Gamechanger: NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation and the Future of College Sports
3 Mississippi Sports Law Review 79
38 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2014
Date Written: 2013
In re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation is a consolidated lawsuit that arose principally from two federal lawsuits filed in California in 2009 against the NCAA, EA, and the CLC: Keller v. Electronic Arts, Inc., and O’Bannon v. National Collegiate Athletic Ass’n. These cases attack the practice of using the names, images, and likenesses (NIL) of student-athletes in broadcasts and rebroadcasts of games, DVDs, photos, video games, etc., without compensation to the athletes. This Article examines the implications of the challenges raised in In re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation on the future of amateurism, the NCAA, and intercollegiate athletics. Part I provides an overview of the NCAA’s regulatory structure and operations. Part II chronicles the litigation as it has unraveled over the past five years and analyzes the respective arguments involving the legal claims and defenses to the alleged antitrust and right of publicity violations. With the June 2014 trial date looming, the respective parties are entrenched in seemingly intractable positions, in an apparent downward spiral where the prospect of capturing the mutual benefits of commercial opportunities in college sports is at risk. Part III considers the practical impact on NCAA sports, should the plaintiffs’ class claims succeed, and explores options to resolve the dispute in a manner that benefits the interests of all in intercollegiate athletics.
Keywords: In re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation, National Collegiate Athletic Association, NCAA, Electronic Arts, O’Bannon, student-athletes, broadcasts, amateurism, intercollegiate athletics, intercollegiate sports, college athletics, college sports, pay-for-play, antitrust
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