Essential Pittsburgh
6:51 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

The Views Behind the Ed O' Bannon v. NCAA Antitrust Case

The Ed O' Bannon vs. the NCAA case is likely to impact division 1 sports, including basketball and the famous NCAA March Madness tournament.
The Ed O' Bannon vs. the NCAA case is likely to impact division 1 sports, including basketball and the famous NCAA March Madness tournament.
Credit Credit Jeff Turner / Wikipedia Commons

After three long weeks, testimony has ended in the trial of Ed O'Bannon vs. the NCAA.

A decision in the case will likely come in August, following closing arguments in which each side argued whether the organization's rules prohibiting college athletes from profiting from their name, image and likeness, outweigh the alleged anti-competitive effects on Division I-A football and Division I basketball.

Brady McCollough, a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter who's been covering the case, said that the story begins with an NCAA basketball video game depicting players' likenesses, years after they had left college. Ed O' Bannon and the former marketing mastermind, Sonny Vaccaro decided to file a lawsuit against the NCAA for overstepping their boundaries and one of the arguments being made in the case is "student-athletes" are no longer students first.

"Jim Delaney's up there as a witness for the NCAA and kind of ends up playing into the plantiff's hands by talking about his own theories of reform," said McCollough. "The fact that he's admitting under oath that there's too much, emphasis on athletics. It ends up, while he's kind of talking about reform, he ends up kind of making the point that the plaintiffs want to make which is, these guys are not students first, they're athletes first."

McCollough believes that the plaintiffs have an advantage right now because the presiding U.S. District Judge, Claudia Wilken is not a sports fan, and has commented on the strength of the defendants' arguments.

At this point, McCollough said it's unclear when a verdict will be reached.

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