Sports Law Blog
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Saturday, September 01, 2012's Your Move.

With one strategic maneuver, the plaintiffs in the O'Bannon v. NCAA lawsuit have placed the debate of paying college athletes front and center. Filed in 2009, the suit initially sought damages under antitrust law, claiming that the NCAA and EA Sports conspired to pay student-athletes nothing for the use of the name and likeness in video games.

This past Friday, as the sports world prepared for the start of another exciting college football season, the attorneys for O'Bannon and other plaintiffs, sought to have their case certified as a class action. Additionally, based on information they have obtained during discovery, the plaintiffs now contend that the money derived from television, video games and other products that use athletes' names, images and likenesses be shared with players.

The lawyers "do not seek compensation to be paid to current student-athletes while they maintain their eligibility" but rather "that monies generated by the licensing and sale of class members' names, images and likenesses can be held in trust" until their college careers are over.

Make no mistake, the reverberations of this strategy in the United States District Court in California could radically alter college athletics forever.

[With news this big, I am certain that there will be detailed and thoughtful analyses coming soon from others....perhaps from "our own" Michael McCann....]


I think setting up a trust fund for athletes is a great "loop-hole" to the idea of professional atheltes in college. The NCAA does not wish to pay atheltes (really does not wish to decrease their profits) because it wishes to keep college atheltes on the amateur level, however I think setting up a trust will keep the spirit of being an amateur athelte while also giving the atheltes the ability to save money they rightfully deserve. I do not believe the NCAA and schools should be able to profit and exploit student athletes as they do. Further,as pointed out, not ALL atheltes receive a full ride to college. Some student-athletes have to foot a large portion of the bill. Why not allow students to save money in a trust to lessen the blow of financial debt when they graduate? I understand the reasoning behind not wanting to create salary athletes, but I do not see a problem with setting up a trust for student-athletes. Yes, I am sure it will come with a handful of difficulties, problems, and questions, but like any new proposed idea, time will help work everything out. Will be interesting to see the NCAA's and the court's next move. Let the fun begin.
Brittany Fink

Anonymous Anonymous -- 9/11/2012 3:16 PM  

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