NCAA player pay discussed in depositions
by Steve Berkowitz, USA TODAY Sports
Two of the named plaintiffs in an anti-trust lawsuit concerning the use of college athletes’ names and likenesses said in respective depositions that, in the absence of NCAA rules barring compensation of athletes, the better players on teams should be paid more than the lesser players.
Former Connecticut men’s basketball team guard Tate George and former Alabama wide receiver Tyrone Prothro were deposed by various lawyers representing the defendants in the case — the NCAA, video game manufacturer Electronic Arts and Collegiate Licensing Co., the nation’s leading collegiate trademark licensing and marketing firm. George was questioned in March 2012, Prothro in November 2011.
Their statements create one of many fatal flaws in the plaintiffs’ bid to have the case certified as a class action, lawyers for the defendants argued in documents filed Thursday in a U.S. District Court in California.
If the case is certified as a class action, it likely would bring thousands of current and former college football and men’s basketball players into the case and potentially place billions of dollars in damages at stake.
However, before that can occur, lawyers for the plaintiffs must convince a judge that their named clients have claims that would be typical of those for the entire prospective class. Judge Claudia Wilken is scheduled to conduct a hearing on the matter June 20.
George’s and Prothro’s statements, the defendants’ lawyers wrote Thursday, show that there would be differences not only in the potential claims that various potential plaintiffs would have in the case, but also that there would be differences in the claims of the named plaintiffs – who had varying degrees of prominence and played in different eras.