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Is there something fishy about the potential House settlement?

Smaller conferences are very angry...and there may be other roadblocks

Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.

We’ve had tensions between the largest athletic departments and the smaller ones for about as long as we’ve had an NCAA…from the Sanity Code to the centralized control of television, to scholarship limits, cost of attendance, and much, much more.

So the fact that smaller conferences and the most powerful major leagues are feuding at the moment isn’t a shocking or ahistorical development. But the stakes, as well as the context of a building resentment, could potentially lead to something bigger.

The crux of the current battle centers on the potential terms of a settlement in House v NCAA. The most current proposed plan calls for the NCAA and P5 leagues to fork over more than $2.7 billion in back damages, plus a mechanism to provide direct revenue sharing with athletes, plus reforming a variety of NCAA regulations, including rules on rule enforcement, scholarship limits, and more.

According to multiple reports from Yahoo!, ESPN, The Athletic and others, the NCAA will be paying 40% of the penalties, with the rest of the money coming from reductions in school distributions (think: NCAA Tournament units, sport sponsorship, academic performance fund, etc.).

The fight is over how the financial burden of those distribution reductions will be spread out. The current proposal is for the P5 leagues (the Pac-12 is a named defendant in this case) to pay 40% of the cost, while the other 27 D-I leagues would handle 60%.

Not everybody is okay with that

Big East commissioner Val Ackerman, according to Yahoo!, led the charge against the current proposal. Via the Yahoo! story, here was her thinking:

Under the formula, the Big East will be responsible for about $5 million to $7 million annually, or as much as $70 million over the next decade — a figure that works out to about $600,000-$700,000 per school per year.

“Based on the numbers we have reviewed, the liability of the 22 non-FBS conferences under the proposed formula appears disproportionately high, particularly because the primary beneficiaries of the NIL ‘back pay’ amounts are expected to be FBS football players,” Ackerman wrote. “I have voiced the Big East's strong objections to the proposed damages framework through recent emails to [NCAA president] Charlie Baker and his counsel and through comments during commissioner calls over the past two weeks.”

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