NCAA, leagues back $2.8 billion settlement, setting stage for current, former athletes to be paid

The NCAA and the nation's five largest conferences announced Thursday night that they have agreed to pay nearly $2.8 billion to settle a slew of antitrust claims,

paving the way for a game-changing revenue-sharing model that could begin directing millions of dollars directly to athletes as early as the 2025 fall semester.

NCAA President Charlie Baker, along with the commissioners of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and Southeastern Conference,

issued a joint statement announcing their agreement to settlement conditions. They described it as "an important step in the continuing reform of college sports that will provide

benefits to student-athletes and provide clarity in college athletics across all divisions for years to come."

Terms were not released, but certain information have emerged in recent weeks. They signify the collapse of the NCAA's core amateurism concept, which stretches back to its inception in 1906. 

Indeed, the days of NCAA penalties for athletes driving booster-provided cars began to fade three years ago, when the organization relaxed limitations on endorsement deals funded by so-called name, image, and likeness money.

The arrangement must still be approved by the federal judge handling the case, and plaintiffs will be able to opt out or challenge the terms of the accord.

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