House v. NCAA

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House v. NCAA is a lawsuit that has imposed billions of dollars in new costs on college sports, much of it going to plaintiffs' attorneys. Only a small percentage of the negotiated settlement will flow to college athletes, and many will see programs eliminated due to the expenses.

The NCAA and Power Five conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC) have agreed to a settlement in the House v. NCAA case, which threatened to cost the organizations a potential $4 billion in treble damages had the case gone to trial.

Instead, the parties have agreed to $2.8 billion in damages to former college athletes and 22% of the average Power 5 school’s revenues. That amount is estimated at more than $20 million annually per school for future revenue sharing ....[1]

As explained further, already struggling college sports programs are being hit particularly hard:

The settlement, which is still pending approval from a judge, is slated to pay $2.8 billion over the next 10 years in back damages to former college athletes from 2016-21. The NCAA office will take on a portion of the settlement. Out of the remaining amount, 40% will be paid by the legacy Power Five, with 60% coming from the Group of Five, FCS and non-football Division I leagues.[2]

Giant contraction

As reported by the generally liberal Sports Illustrated, far more will be hurt by this settlement than will benefit:

College athletics, which for the past half century have been available to hundreds of thousands of young men and women, are on the verge of a severe contraction — a gigantic reduction of opportunity ....

Widespread program cutting would appear to be in Wyoming’s future. And for hundreds, if not thousands of other schools.


Texas A&M is one of the wealthiest athletic programs in the country, but even it might have to cut programs under the financial burdens imposed by the House v. NCAA settlement. Notice how few men's scholarships it currently offers other than football. Due to Title IX, this college apparently does not even offer basic men's sports like soccer, wrestling, lacrosse, and volleyball. As it cuts programs due to the House v. NCAA settlement, Texas A&M will need to cut men's and women's programs in proportion to their overall enrollment in order to comply with Title IX. Texas A&M scholarships are as follows:[3]

  • Football (85)
  • Women's Track & Field/Cross Country (18)
  • Women's Basketball (15)
  • (Women's) Equestrian (15)
  • (Women's) Soccer (14)
  • Women's Swimming & Diving (14)
  • Men's Basketball (13)
  • Men's Track & Field/Cross Country (12.6)
  • (Women's) Softball (12)
  • (Women's) Volleyball (12)
  • Baseball (11.7)
  • Men's Swimming & Diving (9.9)
  • Women's Tennis (8)
  • Women's Golf (6)
  • Men's Golf (4.5)
  • Men's Tennis (4.5)