The athlete likeness case headed up by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon has been scheduled to go to trial. That means it is go-time for the NCAA legal team.
The lawsuit was being asked to be decided out of a court room by the NCAA and the group of plaintiffs led and organised by O’Bannon. Because the case is too complicated to be settled in a summary judgement, a federal judge decided it will have to go to trial later this year.
“We believe strongly in the merits of our case and will continue to defend the interests of the hundreds of thousands of student-athletes not recognized by the plaintiffs,” NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said in a statement. “For them and for all student-athletes, the current model of college sports provides opportunities for success during college and beyond. We believe the arguments presented show that the plaintiffs’ claims are not supported by the facts or the law.”
Even if the lawsuit does not hold up in court, it has already had an impact on the NCAA to some extent. The popular NCAA Football video game franchise published by EA Sports was put on the disabled list and is out indefinitely after schools and conferences chose to take their brands out of the game. The video game franchise is just a part of the case supporting the case for the plaintiffs after using similar looking players for years as technology advanced.