“The NCAA is pleased the court has granted preliminary approval to the settlement agreement in the White case, and we hope it leads to final approval on June 30. The settlement allows us to resolve the litigation and enhance the benefits potentially available to former, current and future student-athletes.
“As the NCAA worked to reach agreement, it was important to construct a settlement that supports our emphasis on education and degree completion. The NCAA also wants to help former student-athletes who are part of the class members in this settlement gain career development skills to put that education to use.
“The NCAA believes the full-ride scholarship currently offered is appropriate for the majority of student-athletes, but we recognize there may be some student-athletes whose needs are still not met, despite access to Pell Grants and other need-based aid. By adjusting the rules regarding access to the hundreds of millions of dollars in aid scheduled to be made available for student-athletes over the next several years, it is the NCAA’s intention to help meet any true additional needs of its student-athletes.”
BACKGROUNDER ON WHITE CASE
• The federal judge overseeing the White case granted preliminary approval Monday, Feb. 4, to the settlement agreement, which will benefit former, current and future student-athletes.
• Terms of the settlement are as follows:
o Expansion of access to existing NCAA funds for the benefit of all student-athletes. These monies from the Special Assistance and Academic Enhancement funds total $218 million through 2012-13 and now will be available to NCAA student-athletes under the guidelines of the Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund.
o Creation of a $10 million fund from NCAA reserves to assist former Division I student-athletes who are members of the class action lawsuit. These former student-athletes can seek reimbursement from this fund over the next three years for educational expenses such as degree completion and continuing education.
- Class members can apply for a $500 one-time payment for career development expenses (resume preparation, career counseling, job training);
- They can also qualify for a maximum of $2,500 per year for three years to reimburse expenses for undergraduate, graduate or professional certificate education.
- The NCAA will create a website to explain the benefits and allow these former student-athletes to apply for funds.
o Adoption of a new rule permitting (but not requiring) Division I institutions to provide year-round, comprehensive health insurance to student-athletes.
o Permission for Division I institutions to provide basic accident coverage for student-athlete injuries stemming from athletics’ participation.
o Examination by the NCAA membership to allow colleges and universities to provide multi-year scholarships.
• Now that preliminary approval has been granted by the court, class members will be notified of the potential settlement and given an opportunity until May 23, 2008, to review it. A hearing to provide final approval to the settlement is scheduled for June 30, 2008.