Uncertainty Looms Over Colorado Case as NCAA Approaches .8 Billion Settlement

Uncertainty Looms Over Colorado Case as NCAA Approaches $2.8 Billion Settlement

The NCAA is on the verge of a $2.8 billion settlement to resolve three antitrust lawsuits, with the Big Ten conference being the latest to give its approval. However, there is uncertainty surrounding a fourth case, Fontenot v. the NCAA, and whether it will be included in the agreement. The plaintiffs’ attorneys in the Fontenot case are pushing to keep their case in federal court in Colorado, rather than having it moved to California and combined with another antitrust lawsuit.

George Zelcs, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, emphasized the importance of including the Fontenot case in the settlement, stating that it is a necessary step for the agreement to be finalized. The NCAA and five major college conferences involved in the House v. NCAA lawsuit have requested that the Fontenot case be combined with another case, Carter v. the NCAA, currently being heard in California.

The NCAA completed its approval process for the settlement, with the Board of Governors voting unanimously to accept the proposal. Several conferences, including the Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conference, have already approved the deal, while the Southeastern Conference and Pac-12 are set to consider the agreement. The terms of the proposed settlement include the NCAA paying $2.77 billion over 10 years to former and current college athletes who were denied the ability to earn money from endorsement and sponsorship deals dating back to 2016.

The Fontenot case differs from the other lawsuits in that it focuses on the fair market value of services provided by college athletes, rather than just name, image, and likeness issues. The plaintiffs argue that their case should not be combined with the others due to these fundamental differences. Steve Berman, one of the lead attorneys in the House case, believes that the Fontenot case’s claims will be released if the settlement is approved.

The outcome of the Fontenot case and its potential inclusion in the settlement will have significant implications for college athletes seeking fair compensation for their contributions. The resolution of these antitrust lawsuits could lead to substantial changes in the way college sports operate and how athletes are compensated for their talents. The decision on whether to include the Fontenot case in the settlement will be a crucial moment in the ongoing legal battle between college athletes and the NCAA.