The Courtroom is Changing the College Football Landscape

The Courtroom is Changing the College Football Landscape

The fallout continues from Jaden Rashada’s lawsuit against Billy Napier on multiple fronts. Additionally, private investment firms are seeking to fund top athletic departments. Also, the NCAA Board of Governors voted to approve a settlement in the House vs. NCAA antitrust cases. The NCAA is in a College Football Betting situation of its own making. Thus, it is trying to cut its losses. On Wednesday night, the NCAA Board of Governors voted to agree to settlement terms in the House vs. NCAA case. It is the classic case of “pay me now or pay me later.”

College Football’s Legal Landscape

The settlement will pay more than $2.7 billion in damages to former athletes over the next decade for name, image, and likeness. Additionally, the settlement will create the potential ability for schools to pay approximately $20 million per year to students. These sports betting payments could start as early as the fall of 2025.

Of course, the devil will be in the details with a multitude of complexities yet to be worked out. While the settlement will not be a final solution toward governing the current lawlessness of college sports it is a major first step.

The NCAA had to settle or face the prospect of a loss in court with over $4 billion in damages to be paid out. The final settlement will still take months to finalize, but a reasonable framework is in place.

For College Football Betting purposes, the result must be a logical calendar for recruiting and the transfer portal. Preferably not in December when the College Football Playoff and bowl games are taking place. National Signing Day must return to February, and the transfer portal window must be made sensible, too.

Finally, schools directly paying players can help prevent lawsuits. Previously, Jaden Rashada sued Florida coach Billy Napier and a top outside collective donor for fraud after a deal worth almost $14 allegedly reneged. Thus, schools would prefer to pay athletes without getting tangled up with outside collectives that they have no control over.

Two private equity firms, RedBird Capital and Weatherford Capital, announced the creation of Collegiate Athletic Solutions (CAS). While the purpose of the project sounds benevolent in regards to helping cash-strapped athletic programs, its true purpose is to profit. Especially it wants to exploit the current lack of law and structure in college sports.

The vision of CAS is to help athletic departments bridge immediate gaps they may have in their budgets. At the same time, they want to gain a percentage of the future profits when college sports stabilize themselves.

CAS emphasizes that this project is more about capital than equity. There would be no CAS ownership. Instead, the emphasis would be on advising and managing revenue growth. In turn, CAS would get a percentage of the growth for its advisory services.

Drew Weatherford played football at Florida State and runs Weatherford Capital with his brother Sam. Of course, this leads to another area of speculation-Florida State’s football future either in a reformed ACC or in another conference.

Weatherford’s alma mater sued to get out of the ACC, but a settlement of the case will take a long time. Thus, the ACC reforming itself with the ability to pay its top programs more money may be a more viable and realistic alternative.