$208 Million Antitrust Class-Action Settlement on Behalf of NCAA Student-Athletes Receives Final Court Approval
First-of-its-kind lawsuit to bring average payout of $6,000 to tens of thousands of current and former Division 1 players
SAN FRANCISCO – A federal judge has granted final approval of a $208 million settlement on behalf of tens of thousands of current and former NCAA Division 1 student-athletes, ending a novel 2014 antitrust class-action lawsuit stating the NCAA and its power conferences deprived the class of the full cost of attendance and illegally capped scholarships, according to Hagens Berman.
“This case is truly significant, and will mean real repayment – to the tune of an average $6,000 for those who played for four years – in the pockets of tens of thousands of current and former D1 student-athletes,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, and attorney representing the class. “We’re pleased that the court has issued final approval and look forward to getting settlement checks to class members as soon as possible.”
Affected NCAA student-athletes can visit the settlement website for a more specific calculation of their individual recovery and eligibility.
The first-of-its-kind suit alleges the NCAA and its most powerful conference members the Pac-12, Big Ten, Big-12, SEC and ACC systematically colluded to disrupt the free market and robbed NCAA Division 1 players of the full economic benefits of their labor. The lawsuit argues that in a just scenario, free of the NCAA’s antitrust collusion, schools would gladly compete for the attendance of talented student-athletes by at least providing the full cost of attendance through Grants in Aid (GIAs).
“This settlement received zero objections from an enormous class – something patently unheard of when dealing with complex litigation of this size, and no class members opted out to receive a portion,” Berman added. “We believe this stands as clear testament to its value and benefit.”
According to attorneys, checks will be mailed early next year.
The range of average distribution for class members who played his or her sport for four years is currently estimated to be approximately $5,000 to $7,500.
“Oftentimes, when someone says ‘class action,’ images of two-cent checks in the mail come to mind,” Berman said. “Our firm works to ensure that class-action lawsuits reap real benefits for the most people possible.” The class action also set the stage for changes made by the NCAA. After its filing in 2014, the NCAA amend its bylaws to allow colleges to provide up to the cost of attendance in athletically related aid.
The settlement specifically affects all Division 1 collegiate athletes who played men’s or women’s basketball, or Football Bowl Subdivision football between Mar. 5, 2010 and the date of preliminary approval of the settlement, Mar. 21, 2017, and who received from an NCAA member institution for at least one academic term (such as a semester or quarter) (1) a full athletics GIA required by NCAA rules to be set at a level below the cost of attendance, and/or (2) an otherwise full athletics GIA.
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Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with offices in 10 cities. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List eight times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.
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