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Incoming Athletic Director Ross Bjork Says Ohio State Plans To Pay Student-Athletes Maximum Revenue Allowed By NCAA

By June 21, 2024 (11:18 am)Sports

Ohio State plans to share the maximum amount of revenue allowed provided a federal judge approves a legal settlement of three antitrust cases against the NCAA, incoming athletic director Ross Bjork told the Columbus Dispatch on Thursday. 

“What we’re working on right now is what the plan looks like,” Bjork said. 

“We know the percentage. We know the rough calculations. We know there are escalators. That’s all we know now.”

Under the new revenue sharing model, schools will be permitted — not required — to directly share revenue with student-athletes up to a cap of 22 percent of the average revenue for power conference programs, starting in the fall of 2025. With Ohio State having 36 varsity sports — tied with Stanford for the most among schools in Division I major conferences — there are many questions that linger regarding how these payments would be most evenly dispersed. 

A significant portion of this revenue will likely go to men’s basketball and football — the two sports that generate the most revenue for the athletic department — but Bjork said he believes the payments distributed to male and female athletes must still be proportional to student enrollment, a plan of action that resembles the rules set in place by Title IX regarding how scholarships between each program.

“We are committed to Title IX,” Bjork said. “We have to be. It’s the right thing. But it’s also federal law.” 

According to documents obtained by The Dispatch, Ohio State’s 2023-24 enrollment was 52 percent female and 48 percent male, which could mean the payments would be equal between genders. 

Bjork also acknowledged that payments will not be evenly divided between each athlete, as those in men’s basketball and football will likely be paid more lucrative, while sports such as women’s basketball, women’s volleyball and wrestling — which, despite spending more money than they make, still generate more revenue than other smaller olympic sports — could also receive a significant portion of the pot.

“There are going to be hard decisions,” Bjork told The Dispatch, “because it’s a recalibration of the model.”

Bjork will officially begin his tenure as athletic director on July 1.

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