By Ken Reed

The Supreme Court has decided to not consider the Ed O’Bannon antitrust case against the NCAA.

That decision leaves the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ dual rulings intact. According to USA Today, those dual rulings are the following:

— The NCAA’s regulations are subject to antitrust scrutiny, and rules limiting football and men’s basketball players to receiving tuition, fees, room, board and books violate antitrust laws.

— While antitrust law requires that schools be allowed to provide these athletes with scholarships that cover all of their costs of attending college, including travel and personal incidentals, “it does not require more,” such as what it termed “cash sums untethered to educational expenses.”

The Supreme Court’s decision is a blow for the cause of social and economic justice in college athletics. Nevertheless, Ed O’Bannon, his colleagues, and his legal team have improved conditions for college athletes.

Michael Hausfeld, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, added the following:

“While we would have liked the Supreme Court’s review, we remain pleased with our trial victory and the Ninth Circuit’s decision upholding the finding that the NCAA violated the antitrust laws and affirming a permanent injunction to remedy that violation, which enables NCAA member schools to offer college athletes significant additional funds toward the cost of attendance.”

Ed O’Bannon was on the right side of history. He was right when he filed his lawsuit in 2009 and he’s right today. He found it supremely unfair that the NCAA could profit from the use of college players’ names, images and likenesses in live television broadcasts, rebroadcasts and video games while the players received nothing. However, the fight for justice for college athletes isn’t over. Several other lawsuits are still pending. Fairness will ultimately prevail.

And when it does, the biggest thank you should be reserved for former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon, for his time and commitment to the cause.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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