NCPA-Backed Lawsuit Makes Over $445 Million Available to Athletes

NCPA supports settlement after NCAA addresses concerns

Aug 11, 2008, 01:00 ET from National College Players Association

    NORCO, Calif., Aug. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National College
 Players Association (NCPA), formerly named the Collegiate Athletes
 Coalition, announced today its support of the White v. NCAA lawsuit
 settlement. The NCPA, now with over 7,000 members from over 150 schools,
 helped launch this lawsuit over two years ago in hopes of increasing the
 NCAA scholarship limit to an amount equal to the Cost of Attendance at each
     "Although we would have liked to see the NCAA change its rules to allow
 schools to provide scholarships that would eliminate the $2,000 - $3,000
 shortfall that 'full scholarship' players are left with, the NCPA feels
 like this settlement is a step in the right direction," said NCPA President
 Ramogi Huma.
     The NCAA addressed the NCPA's initial concerns about some of the
 language in the settlement by filing a statement of clarification with the
 court. The settlement allows schools to pass along a number of benefits to
 their athletes.
     The settlement requires the NCAA to add $218 million to the
 Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund (SAOF) over the next 6 years. This will
 bring the estimated total to more than $445 million over this time period.
 College athletes can tap into this fund for expenses such as medical
 insurance premiums, parking fees, travel expenses home and clothes.
 However, universities have discretion about how to spend the money in this
     NCPA Vice President Ryan Roques said, "The next step is to do all we
 can to make sure colleges use this money to provide meaningful benefits to
 their athletes, rather than using it to benefit their athletic program. We
 want players to have a say in this by letting their athletic programs know
 what is most important to the athletes. An extra computer in the computer
 lab might be OK, but a number of our members are concerned with important
 expenses like health insurance and parking fees that are not covered in
 their scholarships."
     The NCPA plans to make public the names of universities that ignore the
 concerns of their players and withhold access to meaningful uses of the
 SAOF money. "Recruits need to know which schools are making money available
 in meaningful ways, and which schools are not," said Huma. "Schools need to
 spend this money on what players need, not what makes the schools feel
 good. The only way to accomplish this is for athletic programs to talk to
 their players about what is most important to them. Otherwise, even
 well-meaning athletic programs can get it wrong."
     The NCAA must also establish a $10 million fund for continuing
 education and career development for former football and basketball
 players. This fund will be available for the next three years and will pay
 up to $2,500 per year in reimbursements for educational expenses and a
 one-time payment of $500 toward career development programs. In addition,
 the settlement requires the NCAA to eliminate health coverage restrictions
 on universities that previously prevented them from securing health
 insurance for various non-sports related conditions.
     Over the years, the NCPA has established itself as the voice for
 college athletes, and has helped bring forth important reforms including:
     -- Increase in the NCAA death benefit from $10,000 to $25,000
     -- Elimination of various limits on college athlete health coverage
     -- Improved safety rules to help prevent avoidable deaths
     -- Elimination of the $2,000 salary cap on earnings from legitimate
     More information about the NCPA is available at

SOURCE National College Players Association