Three months ago, a landmark ruling came down from U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken that granted college athletes their likeness rights. It stemmed from a lawsuit from former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon, who sued the governing body over the illegal use of his likeness in video games, jersey sales, etc.
The rule was thought to be the first step for amateur athletes to get paid. However, the NCAA quickly appealed the decision.
The NCAA officially filed its appeal Friday, according to USA TODAY‘s Steve Berkowitz. The intentions of college football’s governing body were made clear.
“As many courts have upheld, the NCAA and its members should be allowed to govern college athletics, and protecting that experience remains important to the nearly a half a million young men and women who compete at NCAA schools each year,” the NCAA’s chief legal officer, Donald Remy, said in a statement. “Attempts by the plaintiffs and the district court to untether college athletics from the academic experience cut to the core of the student-athlete experience. We look forward to defending the college model on appeal, and in the meantime will continue to improve the student-athlete experience on the field and in the classroom.”
The appeal also stated that Wilken “improperly … took on the role of superintendent of collegiate sports” and each athlete playing either college football or basketball would cost an institution “roughly $30,000 each over four years.”
With some of the details now finally out in the public, the process is expected to play itself rather quickly. The NCAA already petitioned to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to have the appeal fully heard by April or May so schools can be prepared for possible changes to the system in 2016 based on the current ruling.