Charlie Baker seeks ‘clarity’ for college sports amid settlement talks

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AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. — NCAA President Charlie Baker said Monday he will not set a deadline for the organization’s decision to accept or reject a proposed settlement in House v. NCAA, a historic trial that is expected to fundamentally reshape college sports. business model.

Knowing that settlement negotiations are continuing and could evolve, it seems likely that an agreement would include approximately $3 billion (over 10 years) in damages from the NCAA to Division I athletes who were not not allowed to monetize their names, images and likenesses (NIL) until July 2021, as well as a new revenue sharing model with power conference athletes that would begin as early as 2025. The Big Ten, SEC, ACC and the Big 12 are also named defendants in this lawsuit.

As first reported by ESPN and confirmed by Athleticism, the amount of money that will be shared annually with athletes by each school that chooses to adhere to the revenue sharing model is expected to be approximately $20 million. Questions remain about compliance with Title IX and the possibility of implementing such a system without a collective agreement, but this is the general framework within which the two parties involved work.

“There are a lot of meetings going on,” Baker said. “But my view on this is that the most important thing for us and for the people at (Power) 4 and (Power) 5 and the people on the plaintiff side is to clarify what the terms will look like. That has was our goal. I don’t set a deadline.

Although Baker did not set a deadline, the four power conferences could vote on a settlement proposal later this month. Athletes could potentially see a reduction in their league’s revenue no sooner than summer 2025, sources briefed on the settlement negotiations said.

Baker said he came to the ACC spring meetings in Florida at the request of Commissioner Jim Phillips and because “obviously there’s a lot to talk about in college sports these days.” . When asked specifically how much of the nearly two hours he spent with ACC coaches and administrators was devoted to the potential settlement, Baker said it was “some relatively limited.

“The most important part of the settlement – ​​and let’s face it, there’s still a lot of work to be done there – the most important part is that it creates some clarity and some visibility across a whole bunch of questions that have kind of been rattling everyone for a while,” Baker said. “The other thing that this does is it creates predictability and stability for schools. opportunity for student-athletes, especially at top-studied schools.

“And that creates a framework that then allows us to have a different type of conversation with Congress.” So in many ways I’m hopeful.

The NCAA would also prefer that any settlement of the House case also resolve other active antitrust litigation against the NCAA, including the Hubbard and Carter cases. As Baker discussed, there is also hope that the NCAA’s willingness to change its business model to allow revenue sharing with athletes could lead to antitrust protection from Congress, which could allow the company to move forward without making athletes employees.

“Look, I think everyone would like…to be positioned where they feel like they can plan, and in today’s world that we live in, planning is very difficult to do,” Baker said. “The best thing about being able to plan is that when you plan, you can invest. You can invest in your students, you can invest in your athletes, you can invest in your program, you can invest in your future and get a sense of what the terrain will be like under your feet. …

“If we can successfully complete this project, I believe it will provide tremendous benefits to student-athletes at the most well-resourced programs.” I think it creates a lot of stability and clarity for schools. And it allows us all to start thinking about what the next act will look like as it unfolds, instead of feeling like we’re waiting for the next shoe to drop.

Athleticism‘s Justin Williams contributed to this report.

(Photo: Kirby Lee / USA Today)

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