Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 3/20/14
Ed O’Bannon’s case against the NCAA -alleging that the NCAA and its member schools sold the images and likenesses of former college athletes in violation of antitrust laws- is finally going to trial. Ed O’Bannon, the suit’s plaintiff, and his attorney Michael Hausfeld, were on Larry King’s online-based show “Larry King Now” to explain why they say college athletes have no voice, no sense of security, and no control or compensation when it comes to their image and likeness after signing the NCAA scholarships. And it’s not just the athletes that are sympathetic to O’Bannon’s case. Then Marquette University Athletic Director Larry Williams told the Associated Press this past fall that he’s former Nebraska Cornhuskers QB Sam Keller and ex UCLA Bruins star Ed O’Bannon. “I do not think the NCAA should be trading on the image or likeness of any players,” Williams said. “If we’re requiring amateurism on one side, we should not be individually commercializing their image and likeness.” Williams was fired soon after making this statement; which was exceedingly brave. Very few, if any, A.D.s are siding with the players in their case against the NCAA. In the multi-billion dollar world of revenue generation that is big time college basketball and college football, this almost never happens because Athletic Directors are essentially the owners, or at least upper upper management, in this business model. Among many topics, Ed O’Bannon discusses when he found out the NCAA was profiting off of him long after he left college sports. He received no royalties or any monetary compensation even though the NCAA included his image and likeness in a video game. “My likeness was being used…in any other walk of life, I would have a share in that profit,” said Ed O’Bannon on the show. “If someone uses your likeness, then you should be compensated for it.” Here are a couple clips of this exclusive interview: This case will be closely watched by the entire sports community. This historic decision could forever change the way college-level sports are played and redefine the term “student-athlete.” I refuse to use ever the term “student-athletes” because I know the history behind the creation of that legal definition. “Even as a student athlete…I knew that the university was using me, using my name as well as my teamates’,” said Ed O’Bannon. “But we didn’t have a platform to speak up.” Last fall, Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), the second-largest U.S. video-game publisher, agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by former college athletes, including Keller and O’Bannon, over use of their likeness in video games, leaving the NCAA as the lone defendant. The company canceled next year’s college football product, citing unsettled litigation between the plaintiffs and the NCAA, whose chief legal officer, Donald Remy, said on Sept. 26 the organization would take the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court rather than settle, according to USA Today. The full interview on Larry King Now airs on Ora and Hulu, go to www.ora.tv/larrykingnow or www.hulu.com/larry-king-now Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An MBA and Fulbright scholar, he’s also a frequent analyst on multiple news talk radio stations. The former NBC Chicago and Washington Times contributor has also been featured on the History Channel. Follow paulmbanks The post Ed O’Bannon: “I knew the NCAA was using me” (VIDEO) appeared first on The Sports Bank.Net.
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