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NCAA and SEC Approve Historic $2.8 Billion Settlement in Antitrust Cases

 |  May 23, 2024

The NCAA and the Southeastern Conference (SEC) have approved a $2.8 billion settlement of antitrust claims, bringing college athletics closer to implementing wide-ranging changes. This settlement addresses three major antitrust lawsuits that have threatened the NCAA with billions in damages.

The SEC, the latest league to agree to the settlement, saw its presidents and chancellors vote unanimously in favor on Thursday, according to sources with direct knowledge of the decision who spoke to The Associated Press under condition of anonymity.

The settlement entails over $2.75 billion in payments from the NCAA to former Division I athletes and introduces a future revenue-sharing model between power-conference schools and athletes. This agreement is outlined by the law firms Hagens Berman and Winston & Strawn LLP, who represent the plaintiffs in the cases House v. NCAA, Hubbard v. NCAA, and Carter v. NCAA.

The revenue-sharing model, which could be implemented as early as next year, is optional for power-conference programs. It would allocate 22 percent of these schools’ average annual revenue, estimated to exceed $20 million per school, directly to athletes.

Read more: NCAA Antitrust Settlement Clears First Approval Stage

The damages, available to Division I athletes dating back to 2016 as compensation for lost name, image, and likeness (NIL) earning opportunities, will be disbursed over ten years.

If a judge approves the settlement, it would mark a significant shift in the NCAA’s longstanding amateur sports model. This model, which has only recently begun to allow athletes to earn endorsement money, would be further disrupted by permitting revenue-sharing between schools and their athletes.

Source: AP News