Just when you thought they couldn’t be any bigger assholes than they are, the NCAA spent more than $400 million it had in savings — money that sure would have come in handy about now — because it was concerned “… about rising unrest among college athletes over amateurism rules.”
“With that in mind, the association built up nearly $500 million in reserves from 2004 to 2014. The NCAA also purchased insurance that would cover roughly one-third of the tournament’s annual revenue. With the insurance and the reserves, these employees said, NCAA leaders thought they could absorb the hit of a lost tournament with only minimal cuts to expenses.
“But in 2015, as the NCAA and the wealthier football conferences felt rising pressure from antitrust lawsuits filed by thousands of current and former athletes, Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick was among some college sports power brokers who argued the cash reserves were enticing lawyers to sue, former NCAA employees said.
“Jack said: ‘You’re just inviting lawsuits. You create a pile of money; plaintiffs’ lawyers come after it,’ ” one former NCAA employee said.
Of course, Swarbrick now denies he said that. In fact, nobody wants to take credit.
“Another former NCAA employee said this theory came from the association’s new legal team, headed by Remy.
“They thought it was bait. … My thought all along is that’s bulls—,” the former employee said. “Any organization that makes more than $1 billion every year is always going to be a target for lawsuits. … Another half a billion in reserves isn’t going to make a difference.”
“Remy declined to answer whether he or NCAA lawyers agreed with Swarbrick’s theory.
“I agree it was a narrative that was out there,” Remy said. “The decision to draw down on the reserves was made for a variety of reasons.”
If there’s any justice, somebody will get sued for that.