— O’Bannon was POY for UCLA in 1995 —
If you like sports, law, or even video games, you need to pay attention to this court case if you aren’t already. Ed O’Bannon vs. NCAA continues a step further tomorrow with a certification hearing. Tomorrow, June 20th, Judge Claudia Wilken will begin the certification hearing to see if this case will proceed further as a class action lawsuit that pertains to all NCAA student athletes.
This incredibly important case stands for a specific and (hopefully, for players’ sake) legally justifiable principal: that college athletes have the right to commercially benefit from their likeness. The case, nor class certification, will likely not be decided for sometime, but the lawsuits status as a class action is crucial for the effect to be truly felt by the NCAA.
We’ve all had plenty of complaints with the NCAA as UK fans, but this one is pretty universal. For what seems like forever, the NCAA has profited off of student athletes image and likeness via video games, TV broadcasts, etc. If O’Bannon wins, a lot of former and current athletes will be owed some money (it could cut the NCAA’s current $6.4 billion revenue in half).
Keep an eye out as this case moves forward. For a breakdown of the legal principals, check out this legal primer from SI’s Michael McCann.