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).