success story of the pandemic, will be bringing his signature designs to the 2021 Olympics. (New York Times)

Rachel Lindsay reflects on “The Bachelor”: “I thought I could change the franchise from within. Until I realized I was their token.” (Vulture)

ONLY IN L.A.

Mark Peel came of age during the rise of the celebrity chef — he was Wolfgang Puck’s opening chef at Spago. But he was more of a chef’s chef, most comfortable behind the grill or sharing with customers an oddball fact he’d just read. Peel, who died Sunday at 67, was generous with his food and his knowledge, writes The Times’ Laurie Ochoa.

Today’s newsletter was curated by Laura Blasey and Daric L. Cottingham. Comments or ideas? Email us at headlines@latimes.com.


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