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College Athletes File Anti-Trust Lawsuit against NCAA and EA

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Jarod Cassidy4 years ago

Several college athletes have filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and videogame manufacturer Electronic Arts (EA) alleging that both organizations profited of the names, images and likenesses of college athletes while failing to compensate the players.

About the NCAA Anti-Trust Lawsuit

Originally filed by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon, the anti-trust lawsuit alleged that both the NCAA and EA used gained revenue though the use of former college athletes’ likenesses and continued to do so even after their college careers had ended.

However, in July, six current college football players joined the lawsuit claiming that the damages extend to current players as well, and, as such, so should any remedies.

The plaintiffs also citing broadcasting rights in their case, which have earned the NCAA millions of dollars as major networks sign with the most popular conferences including the Big 10, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference.

Both Parties Seek Ruling without Trial

Currently, both the plaintiffs of the O’Bannon suit and the NCAA are seeking a ruling without the case going to trial; however, that does not mean they are not prepared should the case move forward.

The plaintiffs have set forth filing indicating they are prepared to argue that the NCAA commercialized the college sports for the purpose of profit as well as provide evidence of illegal payments to players, academic fraud and unethical payment to salaries.

The NCAA argues that the plaintiff cannot claim compensation for the use for the use of their names and likenesses in live broadcasts as they are considered to be “non-commercial” speech by the First Amendment. The organization went on to argue that restricting what players may receive from participating in amateur sports helps integrate athletes into academic environments.

According to reports, the number of top-paid NCAA Division I football coaches have risen by 59 percent since 2077 while the NFL’s top-paid coaches rose only by 25 percent. As for basketball, salaries for Division I coaches are up 112 percent since 2005, compared to 12 percent in the NBA.

In the event that U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken refuses to grant a summary judgment, trial for the lawsuit is set to begin in June.

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