Michigan’s collective starts Walk-On Fund as athletic departments scrambling for money in new era

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Champions Circle, a collective endorsed by the University of Michigan’s athletic department, has created a Walk-On Fund in the wake of athletic departments scrambling for money before revenue is shared directly with athletes as soon as next year.

The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based collective announced Wednesday that it has created the fund for Wolverines who pay for their tuition, room, board and books.

While college football teams are limited to 85 scholarships, many more are on the team without athletic-related financial aid.

“These student-athletes ask for nothing, and they give our team everything,” Champions Circle wrote in an email to potential supporters. “We think it’s time we give our Walk-Ons something back.

“This fund will give those student-athletes some of the financial help their teammates receive and honor their hard work.”

Athletic departments across the country are bracing for seismic changes, stemming in part from the NCAA and the nation’s five biggest conferences announcing last month that they have agreed to pay nearly $2.8 billion to settle a host of antitrust claims.

The decision sets the stage for a groundbreaking revenue-sharing model that could start steering millions of dollars directly to athletes as soon as the 2025 fall semester.

In a possible cost-cutting move, the NCAA may potentially limit roster spots on football teams to reduce or possibly eliminate walk-ons.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to