$208 Million Settlement Approved by Court in NCAA Scholarship Antitrust Class-Action Lawsuit
SAN FRANCISCO – Today, a California federal judge granted preliminary approval of a $208 million settlement in a lawsuit filed by student-athletes against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) alleging that it violated national laws in unlawfully capping the value of athletic scholarships or Grants-in-Aid (GIAs), according to Hagens Berman.
Under the court’s preliminary approval of the settlement, Hagens Berman can begin mailing notice to class members starting late July 2017.
“For years, we’ve fought on behalf of tens of thousands of student-athletes who simply haven’t been given a fair shake,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and attorney representing the class of student-athletes. “We’re grateful to the court for preliminarily approving this monumental settlement that will bring real change to the way the NCAA treats Division 1 players, and grateful to the players themselves for stepping up to the plate.”
The settlement affects approximately 40,000 Division I collegiate athletes who played men’s or women’s basketball, or FBS football between Mar. 5, 2010 and the date of preliminary approval of the settlement, 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.
How Much Will Student-Athletes Receive?
The monumental settlement was recently reached between the NCAA and approximately 40,000 Division 1 student-athletes and will bring an estimated average amount of $6,500 to each eligible class member who played his or her sport for four years, pending final approval of the settlement.
What do Student-Athletes Need to do?
Under the settlement preliminarily approved today by Judge Claudia A. Wilken, each student-athlete will be directly notified and eligible class members will have a check mailed to him or her, with no claim form required and no right of any reversion of funds to defendants.
The case, originally filed in 2014 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, is a first-of-its-kind antitrust class action. The suit alleges that the NCAA and five power conferences have systematically colluded to disrupt the free market and deprive NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) football players and Division 1 men’s and women’s basketball players of the full economic benefits of their labor. The lawsuit argues that without this antitrust collusion, NCAA member schools would gladly compete for student-athletes’ attendance and talent by at least providing the full cost of attendance.
The same court previously certified a class in In re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation (later titled, O’Bannon v. National Collegiate Athletic Association), a case also brought by Hagens Berman.
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About Hagens Berman
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.