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Report: Massive Financial Changes Coming to College Football

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Pitt football in NCAA football.

The NCAA is rapidly moving toward a direct-compensation model for college football.

With the rise of NIL and the transfer portal, and the increasing money coming into the college football landscape via the College Football Playoff, it was only a matter of time. A “super-conference” has been teased since Oklahoma and Texas announced their intention to leave the Big 12 for the SEC in 2021.

There’s not a super conference yet, or even a new model, but there is discourse almost every day. According to a report by Ross Dellenger of Yahoo! Sports, a rather pricy model could be on the way.

“The 10-year settlement agreement could cost each power school as much as $300 million over the decade, or $30 million a year,” Dellenger reported. “That figure assumes a school meets what is believed to be: (1) a $17-22 million revenue distribution cap for athletes; (2) at least $2 million in withheld NCAA distribution for back damages; and (3) as much as $10 million in additional scholarship costs related to an expansion of sport-specific roster sizes — a concept previously unpublicized.”

It would mean that schools would share revenue, and directly control NIL deals, with its athletes. That’s the direct connection between schools and their athletes. And there’s already an unequal revenue sharing amongst the Power Four teams.

“The timing and the settlement hinges, somewhat, on another antitrust case: Fontenot v. NCAA,” Dellenger reported. “That case seeks billions of dollars for college athletes in compensation from televised broadcasts.

“While the House settlement is expected to consolidate two other antitrust cases — Hubbard and Carter — the Fontenot case is an outlier. House, Hubbard and Carter share the same legal team in Steve Berman, of Hagens Berman, and Jeffrey Kessler, of Winston & Strawn. Fontenot was brought by the law firm Korein Tillery.

“A hearing is set in the Fontenot case for later this month, a key date in settlement discussions. A consolidation of all four cases is ideal as to prevent future legal challenges against the NCAA and power leagues.”

Dellenger reported that if the legal matters are settled, and they’re expected to be soon, the revenue-sharing model would begin no sooner than the fall of 2025 but could be pushed back to the 2026 season. So, there is some wiggle room, but it appears to only be a matter of time.

But at the same time, there’s no escaping what’s to come in terms of the financial situation in college athletics — football, in particular.

“Schools will have the opportunity to share millions in revenue with athletes with a spending limit similar to a professional sports team’s salary cap,” Dellenger reported. “Estimates put the amount at $17-22 million per program, though the amount could fluctuate. The figure was determined through a percentage (roughly 22%) of an average of Power Four athletic department revenue streams, most notably ticket sales, television contracts and sponsorships — not donations.”

It appears that the days of amateurism in the NCAA are coming to an end. The new rules will allow schools to increase scholarship limits — double scholarship limits in some cases.

“Two power conference administrators told Yahoo Sports that they plan to add more than 100 additional scholarships at the expense of $9-10 million annually,” Dellenger reported. “A portion of the additional scholarship expense may be counted toward the revenue-sharing cap, but that too is a fluctuating figure.”

The college football landscape is changing rapidly, and it doesn’t appear to be avoidable. It’s just the reality of college football in the new era of college athletics.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
21 Comments
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Rooster
Rooster
26 days ago

$$$$ ruins college football just like it ruins everything else. What a farce it all has become.

TJ
TJ
26 days ago

I’ve lost interest in most pro sports and am quickly losing interest in college as well. I realize folks will skewer me because of this opinion but, I feel that we’ve gone way overboard with the adoration for sports. I put the blame at the feet of the media which pays ridiculous sums to broadcast these games and to the fans that are willing to pay and donate to the ever-broadening altar of sports.

It just isn’t that valuable to me. sorry.

Michael Roth
Michael Roth
26 days ago
Reply to  TJ

You’re not wrong and it’s not that valuable period. But it’s not the media’s fault.

This country would rather give 600 million, of taxpayer money, to a billionaire, while simultaneously skewering public schools and making it harder for them to get funding.

