No one expected the NCAA to go out with a whimper after U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled in favor of a group of plaintiffs led by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon, which finally granted student-athletes their likeness rights.
Two days after the ruling, the NCAA released a statement that it would appeal the decision.
The next obstacle for the two sides is how much money will be spent on legal fees. The irony isn’t lost on anyone.
The NCAA filed a request Friday to reduce the plaintiffs’ lawyers fees, according to CBSSport.com’s Jon Solomon. The plaintiffs filed papers in October asked for $52 million to cover accrued fees. Obviously, the NCAA is looking to pay a considerably smaller amount.
“The NCAA wants the attorney fees be reduced by at least $36,864,238.59 and the requested costs by at least $4,916,282.68,” Solomon reported. “The NCAA claims the O’Bannon lawyers ‘impermissibly syndicated the case for its own financial gain with an unwieldy network of at least 34 firms. Many of them did very little work and added very little of substance, but padded the lodestar by billing thousands of hours of useless time.’”
Opening arguments for the actual appeal will be heard March 7, while a hearing to determine the fees will held April 1.