A little more than a century after American colleges began to play football, the arguments weighed in 1984’s National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Board of Regents would lead to a watershed chapter in a long debate over the framing of the game and its place in higher education and national life. At the United States Supreme Court, assertions collided over whether the noneconomic values of higher education or “purely competitive commercialism” should prevail. Justice Byron White—a judge who had not only played college football but starred in it—sought to preserve an understanding of the role of football in higher education that had been more dominant in an earlier American age. He argued at length that it would be a mistake for the Court to treat “intercollegiate athletics under the NCAA’s control as a purely commercial venture in which colleges and universities participate solely, or even primarily, in the pursuit of profits.” Ultimately, however, the majority ruled almost exclusively on terms of established antitrust law against the NCAA in favor of the challengers seeking to take control of their football teams’ television revenues. The ruling would firmly alter the course of American college football toward virtually limitless commercialization.