On Monday, a U.S. District court rejected the NCAA’s attempts to dismiss a class-action antitrust suit filed by former UCLA standout Ed O’Bannon. O’Bannon has long argued that accepting a college scholarship doesn’t waive an athlete’s rights to compensation when his or her likeness is used in commercials, video games or other merchandise. As Yahoo Sports’ Dan Weitzel observes, “O™Bannon™s attorneys can now begin the discovery process that may unlock how the business operates, which could have impact beyond this case.”
œThe key to this order is that it opens the door to the discovery process, and we soon can begin collecting evidence from the NCAA [and its member schools and conferences], taking depositions, and uncovering everything that it wanted to hide and keep from the public™s and athletes™ view, said Jon King, partner at Hausfeld LLP, one of the firms handling the class-action suit.
œThis is a truly historic day “ to our knowledge, no one has ever gotten behind the scenes to examine how student-athletes™ current and future rights in their images are divided up and sold, King said.
œAs Supreme Court Justice Brandeis once stated, ˜Sunshine is the best disinfectant,™ and we™re about to let the sunshine in.
The case could lead to former student-athletes getting a cut of the multi-billion dollar college sports revenue pool and dramatically impact the way college athletics operates.