If you’re an attorney, the NCAA is kind of a dream client — awash with money, stubborn as hell, unwilling to compromise, etc. The result? Cha-ching!
In a separate response to questions from USA TODAY Sports, the NCAA said that its expenses for fiscal 2017 also included approximately $36 million for outside legal counsel. In 2016, according to the NCAA’s federal tax records, it had nearly $33.5 million in outside legal expenses.
From 2014 through 2017, the NCAA has totaled more than $108 million in outside legal fees. That amount does not include the $42.3 million in attorney’s fees and costs U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken awarded in March 2016 to lawyers representing the plaintiffs in the Ed O’Bannon antitrust case. The NCAA has appealed that decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which heard oral arguments on the matter three weeks ago.
$150 million… goodness. That could fund a helluva lot of scholarships, methinks.
Of course that’s not how the NCAA thinks. At least not with regard to how to spend savings. But the savings themselves? I’ve got to think even Emmert’s a little appalled about how much the organization is spending on legal assistance. Maybe that would explain outsourcing enforcement work to a shop that doesn’t charge clients for its work.