Fact Check: NCAA Did NOT 'Settle With Riley Gaines For $1.2 Million' -- Story Is From A Satire Site

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: NCAA Did NOT 'Settle With Riley Gaines For $1.2 Million' -- Story Is From A Satire Site Satirical Site

Did the NCAA settle with American collegiate swimmer Riley Gaines for $1.2 million and guarantee her a spot for next year? No, that's not true: This story originated from a self-described satirical website aimed at trolling conservatives. No corporate statement or credible independent reporting supports the claim.

The claim appeared in an article published by The Dunning-Kruger Times on May 22, 2023, titled, "NCAA Settles With Riley Gaines For $1.2 Million And a Guaranteed Spot Next Year" (archived here). It opened:

Riley Gaines, the swimmer from Kentucky who was robbed of her lifelong dream by a biological male swimming as a female, has settled with the NCAA.
The league will give Gaines $1.2 million after she leaves school to pay for the year of her life lost, along with the emotional distress of what she went through. 'I saw his genitals,' she told TMZ for $49K. She will also have a spot in next year's competition in the top of her field, without needing to qualify.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

NCAA Settles With Riley Gaines For $1.2 Million And a Guaranteed Spot Next Year

She was treated unfairly.

(Source: The Dunning-Kruger Times screenshot taken on Wed May 24 15:38:26 2023 UTC)

The article quoted "League President Joe Barron." Barron is not the NCAA president. He was a friend of Christopher Blair, the founder of The Dunning-Kruger Times. His name is frequently used in Blair's satirical stories as an homage.

The NCAA's website, as of this writing, lists Charlie Baker as president of the NCAA.

The Dunning-Kruger Times article refers to "Thomas" with no first name, in an apparent reference to swimmer Lia Thomas. Lead Stories debunked a separate Dunning-Kruger claim concerning Thomas and Olympic swimming here.

A Google News search using the keywords "NCAA Settles With Riley Gaines For $1.2 Million And a Guaranteed Spot Next Year" produced no credible independent reports supporting the claim. If Gaines had been offered considerable money in restitution, it would have been deemed a significant news event with widespread coverage.

A Twitter platform search and an NCAA website search did not produce any results or press releases that corroborate the claim made in this article.

The Dunning-Kruger Times

The Dunning-Kruger Times is a satirical website with an about page (archived here) that has following disclaimer:

About Us

Dunning-Kruger-Times.com is a subsidiary of the 'America's Last Line of Defense' network of parody, satire, and tomfoolery, or as Snopes called it before they lost their war on satire: Junk News

About Satire

Before you complain and decide satire is synonymous with 'comedy':

sat·ire ˈsaˌtī(ə)r noun: The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, OR ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site's pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical. See above if you're still having an issue with that satire thing.

The website is named after the Dunning-Kruger effect, a term from a psychology experiment that describes the phenomenon of being ignorant of one's own ignorance. (That experiment has been disputed by a math professor.)

Here are other debunks Lead Stories has written about Dunning-Kruger Times articles.

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  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

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