Found October 11, 2011 on


Former Celtics star Bill Russell is suing the NCAA for using his likeness from his time in college without paying him or seeking his consent.

Russell, who led the University of San Francisco to consecutive national championships in 1955 and 1956, is featured in videos of the championship games, which the NCAA currently sells for $150 on its online store. In addition, EA Sports is named in the suit for using Russell's image in a "Tournament of Legends" feature on a basketball game.

The 77-year-old is seeking a court order blocking further sale of the videos and video games, plus disgorgement of profits from them and unspecified damages.

The suit, which was filed in Oakland, Calif., is the latest complaint to claim the NCAA violates federal antitrust laws by keeping former student basketball and football athletes from receiving compensation for the commercial use of their images and likenesses.

Russell won 11 championships in the NBA with the Celtics before retiring in 1969 and was named one of the NBA's 50 greatest players in 1996.


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  • I agree with the likeness used in video games without his consent but not on video highlights. Nobody would ever be able to show highlights without some type of compensation being given to the athletes in it. Ridiculous.
  • I say just edit Russell out of any tapes and videos and quit using his likeness. He should have been honored that his image was used...but instead he joins the national pass-time of sueing. The hell with him.
  • I hope Bill Russell gets all the dollars he deserves from those crooks at the NCAA.
    Those crooks make billions off of student athletes, live lavishly in Indianapolis, do nothing about the low graduation rates of students, especially Black athletes, allow colleges and bowls people to make a mint off of the so called free education and then exploit the young men for the rest of their lives without sharing a dime of the profits with the student athletes and or their families.

    The NCAA exploits these athletes and keeps all the money for themselves...such a crooked organization!
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