NCAA Settles with Scholarship Athletes for $208M

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On Friday, a federal judge in California approved a $208.7 million settlement to compensate 43,000 current and former student-athletes who went to school on traditional sports scholarships prior to a newer version that covers the full cost of attendance.

According to plaintiff attorney Steve Berman, four-year athletes will receive checks of an average amount of $6,000 — amounts will vary based on length of scholarship and the gap between values and costs of attendance — without having to file individual claims.

Berman told USA TODAY Sports, “I’m thrilled with how this came out, and we’ve saved the best for the next trial,” in reference to a sought-after injunction against compensation limits. “One hundred percent we will get there,” he said.

Friday’s settlement applies to student-athletes in Division I men’s and women’s basketball and the Football Bowl Subdivision whose scholarships were limited by the NCAA to cover only tuition and fees, room and board, and books and supplies.

Athletes will be eligible for compensation if they received a scholarship anytime between the 2009-10 school year and Aug. 1, 2015, when a rules change began to allow Division I schools to offer scholarships covering the full cost of attendance to athletes in any sport.

The settlement marks the end of the damages portion of a lawsuit that still hopes to overturn the NCAA’s newest compensation limits. The NCAA has announced that damages will be paid out of the association’s financial reserves, with payments expected in February of 2018.

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