US: NCAA handed monumental loss in antitrust suit

A federal judge decided Friday that the NCAA has violated antitrust laws in barring collegiate athletes from receiving compensation for certain business ventures, say reports.

In a lawsuit filed by former UCLA basketball athlete Ed O’Bannon, who was joined by 19 others, US District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled that the NCAA cannot prevent its athletes from pursuing compensation through selling the rights to their names in likenesses in products like video games. Further, Judge Wilken issued an injunction that prohibits the NCAA from enforcing those rules.

The lawsuit was a high-profile case that the NCAA claimed could up-end its entire business model should the judge rule in favor of athletic compensation. The NCAA had argued that athletes are amateurs, but the plaintiffs argued that they deserve their share of billions of dollars made by the association for major sports broadcasting contracts and other business ventures.

The NCAA issued a statement following Friday’s ruling that spoke out against Judge Wilken’s decision.

In a partial victory for the NCAA, Judge Wilken set a payment cap for money paid to the athletes, but ordered that they be paid at least $5,000 for each athlete per year.

According to reports, payments to athletes will not begin until the start of the next FBS football and Division I basketball recruiting cycle. The ruling will also not affect potential recruits before July 1.

The NCAA can appeal the ruling, though has not publicized whether it plans to do so.

Full content: Huffington Post

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