NCAA Sticks Conferences with 90% of Alston Legal Bill

    • The NCAA accrued $37.9 million in legal fees in its landmark Supreme Court case.
    • It is passing 90% of that onto conferences it oversees.

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The NCAA accrued hefty legal fees in its attempt to block new compensation laws from going into effect, but it’s distributing 90% of the costs to the conferences it oversees.

Of the $37.9 million it racked up in the landmark Alston case, the NCAA will pay $3.8 million. Conferences that were codefendents in the case will cover $24.4 million (64.2%), and the remaining conferences are on the hook for $9.8 million (25.8%).

The conferences with the biggest tabs are:

  • Atlantic Coast: $2.7 million
  • Big Ten: $2.5 million
  • Conference USA: $2.5 million
  • Southeastern: $2.5 million

The NCAA’s total legal fees during the 2019-2020 season were $67.7 million, compared to $33 million the previous season.

In Alston, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the NCAA could not limit the education-related benefits offered to Division I football and basketball players.

The NCAA made $868 million in marketing and media rights revenue in 2019, the bulk of which came from broadcasting deals with CBS and Turner. Revenue from those deals fell to $113.1 million last year — from an expected $827 million — due to event cancellations.