College Esports: A Model for NCAA Reform

29 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2018 Last revised: 28 Feb 2019

See all articles by Thomas Baker

Thomas Baker

University of Georgia

John T. Holden

Oklahoma State University

Date Written: July 19, 2018


Collegiate esports is an emerging industry, an extension of professional esports that has caught the attention of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The NCAA is currently exploring the possibility of taking a dominant regulatory role within collegiate esports. The leagues and tournaments that make-up collegiate esports are still developing their own regulations applicable to student-athletes. This article provides the first detailed study to examine the current state of collegiate esport regulation. Part I of this article provides an introduction to collegiate esports for the reader, explaining the concept of collegiate esports and how this new sport/entertainment industry currently functions. Part II is an investigation of student-athlete regulations in collegiate esports and compares those regulations with what is done currently within the NCAA. Specifically, this part of the article focuses on regulations of student-athlete academic eligibility, compensation, and their ability to transfer among schools. This section also provides suggestions for collegiate esports and the NCAA based on inferences drawn from an examination of regulations. The research presented in this article contributes significantly to the body of knowledge on esports by being the first to address current and future regulation within the new industry of collegiate esports. The research findings in this article also add to the literature by providing new insights on the regulation of intercollegiate athletics and the need for reform within the NCAA and how the success of collegiate esports could provide a model for reform.

Keywords: esports, collegiate, sport, regulation, reform

JEL Classification: K20, K21, K31, K40, L12, L13, L40, L41, L43, L49, L50, L83, Z10, H52, J42, J50, J40, I20, I22, I28

Suggested Citation

Baker, Thomas and Holden, John, College Esports: A Model for NCAA Reform (July 19, 2018). South Carolina Law Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Thomas Baker

University of Georgia ( email )

4458 Tacoma Trce.
Suwanee, GA GA 30024
United States
3525148113 (Phone)
3525148113 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://

John Holden (Contact Author)

Oklahoma State University ( email )

201 Business Building
Stillwater, OK 74078-0555
United States

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