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Baker: Antitrust settlement creates certainty for new system - ESPN

LAS VEGAS — NCAA president Charlie Baker said the association's pending antitrust case settlement will put financial pressure on everyone in the college sports industry, but he believes it also creates more certainty for schools to plan for a new system that will allow them to share more money with their athletes.

The NCAA announced last month that it had agreed to terms to settle three federal antitrust cases that loomed as the most immediate and arguably largest threats to the future of the association. As part of the settlement, the NCAA will pay former athletes nearly $2.8 billion in back damages. In addition, schools will be allowed to share a significant portion of revenue — roughly $20 million per year starting in 2025 — directly with their athletes. In exchange, the plaintiffs have agreed to drop three cases that some in college sports believe could have resulted in close to $20 billion in total damages.

«There is a lot of pressure here on everybody,» Baker said. «I think it's much better than the pressure of what could have been catastrophic losses. That would have taken another few years. So, we'd be spinning our wheels for another few years without really knowing what was going to happen.»

Baker, in his first extensive interview since agreeing to a settlement, told reporters that he hopes the terms of the settlement establish a way for schools to provide fair compensation to their athletes without turning them into employees.

The NCAA remains a defendant in multiple lawsuits which argue that college athletes should be considered employees of their schools or conferences. While the settlement does not resolve those issues, Baker and many others in college sports are hoping the plans to share revenue with