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The NCAA’s national office might be footing the bill for a settlement expected to be more than $2.7 billion in the landmark House v. NCAA lawsuit and other related antitrust cases, in hopes of reshaping and stabilizing the college sports industry, according to multiple sources on Thursday.

Sources told ESPN this week that parties have proposed the NCAA’s national office — rather than its individual member schools or conferences — would pay for the settlement of past damages over a period of 10 years. The NCAA payments would be paid to former college athletes who say they were illegally prevented from making money by selling the rights to their name, image and likeness.

The settlement would come with a corresponding commitment from conferences and schools to share revenue with athletes moving forward, per sources. The settlement would establish a framework for power conferences to share revenue with their athletes in the future. Sources have told ESPN that schools are anticipating a ceiling of nearly $20 million per year for athlete revenue share moving forward. (That figure for a revenue share is derived from a formula that’s expected to be, per sources, 22% of a revenue metric that’s still being discussed, which is set to be based on various revenue buckets. It would be up to the schools to share that much.)

The dollar value and timing, sources cautioned, is not yet set and could change due to the myriad variables involved in the case.

Steve Berman, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs, told ESPN he believes the House case is “the difference-maker” after more than a decade of legal battles chipping away at the NCAA’s rules. Berman declined to comment on the specifics of the ongoing settlement talks, but said the plaintiffs’ leverage is growing as the case moves closer to trial.

“Our leverage is a big cannonball rolling down a hill and picking up speed,” Berman said. “The longer they wait, the more they’re going to have to pay. It’s that simple.”

The NCAA declined to comment.

Since a cadre of collegiate sports and NCAA officials met plaintiffs’ attorneys at the Hyatt Regency at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport on April 25, the details for potentially settling the House case have begun to be distributed to campuses. After interviews with more than a dozen college officials, industry sources and lawyers this week, ESPN has learned that many crucial details for a settlement remain unsolved, but both sides are making progress toward a deal that could serve as a catalyst for the new business model of college sports.

“They’ve got stuff on paper,” said an industry source. “This is not just lawyers and commissioners meeting and having a cocktail. This snowball is moving downhill. The horizon on this is about a month.”

Plaintiffs in the House case argue that the NCAA is breaking the law by placing any restrictions on how athletes monetize their name, image and likeness. The case is scheduled to go to trial in January 2025. If the NCAA loses the case at trial, it could owe athletes more than $4 billion in damages.

Along with saving money, the NCAA is also motivated to settle in hopes of laying the groundwork for a system that could help them avoid future litigation. A settlement alone might not provide that protection without additional help from Congress or a collective bargaining agreement with athletes.

The NCAA and its conferences are defendants in at least two other federal antitrust cases that are challenging what remains of the association’s amateurism rules. Those outstanding cases would also likely be resolved as part of the House settlement.

Earlier this month, the plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment, which asks the judge in the case to rule on several key arguments prior to trial. The hearing for summary judgment is scheduled for September, and a ruling in the plaintiffs’ favor could continue to increase their leverage in a negotiation.

One of the outstanding issues in the potential settlement of the House case is whether or not a settlement would eliminate future antitrust lawsuits against the NCAA and its schools.

“I’m very concerned about the fact that a settlement is really not a settlement,” an industry source told ESPN concerning looming issues that need to be resolved before settling. “It doesn’t have enough protections. If it were an all-encompassing settlement with congressional approval, I’d feel a lot better.”

College sports leaders have been asking Congress to write a new federal law for several years that would, among other things, protect them from future litigation.

Sources told ESPN that some school officials are hoping that a House settlement could spur action on Capitol Hill. Several members of Congress who have worked on college sports-related legislation in recent years declined to comment on what impact a settlement might have on the creation of a new federal law.

As information has been brought back to campuses, the biggest concern is how protective the settlement would be from future antitrust lawsuits.

“You can’t just settle the lawsuits,” said another industry source. “You’ve got to be able to emerge with something in return, other than the settlement. If you don’t have the requisite ability to structure the future. All we’re going to do is shake hands and wait five minutes for the next filing. You don’t want to be waiting for the next lawsuit here.”

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Reds extend Dodgers’ skid to 5; Ohtani at ‘90%’

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Reds extend Dodgers' skid to 5; Ohtani at '90%'

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the midst of their longest losing streak since 2019, but first baseman Freddie Freeman has no doubt that there’s no concern.

“It’s May, it’s baseball,” Freeman said. “Two weeks ago, we were winning every game. I don’t think anybody needs to question in our lineup. We’ll be fine.”

The Cincinnati Reds finished off a sweep of the Dodgers with a 4-1 victory Sunday, extending LA’s slide to five games — it’s longest since dropping six in a row April 8-13, 2019.

Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani went 3-for-12 in the series while dealing with a bruised right hamstring. He batted second Sunday and went 1-for-3 as the designated hitter, reaching on an infield single while scoring the Dodgers’ only run.

“It’s right around 90%,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Ohtani’s hamstring. “Assuming it will keep getting better, I feel confident that he can play smart and not push it. Talked to him about not trying to steal a base. Be smart. The value of having him in the lineup is everything.”

Los Angeles’ lineup has been hampered by inconsistency. The Dodgers scored six times in the series opener, and then scored two more over the next two games.They have been shut out twice this month while scoring two or fewer runs six times.

“When you’re not hitting, it certainly seems lifeless,” Roberts said. “Seems like we’re running cold. I know it’s not from care or preparation. Bottom line, it’s about results and we’re not getting them right now. They outplayed us this series and won three.”

