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SEC ADs have mixed opinions on handling O’Bannon lawsuit

AP Photo/Isaac Brekken AP

Should the NCAA bring an end to the legal battle in the Ed O’Bannon case and settle, or should the organization challenges the plaintiffs in what could potentially be a landmark case favoring against the NCAA? That is the question that continues to be asked as the court battle officially begins in just a matter of months.

The opinions of some athletic directors on how the NCAA should handle the case at this point is a bit mixed, according to a survey of SEC ADs by Al.com. Settling now, before getting to court, could end up saving the NCAA and schools a big amount of money. It may be worth it considering the potential circumstances if the NCAA were to lose in court. But the all-or-nothing gamble seems to be something worth risking according to some. It all depends on who you ask.

“I’m a lawyer and there are times when you gamble and times you try to reach a settlement,” Vanderbilt Athletics Director David Williams said in response to Al.com’s question. “But it seems to me this is one where you try to come to a solution and go on about our business because I do think it is a big gamble. The consequences could be very, very large.”

LSU athletic director Joe Alleva has a different opinion. Per Al.com;

“I think the NCAA feels like they have a very good case, but who knows when you get in front of a court and judge?” Alleva said. “If star players could start selling their names themselves and making money off it — selling autographs, selling T-shirts — it could change the landscape significantly for those athletes. It would be market-place driven, obviously. I don’t know what the answer is going to be.”

The chips could be down on the table soon enough. Should the NCAA play it safe and just settle? Settling could open a door for a number of other lawsuits against the NCAA to gain some sort of legal advantage, as it would make the organization look weaker and serve as the organization conceding there is a financial incentive in its operations.

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9 Responses to “SEC ADs have mixed opinions on handling O’Bannon lawsuit”
  1. drummerhoff says: Mar 9, 2014 11:09 AM

    Yeah, Ed O has a case …
    “Something about them just stuck out to me when I was a kid, I used to watch them play. I used to play with them all the time on the NCAA video game. I loved using Pat White and Steve Slaton,” said Redwine. “So when this opportunity presented itself, I just ran with it.” – See more at: http://footballrecruiting.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1617724#sthash.nsT2jlIR.dpuf

  2. bigdinla says: Mar 9, 2014 11:48 AM

    Normally not a big defender of the NCAA, but they need to fight and win this. If they don’t college football is dead. Maybe not immediately, but soon. All of the people on this lawsuit are sad little never was players. If there were no numbers on the players people would still buy the games.

  3. mattacc31 says: Mar 9, 2014 12:04 PM

    Not all of them were never was players. Ed O didn’t play football but was a National Player of the Year and won a title before being a first round pick in the NBA where injuries slowed him. Of the football players joining him one was one of the best LB’s on Arizona’s roster at the time

  4. amosalanzostagg says: Mar 9, 2014 12:07 PM

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

    RTR

  5. rolltide510 says: Mar 9, 2014 1:15 PM

    Yep. At least we’ll have fond memories of how college football used to be before the highest paid players were benched for the final regular season games to rest them up for the 64 team playoffs.

  6. dhardy8207 says: Mar 9, 2014 2:37 PM

    Paying players to play the game while giving them a scholarship could be argued and the NCAA would stand a chance in winning. However this is different, this was video software sold with the likeness of players. NFL players get paid for their likeness, so do most other professional athletes. Simple, you don’t want to pay them, then stop making the video game or change it to where it doesn’t resemble the player or the school they attended.

  7. taintedlombardis says: Mar 10, 2014 10:45 AM

    Time for NCAA football to be treated like the almost professional sport it really has become. No more exploitation.

    And please, spare me the B.S. about a free education. Graduated doesn’t mean educated.

  8. 12is3times4 says: Mar 10, 2014 10:47 AM

    @bigdinla: “Normally not a big defender of the NCAA, but they need to fight and win this. If they don’t college football is dead.”

    College football – and indeed the sport as a whole – already has a potentially fatal problem on its hands with the whole concussion/CTE thing. If not for that, losing O’Bannon would still be tough for schools and the NCAA to adapt to, but college football would still be enough of a cash cow that they’d have an incentive to find a way.

    But with the brain damage issue in play (and its attendant liability issues, not to mention the slow drying up of the talent pool as more and more parents keep their kids out of the sport), losing O’Bannon on top of that could well be the last straw that leaves the sport too expensive to be anywhere close to self-sufficient for all but the wealthiest of programs. Once that happens, all bets on college football’s future are off.

  9. florida727 says: Mar 10, 2014 12:54 PM

    Mixed feelings. On the one hand, the athletes are (in some cases) getting a six-figure education for free; what more do they want/expect? On the flip side, why should any individual be barred from making money? Just because instead of a part-time gig delivering pizzas, they can earn money off their name and reputation, why should the NCAA retain the right to block that?

    I guess I’d lean toward the athlete being able to earn money, but with the restriction (somehow) that the money they earn, or at least a part of it, offsets their scholarship. Some of that money can then go to other, less fortunate non-athlete students that need the financial aid. So for exaple, if they earn $20,000 signing autographs (Manziel?), a third of it comes off his scholarship. Something like that. Of course that opens a ridiculous can-of-worms too, doesn’t it?

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