NCAA president committed to challenges ahead as pending antitrust settlement paves way for player compensation

LAS VEGAS — When Charlie Baker was named NCAA president in December 2022, the message directed toward him from membership was clear. 

“Just do something,” Baker said Monday during remarks at the annual National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. 

Baker did more than that, taking a victory lap of sorts before approximately 3,000 attendees in a packed ballroom at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. During what amounted to a 40-minute state of the union speech, Baker attempted to soothe that membership in the wake of last month’s House v. NCAA settlement.

“We now have an opportunity to sign off on a framework and put things behind us,” Baker said in his first in-person comments since the landmark settlement. 

The case settled a series of potentially crippling antitrust cases and set the NCAA on a course where it is on the brink of paying players for performance. As it stands, the NCAA and member schools are on the hook for $2.8 billion in back damages. Going forward, power-conference schools will be compelled to put aside an average of $22 million annually for the next 10 years to share with athletes. 

“I certainly know it will be challenging to live up to the terms of this settlement,” Baker explained. “I will say the NCAA is committed to do everything we can at the national office to find savings, generate revenue and put that toward the financial impact on schools in the years ahead. 

“As you know, this case has sucked up an enormous amount of time, resources and worries for everybody, not just in Division I. If the proposed settlement is accepted, it will bind the NCAA and all the schools in D-I for the next 10 years.”

Tremendous hurdles remain ahead over the next decade. While the settlement reduces the…


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