NCAA Reaches Tentative Settlement in Reimbursement Case
The NCAA plans to ease restrictions on educational expenses for current student-athletes while setting aside $10 million to reimburse former athletes as part of a tentative class-action lawsuit settlement.
The agreement, which a judge must approve and both sides review before becoming final, stems from a federal antitrust lawsuit filed in February 2006 by two former football players and a former basketball player from California.
Initially, NCAA officials said the case had no merit. The proposed settlement includes the governing body’s denial of wrongdoing, but the NCAA also acknowledged it sought a settlement to avoid more expenses and distraction from litigation.
“It does provide greater flexibility for student-athletes who meet some of the qualifications for expenses that weren’t otherwise covered,” NCAA spokesman Bob Williams said yesterday.
While athletes attending school through 2012-13 will find fewer restrictions used to determine reimbursement for educational expenses, resume preparation and career counseling, the 12,000 former student-athletes who joined the class action suit would have access to a new $10 million fund for prior expenses. Those claims must be filed within three years.
In addition, the NCAA has agreed to let Division I schools provide year-round health insurance for athletes and accident insurance to cover the costs of injuries suffered on the playing field.
The plaintiffs argued NCAA limits on scholarships, which cover tuition, books, housing and meals, are an unlawful restraint of trade because of the billions of dollars generated from TV, radio, licensing and other agreements through major college football and basketball.
They believe the limits “deny a le- gitimate share of the tremendous benefits of their enterprise to the student-athletes who make the big business of big-time college sports possible,” the lawsuit contends.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Suspended Syracuse guard Scoop Jardine knew that a stolen student identification card was being used to order more than $100 worth of food, according to court documents.
Jardine didn’t eat any of the food but helped carry it in when it was delivered to his apartment on Jan. 13, then tried to cover up his involvement, according to the documents, which are based on a statement from Jardine’s cousin, Robert Washington, who was charged in the case.
Washington was arraigned Tuesday in Syracuse City Court on felony charges of second-degree forgery and fourth-degree grand larceny and a misdemeanor count of third-degree identity theft.