Report: NIL antitrust case vs. NCAA may be settled in near future

League: NCAA Football

Posted on: 30 Apr, 2024 at 04:26 AM

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The antitrust class action lawsuit levied against the NCAA may not go to trial as college sports leaders are in talks to settle, per an ESPN report on Monday.

The plaintiffs in the case, House vs. NCAA, have accused the NCAA and its power conferences of breaking federal law by limiting how athletes can benefit from selling their name, image or likeness.

If the case were to go to trial - set for January 2025 -- and the plaintiffs win, the NCAA and its schools could have to shell out more than $4 billion in damages.

NCAA president Charlie Baker, NCAA lawyers, the plaintiffs' attorneys have been meeting with the power conference commissioners and their general counsels in the Dallas area, with talks ramping up of late, per the report.

Per the report, more information regarding a possible settlement is expected to be released soon, though no deal is close to completion. The settlement - which could cost the NCAA billions in back pay for former athletes -- could be the foundation for the NCAA sharing revenue with athletes in the future.

Although it has not been settled, the top-end revenue share amount per school would be around $20 million every year.

Another issue the NCAA faces is college athletes aiming to be viewed as employees and allowing them to unionize, with the National Labor Relations Board reviewing a pair of cases.

While NCAA leaders are against athletes becoming employees, Baker has looked into methods to provide more revenue to athletes at some schools. In December, he proposed a subdivision of the richest programs to pay $30,000 per year to half their athletes or more.

The NCAA wants Congress to enact a clause specifying that college athletes aren't employees, but there hasn't been much progress on that front. A multi-billion settlement toward revenue sharing with athletes may lead Congress to help govern college sports.

--Field Level Media