By Ken Reed
The long-awaited Ed O’Bannon class-action antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA finally got underway this week. O’Bannon and his fellow plaintiffs are after an injunction that would prohibit the NCAA from limiting the compensation Division I football (bowl subdivision) and men’s basketball players can receive in exchange for their college sports participation.
This isn’t a strict “pay-for-play” case in that O’Bannon isn’t demanding that college football and basketball players be salaried in a traditional sense, and thus, receive pay checks from universities. What’s at issue is the plaintiffs’ claim that without the NCAA’s rules limiting player compensation to basically tuition and room and board, football and basketball players could garner income from the use of their names, images and likenesses in live television broadcasts, rebroadcasts of games, video games and other forms of player marketing.
If O’Bannon wins this case, players would be able to earn money selling their autographs, photographs of themselves, etc. In essence, college athletes could operate more like Olympic athletes. Also, college athletes would likely be free to negotiate licensing agreements involving the use of their names, images and likenesses.
How all this would actually play out if O’Bannon wins is not completely clear.
One thing is clear, however: If Team O’Bannon wins the NCAA will definitely appeal. The NCAA is not about to let the greatest one-sided economic model in sports go without fighting to the bitter end.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site. We discuss his experience at the MLB game at Field of Dreams; his thoughts on the appeal of the Field of Dreams, and baseball in general.
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Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
Episode #11 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Latest on Brain Trauma, Concussions and CTE with Dr. Chris Nowinski – Nowinski is CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation.
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO.
Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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