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Jim Delany will be deposed by O’Bannon plaintiffs

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Following Jim Delany‘s, um, “bold” promise in March to de-emphasize athletics if players ever received a pay-for-play, O’Bannon plaintiffs asked to depose the Big Ten commissioner as part of its ongoing lawsuit against the NCAA and co-defendants.

The USA Today reported yesterday that Judge Nathanael Cousins ruled to allow depositions of Delany, Horizon League commissioner Jon LeCrone, Fresno State president John Welty and NCAA executive vice president Mark Lewis. However, O’Bannon plaintiffs may not depose Texas Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds or Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, among others. Dodds and Bowlsby were among the other college athletics power brokers who, along with Delany, filed declarations supporting the NCAA in the O’Bannon case.

“We’re encouraged by the courts’ ruling granting us the right to depose several of the key declarants in terms of their credibility and veracity,” said Michael Hausfeld, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs.

Conversely, the NCAA declared its own form of victory with a statement on the upcoming depositions, which will be two hours long each.

“We are pleased with the court’s ruling and the admissions the plaintiffs’ lawyers made (Wednesday) highlighting the weaknesses in their theories,” the NCAA’s statement read. “We look forward to the additional discovery shining a light on the reasons why this case is not a proper class action.”

The O’Bannon case is currently headed toward a June 20 hearing for class certification. If the case moves forward as a class-action, current athletes could be entitled to compensation on top of any damages owed to the plaintiffs, which are made up of former athletes suing the NCAA for its use of their name and likeness.

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5 Responses to “Jim Delany will be deposed by O’Bannon plaintiffs”
  1. alligatorsnapper says: May 9, 2013 6:49 PM

    Delany’s big mouth earned him a 2 hour deposition? smile. Couldn’t have happened to a better commissioner.

    At least players should receive something when their names or likenesses are used and marketed for merchandise or advertising by respective colleges and universities. That would only be fair. If these funds are reserved for them when they exit the school, that may be workable.

    With a huge amount of precedent and history in law, any case of using another’s likeness or even facsimile requiring some form and amount of just recompense is ingrained in U.S. law. At least that part of his law suit, O’Bannon will win. Whether that also applies across the board to athletes whose likenesses are not used or for pay-for-play, I doubt that will happen since there remains a great support for “amateurism” even in the judiciary.

  2. thraiderskin says: May 9, 2013 7:18 PM

    Great… our genius commissioner gets to talk gibberish under oath.
    @snapper, I don’t know the answer to this question, but what does it state in the letter when a player signs with a university? If a player signs away their right to “compensation,” what possible legs do they have to stand on?

  3. amosalanzostagg says: May 9, 2013 9:13 PM

    Say good bye to college spurts as we now know it.

    College Football playoff?

    March Madness?

    College World Series?

    All gone with the wind.


    Say O’ Bannon wins. Alabama, Texas, Southern Cal, Michigan, et al will be okay. Okay until Title IX starts to demand that female athletes get paid. Take a big time program, say Michigan. They have 300 athletes. Say each athlete receives $2,000 compensation for their season stipend. That’s $600,000 per annum. Does the stipend end when a student athlete is medically discharged from their sport, say 30 athletes a year, that’s an additional $80,000.

    $2,000 in Texas and Alabama are one thing. $2,000 in Southern California or New York won’t go as far.

    The premise pay for play will destroy the NCAA, because the FBS schools will look out for their interests and fine mid level schools (Say Marshall or Rice)
    who would never be able to pay or subsidize paying student athletes. Forget
    Division II and III. They don’t have the funds.

    You either cut sports to bare bones, Men’s Football and Men’s Basketball (112
    athletes) and a corresponding amount of women’s sports (112 athletes)
    Gone are Academic Grants in Aid because the funding provided to the NCAA isn’t going to be there for Div I, Div II or Div III athletes.

    Since the 1950’s, TV has envisioned one super conference of 50 teams with national playoffs, Which 50 schools? Eliminate Army, Navy or Air Force from
    the super conference? All it would take is one disgruntled congressman and Navy would replace Wake Forest, Army would replace Rutgers, and Air Force would replace Iowas State.

    Enjoy college sports now, because these are the good old days.

  4. alligatorsnapper says: May 9, 2013 9:29 PM

    raider, I have only seen agreements that players signed more than a decade ago and nothing was in the letter/agreement that I saw then signed away the players rights to his likeness or name.

    Possibly, new agreements issued in the past decade could have been modified. Even if they were modified, and even if they do carry some general provision, and do not specify that the athlete is giving up his rights to his name and likeness, that agreement will not protect universities in using the athlete’s name and/or likeness for advertising or merchandise.

    I heard a panel of lawyers and one judge comment on this case recently. All stated unless there was something special about O’Bannon’s situation different from others they knew about, the case would be expanded to class action and O’Bannon and other litigants who enjoined the suit would win.

    The only thing they could not agree upon was what O’Bannon would win.

  5. pricecube says: May 9, 2013 10:16 PM

    This is so off topic… I apologize in advance…

    “The USA Today” bothers me. I have seen this elsewhere and I am unsure of whether or not it is grammatically correct… e.g. you can say “The (New York) Times”, “The (Sydney Morning) Herald” etc. because “the times”, “the herald” is correct. Would anyone say “the today”? That hurts my ears… hell it hurts my eyes reading it. It is an entity… a newspaper… but it still sounds horrible. Okay thumbs down me …

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