The Weekender: Pay For Play Looms As NCAA and Power Five Schools Approve Settlement in Revenue Sharing Cases, Marvin Harrison Jr. Sued by Fanatics and Shilo Sanders Faces Questions Over NIL Income

By 11W Staff on May 26, 2024 at 2:35p

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NCAA, Power Five Schools Inching Closer to Pay for Play Following Their Approval of a $2.78 Billion Settlement

The NCAA's Board of Governors and the five power conferences voted this week to approve a $2.78 billion settlement to conclude three separate antitrust lawsuits against the NCAA. 

The settlement figure would be paid out over a 10-year span to D-1 athletes dating back to 2016 if they opt in to the class action settlement. Doing so would prevent an athlete from suing the NCAA over other antitrust claims. 

Within the settlement, the NCAA agrees to sharing revenue with athletes beginning with the 2025-26 academic year. At that time, schools would be able to share revenue with athletes up to a cap equivalent to 22% of the average revenue for power conference schools. That total could be in the $22 million per year range in year one. 

The NCAA is far from out of the woods however as the settlement still needs judge approval, current plaintiffs can object, and it doesn't close the door on possible future litigation on other alleged antitrust lawsuits. How Title IX applies should the settlement gain approval is also unclear. 

All that said, it sure feels likely schools will indeed pay athletes directly very soon. 

Marvin Harrison Jr. Sued By Fanatics for Breach of Contract

By now you've heard the news Fanatics is after Harrison Jr., filing suit in New York's Supreme Court last week. Fanatics asserts Harrison is in breach of contract dating back to May 2023 when the company contends it entered into a "binding term sheet" to which Harrison reneged. Fanatics also isn't thrilled at what it calls "misleading" information Harrison allegedly tipped to ESPN such as suggesting there isn't a deal between the two parties. 

Fanatics if of the position it paid Harrison and he didn't deliver, presumably on things items such as autographs, signed trading cards, apparel worn in games, and other marketing efforts. 

Earlier this week, Sportico's Michael McCann took an excellent in-depth look at what the two are beefing over and how Harrison might fight back, particularly as it relates to whether or not a "binding term sheet" is indeed enforceable given the fact former LSU head coach Ed Orgeron recently won a case - albeit in different context and jurisdiction - on the ruling that the "binding term sheet" between Orgeron and another party was non-enforceable and essentially acted as only "an agreement to agree." 

If legalese such as "agreement to agree" gets you tingly, you'd be wise to read the rest of McCann's commentary on the suit between Harrison and Fanatics. 

Shilo Sanders - Son of Coach Prime - Faces Questions on NIL Earnings Following Bankruptcy Filing

While his father Deion and brother Shadeur attract more headlines, Colorado safety Shilo Sanders snagged some publicity of his own this week as he faces legal questions about his personal wealth and NIL deals in response to John Darjean challenging Shilo's bankruptcy filing last October. 

Darjean won an $11.89 million judgment against Shilo back in 2022 after Sanders failed to appear in state court. Darjean's case alleged Shilo assaulted him back in 2015 when Darjean was a security guard at Triple A Academy where Shilo was a 15-year old student.

The incident stemmed over an altercation in which Darjean was to confiscate a cell phone from Sanders and according to Darjean, he took a beating from Sanders while attempting to do so. Shilo's dad, Deion, was the school's CEO at the time. Darjean alleged he was instructed by Deion himself to take the phone from Shilo, who was on the phone with his mother. 

Shilo later contested the validity of Darjean's claims and stated his failure to appear occured as he was unaware of the case against him. 

With Shilo now looking to file bankruptcy to absolve his $11 million debt, Darjean is questioning if Sanders is being honest about his earnings and/or hiding funds in his LLC. Shilo's bankruptcy filing claimed gross income of $193k in 2023 and $216k in 2022 with assets in the range of $320k. 

Time will tell how this unfolds but it's certainly not a great look for the Sanders family. 


TreVeyon Henderson Finds Rest From Sleep Paralysis and Mental Health Struggles Through Faith

Andy Anders spoke with Ohio State's star tailback and penned an excellent article chronicling Henderson's journey to overcome some tough life struggles. 

Updated Projection of Ohio State Football's Three-Deep

Dan Hope projects Ryan Day's depth chart following spring practice and the post-spring transfer window coming to a close.  

Ohio State Defense Will Weaponize Experience In Third Year Under Jim Knowles

Anders breaks down how Ohio State's defense in position to flourish in 2024 not only because of its talent but also as a result of deep familiarity of the system as the group enters Years Three of the Jim Knowles Experience.

Up Next

  • Rowing: NCAA Championships, Friday-Sunday
  • Track and Field: Men's and Women's NCAA Championships, June 5-8
  • 97 Days: Ohio State football's season opener vs. Akron
  • 188 Days: The Game