SBD/10/Collegiate Sports

NCAA SETTLES SUIT, AGREES TO PAY $54.5M TO ASSISTANT COACHES

          The NCAA agreed to pay $54.5M in damages "to settle a
     class action lawsuit by assistant coaches whose salaries
     were reduced in violation of federal antitrust laws,"
     according to Athelia Knight of the WASHINGTON POST.  By
     reaching a settlement, the NCAA "will drop its appeal" of a
     May trial decision in favor of coaches from all sports
     except Division I-A football.  In that verdict, a U.S.
     District Court jury awarded $67M to assistant coaches whose
     salaries were "limited" to $16,000 by an amendment to NCAA
     rules in '91.  Earlier this year, a judge increased the jury
     award to $75M.  NCAA Exec Committee Chair Charles Wethington
     said the NCAA will pay the $54.5M to the coaches within 60
     days: "This has been a long and unfortunately divisive
     issue.  It has pitted employee against school and sometimes
     friend against friend" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/10).  In K.C.,
     Blair Kerkhoff writes that the cash payment will be made to
     about 2,000 coaches.  Kerkhoff also reports that $22M of the
     payment will come from an NCAA fund, while the 302 Div. I
     schools "will have to come up with" the remaining $32.5M. 
     Attorney's fees will come out of the total.  NCAA Exec Dir
     Cedric Dempsey said money from the fund would have gone to
     the schools for athletic programs (K.C. STAR, 3/10).
          HELPING HAND: IN lawmakers "want to let the NCAA issue
     bonds through the state to help pay" the $54.5M settlement.
     The IN House passed a bill "aimed at giving the [NCAA] the
     unique ability to issue tax-free bonds to pay for court
     judgements," thus allowing the schools to spread the payout
     over the life of the 20-year bonds. The NCAA is moving its
     headquarters from K.C. to Indianapolis (STAR-NEWS, 3/10).


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