College athletes are finally receiving payments from the NCAA as part of a $208.7 million settlement, one part of a lawsuit against the NCAA and 11 major conferences concerning the association’s athlete-compensation limits.
The other part of the lawsuit seeks an injunction against the current compensation limits and has been sent to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The payments, in some cases as much as $20,000, are being delivered to current and former athletes who played in the years just before schools were allowed to offer scholarships based on the full cost of attending college.
According to the USA Today, the settlement applies to more than 43,000 athletes in Bowl Subdivision football and Division I men’s basketball and women’s basketball. While the average check was a little over $3,800, USA Today obtained records from the Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, the law firm overseeing distributions, which showed:
- More than 8,100 checks are for amounts between $5,000 and $10,000.
- Nearly 1,300 are for amounts between $10,000 and $20,000.
- There are 14 for $20,000 or more, including one for a little more than $36,000.
“It’s good they’re trying to rectify a situation that was messed up when we were in college,” Cam Fleming, a former Stanford offensive lineman now playing for the Dallas Cowboys, told the USA Today.
The case was filed back in March 2014. However, an objection from a single player and his attorney, as well as other delays, tied up the settlement money for so long that it earned an additional $1.3 million in interest.
Blake Martinez, a former Stanford linebacker now with the Green Bay Packers, puts the arrival of his check into what he sees as broader narrative of compensation improving for college athletes.
“I think at some point, it’s going to become a time where … they are getting paid,” Martinez said. “I think this is just a first step to it. And I think it’s a cool thing to kind of be a part of that.”