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College Football Insider

Foster, Howard, 10 Hall of Famers support O'Bannon v. NCAA fight

Ex-Tennessee RB Arian Foster adds his name to support the Charles O'Bannon lawsuit. (Getty Images)
Ex-Tennessee RB Arian Foster adds his name to support the Charles O'Bannon lawsuit. (Getty Images)

The fight against the NCAA over image and likeness rights just added some star power.

More than 50 former college athletes -- including several Pro Football Hall of Famers and prominent names -- have signed a "Statement of Support" for the Ed O'Bannon class-action lawsuit against the NCAA over the right for players to use their name for commercial purposes.

CBSSports.com obtained the statement from the office of Michael Hausfeld, the lead attorney for O'Bannon.

Among the heavy hitters listed: Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, former Heisman winner and ESPN personality Desmond Howard, Detroit Lions GM Martin Mayhew, former Duke guard Nolan Smith and 10 Pro Football Hall of Famers -- Thurman Thomas, John Hannah, Eric Dickerson, Lem Barney, Dan "Danimal" Hampton, Mel Renfro, Charley Taylor, Gino Marchetti, Don Maynard and Mike Haynes.

"We, athletes who competed in NCAA sponsored collegiate sporting events, express our full support of and agreement with the lawsuit brought by Ed O'Bannon on behalf of current and former collegiate athletes against the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Further, we wish to call attention to the compelling need for dramatic change in the relationship between college athletes and the NCAA and respect for athlete rights."

The judge in the O'Bannon case has encouraged both sides to enter into settlement talks. Without a settlement, a trial will begin over the summer. The NCAA, at least publicly, has been ready to fight the case until the end.

Here is the list of supporters in order of appearance in the document from Hausfeld.

Ray Jackson, former Michigan 'Fab Five' guard.

Walter Berry, former St. John's and NBA power forward.

Sergio McClain, former Illinois and NBA Development league guard

Eric Devendorf, former Syracuse and NBA Development league guard

Nolan Smith, former Duke guard and first-round NBA Draft pick

Corey Stokes, former Villanova guard

Lendale White, former Southern California and NFL running back

Arian Foster, All-Pro Houston Texans running back

Eric Dickerson, Pro Football Hall of Fame running back

Desmond Howard, former Heisman Trophy winner at Michigan, Super Bowl MVP and co-host of ESPN's College GameDay

Thurman Thomas, Pro Football Hall of Fame running back

John Hannah, Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive lineman.

Lem Barney, Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive back

Dan "Danimal" Hampton, Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle

Mel Renfro, Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive back

Charley Taylor, Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver

Martin Mayhew, Detroit Lions GM and former NFL player

Conrad Dobler, Three-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman

Gino Marchetti, Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end

Don Maynard, Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver

Mike Haynes, Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback

Mike Tomczak, former NFL quarterback

Kyle Turley, former NFL lineman, one-time NFL All-Pro

Roy Jefferson, former NFL wide receiver

LeRoy Irvin, two-time All-Pro cornerback

Tom Rafferty, former NFL offensive lineman

John "Johnny Nightlife" Niland, six-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman

Myron Pottios, three-time Pro Bowl linebacker

Clarence Love, former NFL defensive back

Burt Grossman, former NFL defensive end

Femi Ayanbadejo, former NFL fullback, original plaintiff in Eller v. NFL

Dave Pivec, former NFL player

Calvin Snowden, former NFL player

David Recher, former NFL player

Mike Attardi, former NFL player

Scot Osborne, former NFL player

James Spencer, former NFL player

Dave Stalls, former NFL player

Michael Cheever, former NFL player

Tony Crutchfield, former NFL player

Ger Schwedes, former NFL player

John Roman, former NFL player

Brandon Winey, former NFL player

Jerry Wunsch, former NFL player

Kelly Blackwell, former NFL player

Ralph Stockemer, former NFL player

Paul Shields, former NFL player

Erik Olson, former NFL player

John Janata, former NFL player

Michael Butler, former NFL player

Michael Hoban, former NFL player

Keyvan Jenkins, former NFL player

Rod Brown, former NFL player


Jeremy Fowler is a national college football insider with CBSSports.com. Fowler joined CBS in 2012 after covering the Minnesota Vikings for the St. Paul Pioneer Press for two seasons and covering the Florida Gators for the Orlando Sentinel for two years. Fowler is also a contributor to the CBS Sports Network.
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