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Objections may delay O’Bannon hearing
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On April 30, 2013 @ 7:56 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Steve Berkowitz, USA TODAY Sports
The scheduled June hearing on whether an anti-trust lawsuit over the use of college football and men’s basketball players’ names and likenesses should be certified as a class action could be delayed by three to four weeks following objections raised Tuesday by the NCAA and the case’s other defendants.
The objections, lodged with a U.S. District Court in California, were in response to a voluminous filing on Thursday by lawyers representing former and current college football and men’s basketball players in the case.
The plaintiffs’ filing included four new and lengthy expert reports, and the defendants’ lawyers on Tuesday asked the court to either strike those reports from the case record or set a new schedule that would result in a three- or four-week delay for the hearing, which Judge Claudia Wilken had scheduled for June 20.
If the expert reports are not stricken, the defendants’ lawyers want additional time built into the schedule that would allow them to take depositions from the plaintiffs’ experts and then make the last pre-hearing filing to which they are entitled.
The plaintiffs’ lawyers also asked for expedited consideration of their request by Nathanael Cousins, the magistrate judge who is helping Wilken handle the case.
The suit seeks damages from the NCAA, video game manufacturer Electronic Arts and the nation’s leading collegiate trademark licensing and marketing firm, Collegiate Licensing Co. The named plaintiffs, including former basketball stars Ed O’Bannon, Oscar Robertson and Bill Russell, say their names, images and likenesses were used illegally by the NCAA.
They allege that the defendants violated anti-trust law by conspiring to fix at zero the amount of compensation athletes can receive for the use of their names, images and likenesses in products or media while they are in school and by requiring athletes to sign forms under which they allegedly relinquish in perpetuity all rights pertaining to the use of their names, images and likenesses in ways including TV contracts, rebroadcasts of games, and video game, jersey and other apparel sales.
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