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NCAA agrees to $2.7B settlement, opens door for revenue-sharing in college athletics

Egg Bowl
Photo courtesy of Mississippi State Athletics

A landmark settlement will soon shake up the landscape of college athletics.

The NCAA Board of Governors on Thursday, with the blessing of all five power conferences, agreed to settle a lingering case that is expected to change the landscape of college sports. A universally supported decision to resolve the House vs. NCAA antitrust lawsuit will cost college athletics’ governing body approximately $2.77 billion over a span of 10 years.

The multi-billion dollar sum will be divvied out to pre-2021 athletes seeking compensation for income they missed out on ahead of major television deals and the establishment of name, image, and likeness (NIL) reimbursements. Also included in the settlement is a method for universities to pay student-athletes directly.

“The five autonomy conferences and the NCAA agreeing to settlement terms is an important step in the continuing reform of college sports that will provide benefits to student-athletes and provide clarity in college athletics across all divisions for years to come. This settlement is also a road map for college sports leaders and Congress to ensure this uniquely American institution can continue to provide unmatched opportunity for millions of students,” legal counsel representing the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, and soon-to-be defunct Pac-12 conferences wrote.

“All of Division I made today’s progress possible, and we all have work to do to implement the terms of the agreement as the legal process continues. We look forward to working with our various student-athlete leadership groups to write the next chapter of college sports.”

The NCAA is now planning to iron out a revenue-sharing model that would allow each school in remaining power conferences to allocate upwards of $22 million in revenue to student-athletes and an additional $3-5 million in scholarships. Universities would not be required to participate, but it is expected that the overwhelming majority, including Ole Miss and Mississippi State, will.

Athletes would still be able to be compensated through NIL ventures that exist separately from the stipend they would receive from the institution they represent. For example, Rebel and Bulldog football players would still be allowed to agree to lucrative deals with the Grove Collective and Bulldog Initiative, respectively, while simultaneously collecting payments from their colleges.

It is anticipated that the revenue-sharing plan will go into effect in the fall of 2025.

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