The NFL and college football have been embroiled in legal disputes over whether the sport has an antitrust exemption from antitrust law.
The NCAA, which has faced a series of lawsuits from players who claim it has discriminated against them because of the way it handles its recruiting and financial aid programs, filed suit against the NFL earlier this month over the matter.
“The antitrust exemption for collegiate sports is not absolute and cannot be ignored,” the NCAA said in a statement.
“The antitrust protection afforded by the NCAA is based on the fact that it is a professional organization, not a private association.”
The NFL, which is not a professional league, has not made any comment on the NCAA’s complaint.
The lawsuit was filed by lawyers for the NCAA and players, who claim the league has not adequately addressed concerns over its recruiting practices.
Players are represented by the Players Association, which claims that the NCAA unfairly targets its members for academic scholarships, as well as financial aid.
The suit alleges that the league’s compliance with antitrust laws is being used as a weapon to punish and penalize players and athletes for their academic and athletic endeavors.
The complaint alleges that NCAA officials violated antitrust laws by refusing to allow the NCAA to inspect its football facilities, which the league says is necessary to protect the integrity of its programs.
The NCAA said it is also reviewing the NFL’s response to the NCAA complaint.