Lawyer for Ed O’Bannon asks NCAA to agree in writing not to hurt current player added to suit
An attorney for the plaintiffs in a case which features former UCLA star Ed O’Bannon asked the NCAA to agree in writing to not retaliate against any current athlete who joins the lawsuit against the NCAA, reports AL.com.
O’Bannon, the 1995 college basketball player of the year in 1995, won court permission to add a current student athlete to his antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA last week. That current student athlete has not been named.
O’Bannon attorney Michael Hausfeld sent a letter to NCAA attorney Gregory Curtner requesting that the NCAA, on behalf of its itself and its universities and conferences, to agree they will not take “any adverse action of retaliation, intimidation, or coercion, including loss of scholarship, eligibility, or playing time” against a current athlete.
O’Bannon, 40, is challenging the right of the NCAA, its conferences and schools to keep any proceeds from selling the rights to athletes’ likenesses to be used in such things as merchandise, clothes, television broadcasts and videogames.
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Before a certification decision is reached, the O’Bannon plaintiffs have until July 19 to amend their complaint and add at least one current athlete, as ruled last week by U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs are in the process of lining up at least one current player to be added to the suit over names, images and likenesses. The addition of at least one new plaintiff will certainly bring widespread attention, and perhaps criticism, to a current player at an NCAA school.
The stipulation offered by the plaintiffs asks the NCAA to agree that “participation in this litigation by a current student athlete does not violate any NCAA rule (spanning the constitution, operating bylaws, and administrative bylaws) contained in the 2012-13 NCAA Division I manual or otherwise compromise a student athlete’s eligibility.”