By Ken Reed

In a positive move for former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon and his lead attorney Michael Hausfeld, Judge Claudia Wilken issued a written order on Friday giving Hausfeld and O’Bannon two weeks to amend their complaint by adding a current NCAA athlete. Who that athlete might be is unknown at this point.

Wilken has yet to rule on whether or not the O’Bannon case against the NCAA will be certified as a class action suit; that’s expected to be determined later this summer. However, the fact Wilken gave the O’Bannon/Hausfeld team time to add a current athlete is seen as a favorable sign for the plaintiffs.

O’Bannon and his fellow plaintiffs are claiming that they are entitled to part of the revenue the NCAA garners annually from contracts with television networks and video-game makers.

If the suit receives class action status and the plaintiffs win, the entire college sports system will be changed. The sad charade of amateurism in big-time college football and basketball will be ended. College athletes will have their civil rights restored, and will be allowed to pursue a variety of economic opportunities that are off limits today. In effect, they will be treated like every other student on campus.

It’s an important case to follow for advocates of social justice in sports.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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