SAN FRANCISCO -- A former UCLA basketball player is suing the NCAA over its use of former student athletes' images in DVDs, video games, photographs, apparel and other material.
In a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday, Ed O'Bannon says the NCAA illegally has athletes sign away their rights to the commercial use of their images and does not share any of the proceeds from their use with former athletes.
"While the NCAA, its member conferences and schools, and its for-profit business partners reap millions of dollars from revenue streams ..., former student athletes whose likenesses are utilized to generate those profit centers receive no compensation whatsoever," the suit claims.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and calls on the NCAA to pay the former athletes what it has allegedly made from the use of their images. That amount has yet to be determined, said Megan Jones, a partner with the law firm of Hausfeld LLP, which is representing O'Bannon.
It also seeks an injunction on behalf of current student athletes barring the NCAA from licensing the rights to their images.
"There has been an awakening in the former student athletes," Jones said. "They are seeing their images and likenesses in more places now than ever before."
Read rest of the AP wire story here.
Well this is not the first time we have seen this issue pop up Bruins Nation. More after the jump.Back in May 8, I blogged about the story regarding former ASU/Nebraska QB - Sam Keller - suing the NCAA and Electronic Arts Inc. for using athletes' images in video games without "permission and in violation of NCAA rules."
To get the whole setup around the relevant issues of the Keller case (which sounds similar on the basis of this report to Ed's case) in layman's terms go over to Above the Law, where Elie Mystal left with this important warning shot:
The NCAA should be careful. Treating college athletes as second class citizens is not a constitutional right. If Electronic Arts, and Microsoft, and even ESPN ever get on the side of the players, there aren't going to be a lot of courts eager to uphold an unfair restraint on trade.
I am going to guess Ed O and Sam Keller will not be the last atheletes to pursue this kind of legal course and they will have a lot of people around the country (including many here on BN rooting them).
Yeah, I would say the NCAA is on notice now (and they are not exactly operating with a lot of goodwill on the part of fans around the country given what appears to be their random, pathetic, and often disparate enforcement practices with regards to its violations of rules).