Ed O'Bannon testimony: 'I was there to play basketball'

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

The Ed O'Bannon trial -- you know, the one that could ultimately reshape the face of college athletics as we know it -- began Monday with testimony from none other than Ed O'Bannon himself, the former UCLA basketball star who began the case by seeking compensation for his (alleged) appearance in an NCAA-licensed videogame.

His lawsuit would eventually expand to seek licensing rights and damages for all college athletes, meaning O'Bannon's testimony Monday would center on whether he attended UCLA as a basketball player who deserved fair compensation for his exploits on the court, or a student whose hoops value was incidental to the benefits he received as a student.

Via CBSSports.com's Jon Solomon, O'Bannon made where he stood crystal-clear:

The NCAA's cross-examination unsurprisingly focused on the benefits O'Bannon received due to his scholarship:

On the topic of O'Bannon's failure to graduate until 2011:

The NCAA's attorneys also asked O'Bannon if he felt other televised amateur athletes should be compensated:

The NCAA also showed that some past inconsistency in O'Bannon's statements on whether college athletes should be paid, and both sides presented arguments concerning O'Bannon's alleged video game avatar.

Obviously, there was plenty to wade through in O'Bannon's testimony -- and that was one witness in one side's argument the first morning of a potentially three weeks-long trial years in the making. Buckle in.

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