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College Sports, Education

NCAA Legal Update: Ed O’Bannon and the “Video Game Lawsuit”

The NCAA faces a major decision in the lawsuit filed by former UCLA men’s basketball student-athlete Ed O’Bannon. According to an ESPN.com article, O’Bannon “sought on Thursday to dramatically expand his lawsuit challenging the NCAA’s ban on compensating athletes in a move that could expose the organization and its member schools to billions of dollars in damages. O’Bannon and his lawyers asked a federal court judge to turn their antitrust lawsuit into a class action, representing thousands of former and current college athletes. The lawsuit demands that the NCAA find a way to cut players in on the billions of dollars earned by college sports from live broadcasts, memorabilia sales, video games and in other areas. U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken didn’t rule on either the merits of O’Bannon’s case or his demands to turn the case into a class action. It could take weeks, even months, before Wilken rules.” If O’Bannon’s lawsuit is successful, the NCAA and its member institution would be required to provide student-athletes with a portion of the money generated by the broadcasting of college sporting events and products derived from the student-athletes’ likenesses. ESPN’s Tom Farrey has a good summary of the potential consequences for the NCAA if O’Bannon wins the lawsuit. [Click here to access Farrey's story].

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About Michael L. Buckner, Esquire

An attorney who provides clients with internal investigation, compliance, professional development and legal services.

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