This morning in a court room in Oakland, CA, Ed O'Bannon vs NCAA started - a case that could change college athletics forever. If you need a quick review of what's at stake in this case, check out this primer by islandbruin2 last week.
Ed O'Bannon took the stand this morning in the case, questioned for about 50 minutes - here are some of the interesting things that came out.
O'Bannon testifies that he put in 40-45 hours a week into UCLA basketball. Says he even worked out "while watching TV." #NCAAtrial— Tom Farrey (@TomFarrey) June 9, 2014
EOB says he went to class a couple of hours a day, then dove into his basketball duties— Tom Farrey (@TomFarrey) June 9, 2014
Even with priority enrollment, O'Bannon was not able to take advantage of all the opportunities available to him at UCLA:
EOB says he wanted to take drama, speech classes but couldn't because of basketball requirements #NCAAtrial— Tom Farrey (@TomFarrey) June 9, 2014
EOB says he put in about 12 hours a week into school at UCLA. "I was there to play basketball. School wasn't a priority." #NCAAtrial— Tom Farrey (@TomFarrey) June 9, 2014
O'Bannon mentioned that he was steered towards a history major, because it interfered the least with basketball, and that he was unable to take on jobs or internships because it interfered with basketball. His view on himself at UCLA:
EOB: "I was an athlete masquerading as a student." Why? "Because I was there strictly to play basketball." #NCAAtrial— Tom Farrey (@TomFarrey) June 9, 2014
Michael Hausfield, the plaintiff's attorney, then went onto video games, where O'Bannon realized it was him in the game - the player had the number 31, and the player shot left handed. Obviously, this cannot be a coincidence. When he signed his LOI, it didn't mention anything about his likeness being used in perpetuity without compensation.
The NCAA then began to cross Ed, and they played dirty, as expected.
Glenn Pomerantz, the NCAA attorney, tried to start with the argument that being an athlete is part of the UCLA student experience. Funny, many of us here had the UCLA student experience without being a division 1 athlete, but apparently we're nothing to the NCAA. He asked Ed if he had a good time at UCLA, and of course he did - he is still connected to the school, and he met his wife at UCLA. He also got perks such as visiting the White House after winning the title.
Then the NCAA dared to bring up John Wooden.
Pomerantz also asks about Wooden: "What made Coach Wooden a legend?" Invokes the legacy of man who represents what NCAA says it's all about— Tom Farrey (@TomFarrey) June 9, 2014
O'Bannon didn't take the bait, stating that he didn't play for Coach but respected him greatly, and that was just dirty of the NCAA to invoke Coach to advance their dirty schemes. Pomerantz then tried to pit UCLA legend against UCLA legend, quoting Bill Walton who said in 2009 that it shouldn't be about the money all the time, or invoking Lew Alcindor as a man who built the foundation for O'Bannon at UCLA and in collegiate sports.
Pomerantz then tried to make it appear as O'Bannon couldn't efficiently manage his time or wasted it enjoying the college experience, asking O'Bannon how many hours a night he slept in college (3-4), wondering what he did with the other 90 hours a week. Remember, O'Bannon stated he only did school work about 12 hours a week, and while he admitted he could have studied more, we all know realistically an athlete's workload related to his sport is probably at least 40 hours a week.
Pomerantz also tried to argue that O'Bannon signed licensing deals when he graduated, but O'Bannon pointed out those deals expired eventually, yet the NCAA continued to use his likeness. Pomerantz then tried to blame O'Bannon for not calling up the NCAA and tell them to not use his likeness. Terrible.
The NCAA then tried to pull up a 2011 deposition in which O'Bannon stated that an athlete shouldn't be paid while on scholarship. Apparently, you are not allowed to change your mind with the NCAA, which explains their archaic transfer rules.
Eventually, O'Bannon says what everyone was waiting for him to say:
EOB on stand says, "College athletes, I think they should be paid .. W/the amount of money they are bringing in." #NCAAtrial— Tom Farrey (@TomFarrey) June 9, 2014
The second half of today's hearing involved testimony from Dr. Roger Noll of Stanford, who believes that the NCAA engages in anti-competitive behavior.
Noll contends that NCAA members conspire to fix the price for players’ names, images and likenesses at zero. He testified that the NCAA engages in cartel-like behavior by restricting competition, primarily due to the fact that schools cannot be NCAA members unless they agree to abide by the alleged price fixing.
Noll's testimony continues tomorrow.
Scheduled to testify is Marc Emmert, who will be extremely interesting. Also on the list are "Athletic Directors" although we haven't seen if Danny will be asked to testify.
For a good recap of what was said in court today, check out Tom Farrey's twitter feed.
Members of the BN bar association, what say you?