Roberts hinted at a couple of changes to the lineup when the Dodgers begin a three-game series against the New York Mets at Citi Field.

“Some guys might be pressing a little bit,” Roberts said. “Every time I write the lineup, I feel good that we’re going to put up some runs. It’s not a big picture-type thing. It’s certainly been two weeks where it hasn’t been good.”

Jonathan India and Nick Martini each drove in two runs for the Reds, and Brent Suter, Nick Martinez, Carson Spiers and Alexis Diaz combined for a five-hitter.

Martinez (2-3) pitched 4⅓ innings of one-hit ball on a bullpen day for Cincinnati, and Díaz got two outs for his 10th save.

“It starts with our pitchers,” Reds manager David Bell said. “They’re ready to take the ball. Starting with Brent Suter, who did his job. That’s where it starts. Nick Martinez took over. Nick continues to show when he executes his pitches how good he is. To pitch so well against this team really says a lot.”

Freeman hit an RBI double in the ninth, stopping a 0-for-22 slide for the Dodgers with runners in scoring position. Freeman then advanced on defensive indifference, but Díaz struck out Teoscar Hernandez and Andy Pages swinging.

The start of the game was moved up from 1:40 p.m. EDT to 12:10 p.m. due to the threat of severe storms that arrived in the sixth inning. The teams then waited through a delay for just over an hour.

Cincinnati scored four times in the third off Yoshinobu Yamamoto (5-2). India had a bases-loaded single, and Martini’s bloop hit scored two more.

Yamamoto allowed six hits, struck out eight and walked two in five innings.

“They found a way to fight with two outs and find some outfield grass,” Roberts said. “They stayed inside the baseball. When you fight, you get those breaks sometimes. Outside of that, I thought Yoshi was fantastic. He was one hitter away from going five scoreless.”

UP NEXT

Dodgers: Right-hander Gavin Stone (4-2, 3.60 ERA) will oppose Mets right-hander Tylor Megill (0-2, 3.00 ERA) on Monday in the opener of a three-game series.

Reds: Left-hander Nick Lodolo (3-2, 3.34 ERA) will come off the injured list to start the series opener against the Cardinals on Monday. Lance Lynn (2-2, 3.68 ERA) starts for St. Louis.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Tigers blow 5-run lead, rally with 3-run HR in 9th

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Tigers blow 5-run lead, rally with 3-run HR in 9th

DETROIT — Matt Vierling homered twice, including a tiebreaking, three-run drive off Jordan Romano in the ninth inning that gave Detroit a wild 14-11 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday after the Tigers wasted a five-run lead and recovered from a two-run deficit.

Vierling had four hits and tied career highs with two homers and four RBIs.

“My brother and I in the back yard, we’d always be doing situations like that,” Vierling said. “It’s kind of cool when it actually happens.”

Carson Kelly hit a three-run homer and Spencer Torkelson hit a solo shot for Detroit, which led 5-0 after three innings, 8-3 after five and 9-5 after six. The Tigers set a season high for runs and tied their high with 17 hits.

Torkelson had three hits and scored three runs.

“He’s really easy to root for,” Torkelson said of Vierling. “To see him come through, we had all the faith in the world and confidence he’d get the job done there. That’s exactly what he did.”

Toronto’s Isiah Kiner-Falefa homered in the seventh off Tyler Holton, and the Blue Jays took an 11-9 lead with a five-run eighth when Bo Bichette hit a two-run single off Jason Foley and Daulton Varsho hit a three-run homer.

Toronto manager John Schneider drew some consolation by the way his team kept fighting back.

“It’s easy to kind of quit after that and the guys did the exact opposite,” he said. “Chipped away and came back with huge hits from Bo and Varsh.”

Mark Canha tied the score with a two-run single against Yimi Garcia in the bottom half, his third hit.

Vierling, who hit a solo homer in the fifth off Zach Pop, drove a full-count slider from Romano (1-2) over the left-field wall for his first big league walk-off hit. A two-time All-Star, Romano has allowed three homers this year, half his total last season.

“I was ready for that pitch that he threw me 3-2,” Vierling said. “I was kind of looking for it 2-2, as well, but it was low and I was able to check my swing enough. The next pitch was the same pitch, just a little more up.”

Mason Englert (1-0) pitched a hitless ninth for the Tigers (26-27), who won the last three games of a four-game series against the last-place Blue Jays (23-29).

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had his second four-hit game of the season for the Blue Jays.

Detroit starter Casey Mize gave up three runs and eight hits in 4⅓ innings. Toronto’s Yusei Kikuchi allowed five runs and eight hits in three innings. Mize and Kikuchi are 0-3 each in their six starts.

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Braves’ Acuna leaves game with knee soreness

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Braves' Acuna leaves game with knee soreness

PITTSBURGH — Ronald Acuna Jr. left the Atlanta Braves8-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first inning Sunday with left knee soreness after his knee appeared to buckle.

The reigning National League MVP led off the game with a double to right-center field off Martin Perez. With Marcell Ozuna at the plate, Acuna started toward third on a stolen base attempt and his left knee appeared to buckle. He remained down for several minutes while being treated, pointing at his left leg before walking off under his own power.

Acuna, a 26-year-old outfielder, is batting .250 with four home runs and 15 RBIs in 49 games. The four-time All-Star hit a career-best .337 last season with 41 homers and 106 RBIs.

Adam Duvall shifted from left to right in the bottom half, and Jarred Kelenic entered the game in place of Acuna and played left.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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