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National College Football Writer

Appeals court denies NCAA attempt to delay Ed O'Bannon trial

Another obstacle to delay or redefine the Ed O'Bannon case was removed Tuesday when the 9th U.S. Circuit of Court denied the NCAA's attempt for an emergency appeal before the scheduled June 9 trial in Oakland.

The NCAA sought to have an appeals panel rule that U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken had erred by certifying the case as a class action. The three-judge panel denied the urgent petition without comment.

“It's one step closer to removing all obstacles to the trial starting on schedule,” said Michael Hausfeld, the lead attorney for the O'Bannon plaintiffs. “I think it's a clear indication that the 9th Circuit wants to proceed with the trial.”

NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said the association has no comment at this time.

The NCAA has seen two appeal attempts denied in the past two days. On Monday, Wilken rejected the NCAA's appeal that it should be allowed to argue it can't pay football and men's basketball players due to providing financial support to women's and non-revenue men's sports.

Two more motions are pending by the NCAA to delay or redefine the trial. The parties have a status conference on Thursday.

The O'Bannon plaintiffs are seeking an injunction that would prohibit the NCAA from restricting football and men's basketball players from being compensated for use of their names, images and likenesses.

Jon Solomon is a national college football reporter with CBSSports.com. Solomon joined CBS in 2014 after covering college football at The Birmingham News/AL.com for eight years. He previously was a Clemson beat writer for The (Columbia, S.C.) State and The Anderson (S.C.) Independent-Mail.
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