Monday, November 24, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

O’Bannon takes stand in landmark NCAA lawsuit

By
June 11, 2014 |

OAKLAND — The battle to give top football and basketball players a cut of the billions of dollars flowing into college athletics began in earnest with former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon taking the stand in federal court to describe how he spent long hours working on his game and as few as possible on his grades.

The lead plaintiff in a landmark antitrust suit against the NCAA said his goal at UCLA wasn’t to get a degree, but to get two years of college experience before being drafted into the NBA.

“I was an athlete masquerading as a student,” O’Bannon said Monday. “I was there strictly to play basketball. I did basically the minimum to make sure I kept my eligibility academically so I could continue to play.”

O’Bannon portrayed himself as a dedicated athlete who would stay after games to work on his shot if he played poorly, but an indifferent student at best. His job at UCLA, he said, was to play basketball and took up so much time that just making it to class a few hours a day was difficult.

O’Bannon, who led UCLA to a national championship in 1995, said he spent 40 to 45 hours a week either preparing for games or playing them, and only about 12 hours a week on his studies. He changed his major from communications to U.S. history after an academic adviser suggested it would be the easiest fit for his basketball schedule.

“There were classes I took that were not easy classes but they fit my basketball schedule so I could make it to basketball practice,” O’Bannon said.

The testimony came as a trial that could upend the way college sports are regulated opened, five years after the suit was filed. O’Bannon and 19 other plaintiffs are asking U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken for an injunction that would allow athletes to sell the rights to their own images in television broadcasts and rebroadcasts.

If successful, the plaintiffs in the class-action case — who are not asking for individual damages — could pave the way for a system that uses some of the huge money flowing into television contracts to pay athletes for their play once they are done with their college careers.

Also on the stand Monday was a Stanford economics and antitrust expert, who testified the NCAA acts as a cartel by fixing the price of scholarships for athletes and not allowing them to make any more money by prohibiting them from selling their names, images or likenesses (NILs) either as individuals or groups. Roger Noll said every expert opinion he’s seen over the last 30 years agrees the NCAA violates antitrust laws by paying nothing for the rights and imposing rules that would punish athletes for trying to profit from their NILs.

“Every single one of them reaches the same conclusion,” Noll said. “The source of its market power is rules and restrictions regarding benefits that can be provided to student-athletes combined with rewards and punishments it can offer for being able to participate in NCAA sports. It’s called a cartel.”

Noll also said that football and basketball athletes in the class-action suit were harmed by not being able to sell their NILs and that the harm was equal to the amount the NCAA received for them in videogames and television broadcasts and what they actually received — which was nothing.

Even as the trial began, the NCAA announced it had reached a $20 million settlement in a related case involving videogames that used the likeness and images of players without getting their permission. NCAA attorney Donald Remy acknowledged that the settlement in a suit brought by former Arizona State and Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller will result in some current players getting money but doesn’t change the NCAA’s strong belief that the collegiate athletic model is lawful.

“Consistent with the terms of a court-approved settlement, the NCAA will allow a blanket eligibility waiver for any currently enrolled student-athletes who receive funds connected with the settlement,” Remy said. “In no event do we consider this settlement pay for athletics performance.”

O’Bannon, who joined the lawsuit that carries his name after seeing his image used in a NCAA-branded videogame, said he signed a letter of intent that he never read as a 17-year-old eager to display his skills at UCLA. He ended up spending five years at the school, but was seven courses short of graduating when he was drafted into the NBA.

He spent two years in the NBA and another seven playing professionally in Europe. He now lives in a Las Vegas suburb, where he makes his living selling cars.

O’Bannon acknowledged getting benefits from his time at UCLA, including a free education and room and board. He ended up staying five years instead of two, met his wife at school, and enjoyed his relationship with coach Jim Harrick.

He’s proud that his No. 31 was retired and is hanging in the rafters at Pauley Pavilion and of being the MVP in the national title game in 1995. He also cherished his time around the late John Wooden, the legendary longtime UCLA coach.

“Everyone who came in contact with (Wooden) loved him,” O’Bannon said. “I was envious personally that I was born a little bit too late. I wished I could have played for him, he’s that kind of man.”

But under cross examination, O’Bannon said he believed athletes should share in some of the money that schools are making off their efforts on the court and field.

