May 25, 2024

Report: NCAA Could Pay $2.7B+ in NIL Antitrust Lawsuit Settlement for Past Damages | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

EVANSVILLE, IN - MARCH 30: A NCAA logo is seen on the goal stanchion before the NCAA Division II National Championship Basketball game between the Minnesota State Mavericks and the Nova Southeastern Sharks on March 30, 2024, at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Those payments would be made to college athletes who claimed they were illegally prohibited from profiting off their name, image and likeness.

In addition, the settlement would also go hand-in-hand with a pledge commitment from conferences and schools to share revenue with athletes. That number could be $20 million per year for an athlete revenue share, per Thamel:

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.

Steve Berman, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs, expressed confidence on his clients’ leverage in this case.

“Our leverage is a big cannonball rolling down a hill and picking up speed,” Berman said. “The longer they wait, the more they’re going to have to pay. It’s that simple.”

The NCAA did not comment when contacted by ESPN.

There are a few different factors at play in this case. For one, the deal may eventually be the “catalyst for the new business model of college sports,” per ESPN.

“They’ve got stuff on paper,” a source told ESPN. “This is not just lawyers and commissioners meeting and having a cocktail. This snowball is moving downhill. The horizon on this is about a month.”

In addition, the case is scheduled to go to trial in January 2025. Per ESPN, an NCAA loss in that case could eventually result in the association paying over $4 billion in damages. Paying $1.3 billion more certainly wouldn’t be ideal for the NCAA, so an out-of-court settlement, on paper, seems like a more palatable conclusion.

The plaintiffs in the House vs. NCAA case are arguing that the NCAA “is breaking federal law by placing any restrictions on how athletes make money from selling the rights to their name, image or likeness,” per ESPN.

House is former Arizona State swimmer Grant House. Other plaintiffs include former Oregon basketball star Sedona Prince and ex-Illinois defensive lineman Tymir Oliver.