The people of this country need to realize that our highest paid professions are our distractions from day to day life (bread & circuses)…athletes and entertainers. Why do you think that is and it’s not the media’s fault.

I could go on all day with this

Last edited 26 days ago by Michael Roth
Craig
Craig
25 days ago
Reply to  Michael Roth

We live in a capitalist society. The media doesn’t tell us what to watch. People will watch what they want and the media is simply the medium between the football game and the fans.

Russell Eugene Kissell
Russell Eugene Kissell
25 days ago
Reply to  Craig

And people are losing interest in sports. It’s a model of Corporate Capitalism that eliminates better innovation to protect their own profit. Better athletes over high hype. Not good for competition or best athletic competition.

Randino
Randino
15 days ago

So less people are watching football today than they were 10 years ago?

Panther
Panther
25 days ago
Reply to  Michael Roth

Roth, college sports are entertainment. If people enjoy the product, they will pay for it. Welcome to free markets.

The more money we give public schools, the more they indoctrinate kids into their leftist cult.
Get rid of public schools. Promote private school vouchers.

Pittband
Pittband
25 days ago
Reply to  Panther

No politics.

Michael Roth
Michael Roth
25 days ago
Reply to  Panther

What free market are we talking about? The one where the owners get 100s of millions of taxpayer money, or the one where schools get money through various means and individuals tell kids how much they are going to pay and then don’t? Or kids sign deals and break them? Unfettered capitalism, mixed in your garden variety socialism of subsidizing the rich, is a recipe for disaster. Charter schools are a disaster. Leftist indoctrination as opposed to your right wing indoctrination. Who told you the schools are indoctrination kids…fox News? Charter schools…that’s laughable…the one my nephew went to that wasn’t… Read more »

Last edited 25 days ago by Michael Roth
Randino
Randino
15 days ago
Reply to  Michael Roth

I’m sure it had nothing to do with your genius of a nephew,huh?

Giovanni
Giovanni
24 days ago
Reply to  Panther

Yeah, benefitting the few at the expense of the many. Wonderful idea.

Panther
Panther
25 days ago
Reply to  TJ

It’s a free market. It’s the entertainment business.

Michael Roth
Michael Roth
25 days ago
Reply to  Panther

Found the parrot

Giovanni
Giovanni
24 days ago
Reply to  Panther

Don’t confuse a greed market with a free market. Maybe we should start paying high school kids too, sacrificing valuable lessons that prepare them for real life in exchange for corrupting their ability to experience true long-term success.

Randino
Randino
15 days ago
Reply to  Giovanni

What’s the valuable lesson here?

Fjb
Fjb
25 days ago
Reply to  TJ

Amen. I’m a lifelong Pitt fan, but money and greed have changed college sports forever. I want to be entertained, not indoctrinated. I choose to spend my money elsewhere. Faith family and freedom, not sports.

Kelvin Byrd
Kelvin Byrd
25 days ago

I am good with paying a premium for season tickets. Will even donate to capital campaigns for new facilities.

What I won’t do is pay kids to play a game. I have kids of my own that I’ve paid a tremendous amount to educate and we need to plan for our own financial futures. Why give to NIL? Those players don’t give a damn about any specific school. Greed has ruined everything.

Panther
Panther
25 days ago
Reply to  Kelvin Byrd

Next time you get a raise at work or a promotion, give the money back. In fact, give your paycheck back. Quit being greedy.

Fjb
Fjb
25 days ago
Reply to  Kelvin Byrd

Those who provide the most NIL money will inevitably gain tremendous influence over the student athletes. Sad.

Russell Eugene Kissell
Russell Eugene Kissell
25 days ago

College sports were much more fun, offered many more people opportunities before this mega conference,NIL BULLSH**! They are ruining college sports for the schools, communities, fans, and in the end people will stop watching college sports. The caliper of “sport stars” when they go pro has certainly been very disappointing. Time to stop the madness, and return back to the time of real competition. Big wigs snuffing out superior athletes, ideas, and competition!

Jon
Jon
20 days ago

So it will me the AAA minor league

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