“If they are generating revenue for their school, I believe they should be compensated at some point,” said O’Bannon, who also agreed with the suggestion that Little Leaguers should be paid because their games are sold on national television and they’re generating revenue.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Fairfield-Suisun sits between bay, valley

    By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 11 Comments | Gallery

     
    Salvation Army gets ready for Thanksgiving

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Teens at Boys & Girls Clubs get their own place

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

     
    New mobile office adds reach to The Salvation Army

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1

    Time to start a local hall of fame

    By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2, 6 Comments

     
    Conservancy plans Quail Ridge Walk in December

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

    Film festival brings people together for good causes

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Advance preparation mitigates frost damage

    By Kathy Low | From Page: C4

     
    Sudden Infant Death awareness and prevention

    By Susan Whalen | From Page: C4

    Weather for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B6

     
     
    Two injured in Fairfield shooting

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A12, 11 Comments

    .

    US / World

    Storms raise hope in California drought

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Gambling nuke commander linked to fake poker chips

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

    Winners and losers under Obama’s immigration plan

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

     
    Kohler introduces odor-eating toilet seat

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

    Civic group: No Ferguson grand jury decision yet

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    WWII mementos found in suitcase at thrift store

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Hawaii airline tells pilots to return $4,000 bonus

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

    Dogfighting thrives in years since Vick case

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

     
    Man sets house on fire, kills responding deputy

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Report: Washington toddler shot playing with gun

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Police: Pregnant woman, 3 others fatally shot

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Official: SD man kills 4, including self, wounds 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Pope meets with autistic children

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Biden announces new aid for Syrian refugees

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

     
    AP sources: Obama broadens mission in Afghanistan

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Somalia’s al-Shabab kills 28 non-Muslims in Kenya

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

     
    Kerry says gaps remain in talks about Iran’s nukes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Iraqi forces, Islamic State group battle in Ramadi

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    Japan earthquake collapses homes, causes injuries

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    .

    Opinion

     
    State Capitol braces for budget battle

    By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

     
    Editorial Cartoon: Nov. 23, 2014

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

     
    Act of kindness at Raiders game

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 6 Comments

    .

    Living

    Today in History: Nov. 23, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: Nov. 23, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Give the gift of gratitude this holiday season

    By Dalia Adams | From Page: C3

     
    Buddhist community builds shrine in Pineville yard

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

    Caught up in the spirt of the music

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

     
    Horoscopes for Nov. 23, 2014

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

    Hackers can get into everything, including your camera lens

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

     
    Library project puts 50 years of yearbooks online

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C6, 1 Comment

    Metrosexuals be gone: Europe is agog for beards

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

     
    Graphic novel teaching history at Mississippi schools

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

    .

    Entertainment

    PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

     
    Lamott offers healing words in ‘Small Victories’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

    Eddie Izzard has book deal

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

     
    Whoopi Goldberg writing book about marriage

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

    Bryan Cranston reads profane hit nursery rhyme

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

     
    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

    .

    Sports

    Cousins lifts sluggish Kings over Wolves, 113-101

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Stanford routs rival Cal 38-17 in 117th Big Game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Sacramento State downs UC Davis 41-30

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    49ers host Redskins looking for third straight win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Vermette nets winner for Coyotes vs. Sharks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Green says he’s ready to return to lineup for Broncos

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Bills practice in Detroit prepping for Jets game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    No. 4 Duke tops Stanford to win Coaches vs Cancer

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Vacaville Christian’s Kenyon voted Sierra Delta League MVP

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

     
    Suzy Whaley becomes 1st female officer at PGA

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Giants World Series exhibit goes on display Monday

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Rivalry 150 goes to Lafayette, 27-7 over Lehigh

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Harvard beats Yale 31-24 in The Game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Oklahoma’s Perine runs for record 427 yards

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Bowling results for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

    By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

    Bocce results for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

    By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

     
    Bicycle racing for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

    By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

    Granada clings to 1-shot lead at LPGA finale

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    Swiss lead France 2-1 in Davis Cup final

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    This date in sports history for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    .

    Business

    Businesses cash in as women chase bigger butts

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Tips on getting deals during Black Friday blitz

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Most US unemployed don’t get benefits: Here’s why

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    At a Glance: Pros, cons of mobile-payment systems

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

     
    Review: No cash, cards, just mobile pay for a week

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

    Recalls this week: strollers, candles, chargers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Norah Dean

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Florentina R. Dulay Florendo

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    Albert M. Ranzani

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics