→ June 27: The Supreme Court rules in favor of Oklahoma’s Board of Regents, allowing institutions to break away from the NCAA to negotiate their own TV deals for college football, paving the way for TV rights deals to soar in value.
→ Dec. 6: The council of Big Ten presidents asks Commissioner Jim Delany to begin exploring expansion in an effort to increase revenue for its cable network and set the stage for a conference championship game in football. Within two years, Nebraska joins the Big Ten and becomes the first of 12 “Power Five” schools to realign in a four-year span.
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→ April 22: NCAA agrees to $10.8 billion, 14-year multimedia deal with CBS and Turner Broadcasting to broaden the scope of men’s NCAA basketball tournament to multiple channels and media platforms.
→ Nov. 21: ESPN reaches agreement on $5.64 billion deal ($470 million annually) to broadcast first 12 years of college football playoffs.
→ March 26: National Labor Relations Board regional Director Peter Sung Ohr rules that Northwestern football players qualify as university employees and can unionize.
→ April 25: Northwestern football players cast secret ballot to determine whether they will form the first union for college athletes, pending an appeal to the National Labor Relations Board by Northwestern University.
→ Aug. 7: NCAA Division I board of directors votes 16-2 to change its governance structure and give the “Power Five” conferences (ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12) and Notre Dame autonomy to make their own rules regarding matters such as cost of attendance stipends, medical benefits, lifetime scholarships and recruiting rules.
→ Aug. 8: U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken rules in favor of Ed O’Bannon vs. the NCAA, giving schools the right to pay men’s basketball and football players up to $5,000 per year in a trust fund, for use of their name, image and likeness in licensing and TV broadcasting.
→ Oct. 1: Power Five schools begin submitting proposals to the NCAA for their own rules, including proposals for “cost of attendance” to cover expenses above and beyond tuition, room and board, books, and fees and mandate four-year scholarships.
→ July 1: Name, likeness and image licenses fees take effect for students enrolling in NCAA schools.