NCAA requests dismissal of O'Bannon lawsuit

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer

The NCAA has asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit by former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon along with other student-athletes.

The NCAA filed the motion on Thursday night. U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken denied the plaintiffs request for class-action status last month, but the case is still currently scheduled to go to court in 2014.

More details on the filing, via the Associated Press:

The lawsuit does not show the association's rules violate antitrust laws, the NCAA said in its motion filed Thursday with a federal court in Oakland. The NCAA also said the athletes' demand for revenue from the licensing of live broadcasts is pre-empted by the First Amendment right to televise newsworthy events.

"The NCAA's rules do not force athletes who wish to be professionals to enroll in school," NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said in a prepared statement. "Instead, the plaintiffs seek to professionalize a few college athletes, which would lead to a reduction in athletic and educational opportunities for the vast majority of male and female student-athletes who pursue Division I, II and III athletics."

Compensation for player likeness has become a hot topic in the discussion of improving the student-athlete experience. The legal issues involved in paying players would be a nightmare for universities -- not to mention a giant addition to the annual budget, and the players suffered a setback in the battle with Judge Wilken's denial for class-action status.

Electronic Arts and the Collegiate Licensing Company were originally involved in the lawsuit as well, but both companies reached settlements with the plaintiffs in September.

 
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