ACC votes to accept settlements in antitrust lawsuits against NCAA ::

ACC votes to accept settlements in antitrust lawsuits against NCAA ::

Atlantic Coast Conference presidents and chancellors voted Tuesday to accept a proposed settlement of antitrust lawsuits that would cost the NCAA nearly $3 billion and create a landmark revenue-sharing system with college athletes, sources told WRAL.

ESPN and Yahoo! Sports reported earlier Tuesday that the Big 12 had also voted to accept the settlement in the House v. NCAA case.

“I do believe that most folks think settling the litigation is going to be better than taking it through to a trial,” UNC Interim Chancellor Lee Roberts said last week.

Attorneys for the defendants gave college sports leaders until Thursday to agree to terms of the $2.8 billion deal. The defendants are the NCAA and the Power Five conferences — the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern.

The presidential boards of the NCAA and the five conferences must individually vote to accept the settlement. That includes the full current Pac-12 membership before that league shrinks to two schools later this summer.

The NCAA is expected to cover some $2.7 billion in damages over 10 years to current and former college athletes, dating to 2016, who were denied by NCAA rules the ability to earn money from sponsorship and endorsement deals.

About $1.6 billion of that will be from withheld distributions to member schools — money that would normally be sent to the schools by the NCAA, according to several people with direct knowledge of the proposal.

Withheld distributions from the Power Five conferences — currently comprised of 69 schools — are slated to cover 40% of that $1.6 billion. The other 27 Division I conferences, currently comprised of 283 schools, will cover the other 60%.

The ACC could see a reduction from $141 million to $172 million over the 10-year period, according to a document obtained by Yahoo! Sports. That figure is second behind only the Big Ten. Much of the NCAA’s distribution is based on success in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament over the last decade.

Moving forward, it will be the Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and SEC carrying most of the financial burden in a revenue-sharing system that asks each of its school to commit upwards of $20 million per year for 10 years to be paid directly to athletes. The overall commitment is expected to be about $300 million per school.

“I haven’t heard any possible settlement that that doesn’t involve some kind of revenue sharing,” Roberts said.

Reduced revenue from the NCAA and revenue sharing with the players will only put more pressure on leagues and schools to generate additional revenue. The ACC has fallen behind the SEC and Big Ten in revenue and per-member distribution, the key factor behind Florida State and Clemson suing to get out of the league.

Several members of UNC’s Board of Trustees have expressed concerns about that revenue gap. The ACC distributed about $39.5 million per school for the 2021-22 school year. The SEC’s figure was $49.8 million, and the Big Ten was at $58.6 million.

And that’s largely before those leagues’ new television deals increase their bottom line and before the SEC and Big Ten reap a larger share of revenue from the expanded playoff.

“I love the affiliation with the ACC,” trustee Ralph Meekins said last week. “And if we can do it within the ACC, let’s do it. But when I say do it, we got to stay competitive. Can we stay competitive in the ACC with the structure and the way it is now with a significant gap in the revenue that other schools are getting? For whatever reason, that’s where we are.”