May 25, 2024

NCAA Could Face $20B in Damages, Bankruptcy if No Settlement in Antitrust Lawsuit | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - APRIL 08:  The NCAA logo on the wall before the National Championship game between the Purdue Boilermakers and the Connecticut Huskies at State Farm Stadium on April 08, 2024 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The NCAA and its five power conferences may lose $20 billion in back damages and risk a bankruptcy filing if they rejected settlements in the House, Hubbard and Carter antitrust cases and lose in court.

That’s per a two-page document obtained by Ross Dellenger of Yahoo Sports, who relayed the information on Tuesday.

The document, which was given to ACC leaders at their annual spring meetings, detailed a proposed settlement in which the NCAA would pay $2.776 billion in back damages to athletes for their NIL (name, image and likeness) use prior to 2021, when prohibitions against athletes profiting off that were lifted.

That $2.776 billion would be paid over 10 years, with roughly 60 percent deriving from “a reduction in distribution to its schools,” per Dellenger. The remaining portion would come via other avenues, with Dellenger noting other means, most notably reserves and “a significant reduction in operating expenses of as much as $18 million annually.”

If the NCAA rejects that settlement, loses in court and has to pay that previously mentioned $20 billion in back damages, it would “likely” have to be payable “immediately,” per Dellenger. With such a big bill and without a 10-year grace period, Dellenger noted that the judgment “would, in all likelihood, result in the NCAA and leagues filing bankruptcy.”

Pete Thamel @PeteThamel

We’ve used the revenue share number $20 million for schools in settlement of House v NCAA/anti-trust lawsuits. Per sources, that’s determined by a specific number — 22-percent — of various Power conference revenues. The revenue buckets/formula are still being discussed.

Agreeing to a $2.776 billion settlement over 10 years as opposed to potentially losing $20 billion (and facing bankruptcy) seems like the safer option.