NCAA agrees to settlement; universities to pay players

In a major win announced by the NCAA today, all major conferences, as well as the NCAA, have agreed to allow universities to directly compensate athletes for the first time in NCAA history.

According to ESPN’s Pete Thamel and Dan Murphy: The NCAA settled three major federal antitrust lawsuits and plans to pay $2.7 billion in damages to current and former players over 10 years. Additionally, the rules come with a model that allows universities to pay $20 million of their revenue directly to players. Revenue sharing would likely begin in 2025.

The proposed settlement states that all athletes who have played in NCAA sports since 2016 are eligible to receive the dividends as long as they do not sue the NCAA for other antitrust violations and opt out of three major lawsuits: House v. NCAA, Hubbard v. NCAA and Carter v. NCAA. The proposed settlement does not mention Fontenot v. NCAA, which would have allowed universities to claim a cut of television revenues.

While this is a big step for both athletes and the NCAA, it’s not out of the woods yet — athletes are still not considered employees and therefore don’t have collective bargaining rights — but it’s a big milestone for college sports, giving back the money that’s rightfully due to athletes who participated in college sports.